Greeting Mountain folk and family,
This is Tanner. I've worked with The Many Hands Peace Farm for the past three years, and I've been helping manage The Mountain's newsletters, website, and social media for the past year. I want to help you stay informed, spiritually uplifted and feel connected to The Mountain even if you can't be here physically. My aim is to empower this community, one that is connected deeply to this rock we all hold as scared, a space that can be used for and by all to advance in your personal lives and to champion the mission of The Mountain. That mission is: to enrich lives, foster an appreciation of the natural world, honor the interconnectedness of all things, and inspire people to build inclusive, meaningful, sustainable communities throughout their lives. It's a role I am humbled to undertake and committed to as I continue to discover the inherited history and connections that have been passed on here. It’s truly beautiful to see and be a part of.
These past few months have been a challenging time for many of us I'm sure... At times I've found myself overwhelmed even here on The Mountain. I find myself wondering what can I do to stop the world from seemingly coming unhinged? Perhaps it's all part of a larger process and one we can't fully see without faith.
I recently received an email from Aly Tharp, with "Create Climate Justice" who has been connected historically to our Climate Justice Conference. That program is now evolving to become A More Beautiful World Week. I highly suggest you consider coming to be a part of this week if you feel called as an activist and community catalyst. It's a chance for us all to practice what we preach here at The Mountain. A powerful program of transformation is being built day by day, and I get ever more excited and hopeful to be able to see and tell about this vision.
I’ve attached Aly’s Create Climate Justice’s newsletter and suggest you subscribe to that as well for potent information and inspiration. In the latest email she touched on:
“As people of faith, we must bear witness to this moment. That means that we must name hard truths, but that we also must act.”
This got me pondering the role of people of faith? What does this mean, how can we bear witness and stand in truth? What does right action look like right now? We all know truth has the power to set us free. But it comes with the burden of integrity. Which can be hard to bare alone. I believe as social animals that need one another to survive we are having to face the momentum and patterns that brought us here with a new collective consciousness that brings to light the choices that were made in the past. We now are examining that history together, we have choices to make in how we relate and to stand together in integrity. For as what one suffers the whole suffers.
I feel we need faith, especially in each other at this time.
Let us have faith in ourselves first, to invest in our own fortitude to be able to stand up, to help others to stand besides us to bear any burdens. The farm taught me with many hands work becomes play and we can lift impossible burdens that otherwise would crush us alone.
Faith, to encourage each other to play our roles and do our jobs to the fullest. Here on The Mountain we've taken full advantage of this time period of potential ruin, we’ve been investing in ourselves and campus with the faith that it will be with recompense when you, our guests, can return to see what your investments and faith in us have yielded. We've been proactive and lucky enough to secure a payroll protection loan to the end of the month. But this still leaves a large looming pit of doubt and obscurity to The Mountain’s fate that we must have collective courage to journey. At a time when so many businesses were forced under lockdown and foreseeable closure from Covid -19. Current events have become a situation that can leave many without hope, vision or faith for their own futures. What can we do against such injustices and hardships? Are our actions having affects? Am I investing myself properly and fully in my local soil to plant and harvest what will sustain the future?
Part of my job has me affixed to the drip feeds of social media. With consistent floods of information, it can leave one feeling paralyzed at times. Combine that with emotional tidal waves from unexpected life events that can come crashing in, it can leave us feeling uprooted from our sources, homes, and families...
I wanted to turn to the importance of faith as Aly mentioned… As a center for Unitarian Universalist I wanted to reflect more into this pool of wisdom, of those who practice the concepts of love and faith as a verb and an applied art form to embody.
I was not disappointed in my search, an amazing thing about internet and the collective consciousness it represents is that any experience you have is most likely a shared one that we can learn deeper empathy through. The Greenville UU Fellowship addressed many of my deep feeling with a Call to faith and a Call to love. With many of you perhaps missing your congregations at this time I wanted to share this excerpt from their covenant circle readings.
"Courage is just fear that has said its prayers. We can be afraid and brave at the same time, and praying helps. And by praying I simply mean connecting with what is larger than us, with what we truly believe at the core, in the gut, in the heart, whether it is the God of our understanding, or the spirit of love and compassion, or just human decency and dignity that we believe in. To pray is just to steady ourselves. It is to ask for help from a deeper source, and to be reminded of this one important thing: We are not alone in this. We are not alone in anything."
- Rev. Elea J. Kemler
I found additional readings and resources taken from the UUA, after delving into the topic of faith in turbulent times that I've share here for those that it resonates with.
So thank you for being out there as I write this in faith that you are there for us. We are here for you. To hold the space on The Mountain to create the stories you want to share and be heard from The Mountain top with the faith that your actions create deep currents of change. Thank you.