For as long as I’ve been your minister, this monthly column has been titled “On the Path.” It refers, of course, to the individual spiritual path each of us is traveling, as well as the collective journey we are on as a congregation. The name also reminds us that life, itself, is a journey. These metaphors can provide important perspective, as we navigate the inevitable ups and downs – the joys and sorrows – that we experience.
It is also my dream that, sometime in the not too distant future, you will be able to walk a literal, physical path – through meadows and woods, across gently rolling hills and perhaps a creek or two – at a very real place called Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. A place where loved ones might be buried and where our natural world might be protected from human economic and industrial “development.” Though I haven’t been envisioning a “green burial” sanctuary nearly as long as I’ve been calling this column “On the Path,” it has begun to feel like I’ve spent enough time “imagining.” The time to begin taking action has arrived. Later this month (see article elsewhere in this newsletter) the HUUC Board of Trustees will consider a recommendation from Board member (and lawyer) Heather Wasco to create a separate limited liability corporation (“LLC”) that would be the legal placeholder for our green burial project. This is the next logical step in the process of creating a natural burial sanctuary in and for Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, I can report that more than two dozen Heritage congregants have attended meetings and expressed interest in being part of the project. (In addition, several folks from outside Heritage are very interested in helping bring this vision to fruition). Six church members soon will be visiting and touring Penn Forest Cemetery in Pittsburgh to learn more about that natural burial ground. A realtor has created an “available land” online site where we are monitoring appropriate land within a 15-20 minute radius of Heritage; some visits to possible property have already taken place. I have also been approached by persons considering donations of land.
In short, it is a very exciting time in the evolution of the green burial project. If you are interested in being part of this work (anything from website design to crafting policy to making business plans to helping reclaim potential land from invasive species – and everything in between) I invite you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am confident you will find being part of this process very rewarding indeed. And someday, you’ll be able to walk a path that respectfully honors both the earth, and those who have gone before – a path that you have helped to create.
One final, unrelated request (though it too involves participating in a process that is part and parcel of our Unitarian Universalist value system): Please vote. The next few days will determine what kind of country, and what kind of society, we will live in, for a generation or more to come. Be sure your voice is heard. Vote.