Water: Sacred and Profaned

Our friend and United Methodist clergywoman, Sharon Delgado, sent us the following information about an important upcoming conference at the Nevada City United Methodist Church.

Here are the details, followed by the poster.

A one-day Conference on “Water: Sacred and Profaned” will be held at the Nevada City United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Conference will focus on the growing scarcity of fresh water, water as a right, and the need to preserve water for humans and all living things. It will feature presentations, discussion, film, Native American drumming, song, and ritual.

The Conference is being organized by Earth Justice Ministries, a local faith-based nonprofit, and cosponsored by the Church and Society Committees of Nevada City and Grass Valley United Methodist Churches, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Mountains Social Action Committee, Peace and Social Justice Committee of the Grass Valley Friends Meeting, and Pax Christi of Nevada County. Conference organizers have put forward the following premise which speakers will address:

“Water is sacred, essential for all life. Used as a sacrament in various religions, it is an expression of divine love. But now, Earth’s waters are being profaned. Our premise is that water should be held in trust for the common good and not monopolized, privatized, or sold as a commodity. Access to water is a basic right of humans and all living things.”

Sharon Delgado, a United Methodist clergywoman, will speak from a perspective of water as sacred, and will present an overview of threats to water — how water is being “profaned.” She will point to people’s movements for protection of water around the world.

Keynote speaker Nancy Price is from Defending California for Life, a project of Alliance for Democracy. Ms. Price will speak about global and statewide issues related to water preservation in the context of her understanding of water as sacred. She will cover the upcoming vote on the California Water Bond, climate change and the rights of nature, and implications of the recent Supreme Court decision that strengthens corporate rights. Find out more here.

Speaker Roberto Garcia is the Board President of the local Tsi-Akim Maidu nonprofit organization. He will speak on the value of water from an Indigenous perspective, and on local issues that the Tsi-Akim Maidu are working on, including healing the waters from mercury pollution caused by past mining, their annual Calling Back the Salmon ritual, and attaining federal recognition for the tribe.

Afternoon speakers include local hydrologist Steve Baker, producer of KVMR’s series, “Living Water,” NID Board members Nick Wilcox and Nancy Webber, SYRCL Board President and CLAIM-GV Board member Heidi Hall, and David Edwards of the Nevada City Water District. They will address the themes of the conference and apply their understanding to local issues of water preservation.

Native American drumming will be provided by local group Three River Drum, with Mignon Geli on flute. Hilary Marckx, a United Church of Christ pastor and songwriter from Geyserville, will perform and lead singing. The day will include a “healing the waters” ritual and a film. Lunch will be provided.

Admission to the Conference is by voluntary donation from $0 to $25. For information go to www.earth-justice.org. Pre-registration is desired but not required. To register email water@earth-justice.org or call 274-1320.

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