Vigil for the Water One Year Later

mel.n.rose.vigil_0197Opening prayer/meditation by Rev. Mel Hoover and Rev. Rose Edington (chair of OVEC’s board; both pictured above) at the Interfaith Candlelight Vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of the massive chemical leak into our drinking water:

Left to right: Rev. Robin Blakeman (an OVEC organizer), Native American elder Robert Nuckle and OVEC's Dustin White at the Jan. 9, 2015 Interfaith Candlelight Vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of the chemical spill that contaminated the water of 300,000 West Virginians.

Left to right: Rev. Robin Blakeman (an OVEC organizer), Native American elder Robert Nuckle and OVEC’s Dustin White at the Jan. 9, 2015 Interfaith Candlelight Vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of the chemical spill that contaminated the water of 300,000 West Virginians.

As we gather here this evening of January 9, 2015, we celebrate that we survived the challenges from last year’s poisoning of our water system, and the attack on our health and well-being, and the damage to the small businesses we depend on. It was a time that could have fractured our social fabric and pitted us against one another. However, we joined hands, and what a difference we have made!

We would be reminded that there are two powerful movies having their premier this weekend:  Locally, Mike Youngren’s  Elk River Blues paying tribute to the Elk and to our efforts to keep her clean, which we will view soon this evening.  And, nationally, Selma, a tribute to people journeying together to face and conquer the poison of racism and the forces of power and control that keep racism in its place. We are the inheritors of the Civil Rights Movement. We adapt similar strategies and tactics of peaceful activism to make change for the greater good.  Like us a year ago, those in Selma decades ago did not know what would happen when they joined hands and organized for change..  However, like us, they did know it was time for change.  As Martin Luther King said, “This is no time for apathy or complacency.  This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” …

Together, we celebrate that over the past year our actions have been powerful and have created positive change that we will continue to build on. Let us express our power for making positive 20150109_untitled_0210change by joining hands as we enter a few moments of meditation:

We gather here because we have learned this simple truth:

Water unites us.

Because we embody water, we ourselves are bodies of water.

Think of the Soul of our Earth’s Water.

Feel the Soul of Earth’s Water deep in your body.

Quiet your breath and your mind, and in the quietness, “feel 20150109_untitled_0172the ebb and flow of the ocean tides in the push and pull of the blood beneath your skin.” [Susan Podebradksy]. . .

Water unites us.

Without water we perish.  Water is sacred.

The  water we are standing beside is part of all the water on our Earth.

Elk River water joins the Kanawha and flows into the Ohio, to the Mississippi, to the Gulf, and on into the ocean.

Water unites us!

All water is one water, shape shifting as it goes on and on in its unending cycle.

The stream we gather by tonight unites us with all the waters of the world, and all the life of the world; for all of life depends on water.  And that is why this common, everyday element on which our very lives depend  is sacred.

In our thankfulness for water, let us remember to honor, cherish and care for it – for our own lives, for all life touched by water,  and for those who come after us.

20150109_untitled_0193Water unites us.

Water calls us to make changes so it can be clean, unpolluted, nourishing, and healing.

Water unites us.

For our past ignorance of chemical storage tanks near our drinking water,

We ask forgiveness.  We are building a new way.

For being complacent in the past when we needed to call for accountability from our legislators and leaders to insure that our water is free from contamination,

We ask forgiveness. We are building a new way.

For leaving behind our complacency and accepting responsibility to speak truth to power

We celebrate.  We are building a new way.

For our perseverance and our willingness to work together to insure safe water for everyone

We celebrate.  We are building a new way!

Spirit of the Waters,

Stir within us.

Infuse us with the energy to offer a different perspective, to take a needed action.  Unite us as we agitate, instigate, and innovate in the work to honor our water.

May we be cascading catalysts, willing to take risks, to say what we think and feel, to send messages of hope that flow from person to person to person.

We ask for the surging strength of springtime mountain streams as we continue to work with those in power – as well as  to exert our own personal powers –

to heal the water in our local streams, and rivers;

knowing that in doing so,

we also heal the water of our planet,

we heal our souls,

we create a healthy future.

We are building a new way!

Amen. Amen.

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