On a balmy evening in late September, the SJA EcoSpirits gathered on a colorful bridge over Minnehaha Creek, and led our participation in a statewide relay to protect our water. A small container of water from the headwaters of the Mississippi River is making its way from community to community across the state of Minnesota, and eventually it will be returned to Itasca State Park, where it will rejoin the river. At each stop, communities commit to honoring and protecting the precious gift of water, and we commit to stopping the Line 3 oil pipeline expansion proposed by Enbridge Energy.
We received the water from our friends at Shir Tikvah Synagogue and carried it to St. Joan of Arc, accompanied by members of the SJA Drum Circle. The water rested overnight in a beautiful space in our Welcome Center created by Kate Meyer, Elaine Gaston and Jill Pistulka, and Susan Sell composed a prayer for us to share together. The next day, the water was carried to its next stop with the Spirit in Action group at Nokomis Square.
Thank you to all who joined us, and thank you to our SJA EcoSpirits for calling us to this act of gratitude and protection for our water. And thank you, Elaine, for these words from our blessing ceremony:
The water is gift, and the water is life.
Water quenches our thirst and makes us clean. Without it, our food does not grow. With water, we bless ourselves and others. Water flows, rests, pours down, swirls, floods, freezes. It runs through every part of our lives and our earth.
We are here tonight to witness to one another that we are water protectors. We say with the prophet Amos: "Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream."
Protect our Climate. Protect our Water. Honor our Treaties by halting Line 3.
The second part of our relay involved meeting at SJA and driving or biking to Spirit in Action at Nokomis Square Gardens. Our dear friend Tim Frantzich joined us for an opening prayer and shared several beautiful water songs to send us on our way!