Florida’s clean water effort ‘focused on stewardship’

If you have read The Sun’s “Messages from the Heart of Springs” columns, you will know that many cultures around the world hold water as sacred.

If you follow the news, you’ll be aware of the many statewide water issues plaguing North Florida’s springs, South Florida’s Everglades, and the many estuaries, wetlands, lakes and rivers that continue to suffer from pollution and depletion. You can also know the Florida Clean Water Campaignthe effort to put a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot in Florida so voters can decide whether our state should guarantee people the right to clean water.

This fall, the organizers of this campaign invite us all to join a multi-faith project to explore how our spiritual, soul-level and faith-based connections with water can guide us in how to care for this lifeblood – the water we all depend on and through which we are all connected.

More from Lucinda Faulkner Merritt:

Florida only provides the “illusion of protection” for our sources

The Springs Heartland is a source for writers

People Who Don’t Vote Silently Approve Our Sources’ Terms

From September 1 through November 24 (Thanksgiving), the Florida Right to Clean Water campaign will be “Focused on Stewardship” by encouraging people of all faiths and spiritual traditions to express their connection to water and to discuss what responsible stewardship means. for them.

The inspiration for “Centering on Stewardship” evolved from, but was not limited to, the Catholic observance of the Season of Creation, which runs from September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care from creation to October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology loved by many Christians.

Extending this time through Thanksgiving, the Florida Right to Clean Water Campaign invites people of all faiths and spiritual paths to participate as they wish by “listening to the voice of creation.” Participation can be through personal reflections at favorite outdoor locations, sermons, discussions, prayers, rituals, sustainability projects, environmental advocacy, and expressing our relationship with water through the creative arts – writing, drawing, painting, photography, poetry, music, crafts and more.

The big questions we are asked to consider during Centering on Stewardship are: How should we care for our waters? What does good stewardship look like? How should our legal system reflect, protect, and promote our values ​​and duties to care for Florida waters? What can we be willing to compromise? What is unacceptable?

For more information on “Centering on Stewardship,” including upcoming events and how you and/or your spiritual or religious group can get involved, visit www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/stewardship. For more information about the Florida Right to Clean Water campaign and how you can help, visit www.floridarighttocleanwater.org.

For those of us who feel a spiritual connection to water, there can be great power in what people of all faiths and spiritual paths – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Native Americans, Pagans and more – take time to focus on stewardship this fall. For those of us who follow religious or spiritual paths and do not feel such connections to water, Centering on Stewardship can provide an opportunity to discover and even deepen these connections.

Personally, I can think of no better place to honor our spiritual connection to water than at some of the freshwater springs along the Santa Fe River.

“Santa Fe”, after all, means “Holy Faith”.

Lucinda Faulkner Merritt is a spring lover who was raised Presbyterian and now follows a Buddhist path (Tibetan tradition). Part of his Buddhist refuge vow included a vow to respect all religions.

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