“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself  […]

You are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

from No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu (1999)

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You’ve let them rule over your handiwork, putting everything under their feet— all sheep and all cattle, the wild animals too, the birds in the sky, the fish of the ocean, everything that travels the pathways of the sea. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

Psalm 8:6-9

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Have you ever looked at the sky, been at the beach, or gone hiking and found yourself amazed at the beauty of God’s creation? Like the psalmist, we too can be grateful for all of creation. We can take out time to breathe in fresh air and thank God for the trees that provide oxygen for us to breathe. We can thank God for the sun that provides natural light. We can thank God for gravity that keeps us on the ground and prevents us from floating. How excellent is God’s name in all the Earth!

It is truly amazing that God allows us to rule over God’s creation. “To rule” doesn’t mean to abuse, dominate, or take advantage of creation, but indicates that we are partners with God in the care of creation.

We have one Earth and all humans have to share it; therefore, we all are responsible for helping one another to keep it clean, to not be wasteful, to ensure humans are able to access food and other natural resources. This is what Ubuntu looks like. We are created to be in community.

Crystal Rook

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God who teaches, please teach me how to take care of your creation. Teach me how to take care of each person in my community. Teach me how to show reverence for you and your creation. I am speechless that you would consider me to rule over anything that you created. Thank you for entrusting me and humankind with your creation. Amen.

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Open our eyes to see everyone in our community.

Increase our hearing to listen to your creation.

Bless our hands to help those who need our help in our community.

Open our hearts to receive everyone in our community.

Teach us to be in community.

Water and Grow us into Ubuntu – the essence of being human.

Crystal Rook

Elder Crystal Rook, MDiv, MACC is an activist, community organizer, womanist preacher, and rising scholar in Winston-Salem, NC. She’s passionate about the intersections of food justice, faith, race, spirituality, and body politics. She enjoys watching movies, writing, coloring, and spending time with family and friends.

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