Our Roots & Shoots name is the "Hero's Journey Club." The children of F.U.S.H. meet on Sunday morning during service. We have a weekly discussion and carry out meaningful projects, but lately, we feel we want to do more! So we decided to meet on Thursday afternoons and get out into the community. We began this club to have a positive influence in our community in harmony with the Unitarian Universalist principles.
1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2nd Principle: Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
For this specific campaign, we are focusing on how these principles apply not only to people but to all living beings. We have purchased some baby chickens and have been caring for them as pets. Our project will highlight that chickens can be kept as companion animals and not just used for meat or for egg production.
We began by mapping our community and discussing perceived problems within our community. We discovered that there are a lot of resources to connect humans to other humans and even humans to the environment, but not a whole lot to connect humans with other species of animals. In our weekly meetings, we often meditate on our feelings to cultivation compassion within and empathy for others. Almost every week we hear from each other how animals bring us such joy. When mapping we saw that a lot of animals in our community were farm animals- used for their product and not for their companionship. We would like to raise awareness that all animals have feelings and can be part of the club when it comes to sharing love and joy. A message we would like to convey is that the language of love translates across all perceived barriers: religion, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, and even species.
We have been learning about permaculture techniques and decided to apply them to a yard space that we have available to use. We mapped out the yard space and will build a chicken coop and pallet fence. We plan to plant raised bed gardens and a spiral herb garden.
In this project, the children emphasized that they only wanted the chickens to be pets and not raised as a commodity. We will donate the eggs they lay to the local food shelf. In this way, animals and humans are connected in a humane way. The children also noted that humans and animals are connected through loving interaction; by holding and petting the chickens. They love them! We hope to grow lots of vegetables and fruit to donate to the food shelf as well. The chickens will keep the bug population in check so we have a high yield from our crops.
The children will be hosting informational workshops throughout the summer to educate the community on small scale organic homesteading. They have applied the permaculture techniques which work in harmony with nature and hope to spread these concepts.
We will know that campaign is successful when community members and organizations around town recognize the "Hero's Journey Club" and ask us to participate in their program or next event. We will document our findings with photos, video, and written articles or quotes. We aim to present and celebrate our success in early June during the Children's Flower Ceremony.