The Prophetic Voice of Wendell Berry

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, an observance that Earth Day Network hopes will be an “historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.” Meanwhile, for over 50 years, poet, essayist, philosopher, environmental activist, and Kentucky farmer Wendell Berry has embraced that call in his personal life as well as in his vast literary output. His life and work consistently remind us that, “It is only on condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species can survive in it.” We can’t possibly do justice in a single service to Berry’s eloquence, intellect and empathy in addressing environmental issues. But we can seek to more fully appreciate his spiritually-focused approach to environmental issues and reaffirm the enormous personal and public benefits of passionate commitment to the Seventh Principle of our Unitarian Universalist faith: namely, “respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part.”