Thursday, February 24, 2011

Up for Adoption, The 10 Tree Challenge

IF YOU ARE A LOVER OF TREES... this could be your opportunity to make a profound contribution to our UU religious tradition and to GAIA (Earth).

Up for adoption, is the "10 Tree Challenge," a simple project that resulted in 40+ churches (and 50-100 other orgs.) planting over 3000 trees. Beyond the tangible results, an exceptional spirit emerged across the UU world as a result of this project. UUs grasped the simple idea, and then brought it to life in a myriad of creative ways that fit their particular congregation.

UU's are still hungry for meaningful ritual. Tree Planting proves to be both a powerful symbolic ritual and a way that UUs could make a visible contribution to their communities. UUs of every ilk, young and old, intellectual, political, spiritual all embrace this project.

I initiated, encouraged and facilitated the project, and watched it take off. Then other aspects of my ministry intervened. I was serving two congregations, and offering trainings in "Compassionate Conversations" (aka nonviolent communication). I wasn't able to remain focused on the "10 Tree Challenge."

The right person could help this project spring back to life like a tree after a season of dormancy. I would be glad to advise, coach, encourage and share some ideas. Or perhaps your creativity will be what makes the difference.

IMO the success of the program was due to its ease of implementation and to the Green Sanctuary program that was initiated by the UU Ministry For Earth. When "Green Sanctuary" moved to the UUA, traffic to the UUMFE webpage and to the link for the 10 tree challenge link dwindled. Frankly, I failed to recognize that adaptation was needed. GS Program Manager, Robin Nelson even invited me to write a guest blog on her site as a way for us to begin working together. I simply never followed up. Bottom line: there is institutional support/ willingness to see this go forward. It simply needs someone with some skill and passion to gather the firewood and ignite it again. (bad metaphor for bring trees to life, huh?)

Congregations find this project fun, fulfilling and magical. It provides a relatively easy way to be part of something that UUs were doing together. The success came with only a small percent of UU's hearing about the project. There is plenty room left for this project to grow! It would take a critical mass, a small number of congregations recognized for their efforts, and the 10 Tree Challenge would spread again. trees!!!

If you want to help revitalized the 10 Tree Challenge be revitalized, please email Robin Nelson or me

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