Friday, October 4, 2013

Green Film Series NEW SEASON!

Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? 


Thursday, October 10 at 7pm

First Unitarian Society of Westchester 

25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings, NY 

Join us to view Stephanie Soechtig's debut feature TAPPED, an unflinching examination of the big business of bottled water. 

From the producers of Who Killed the Electric Car and I.O.U.S.A., this timely documentary is a behind the scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought ever to become a commodity: our water. 

From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table.


TAPPED is brought to you by Rivertowns Interfaith Green Film Series. We are a collaboration of South
Church’s Roots & Wings, The First Unitarian Society of Westchester, and Greenburgh Hebrew Center, offering film and conversation about sustainable living and environmental issues.  All programs are open to the public and admission is free (donations appreciated). See the whole season here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kitchen Garden Update

This week we stalked most of the tomatoes and planted some additional peppers, Asian eggplants, and marigolds.  

The peppers eggplants and marigolds were donated by Will Summers (one of the farmers that spoke at our Local Young Farmers discussion this spring) from the Stony Point Center who also offered us his tiller whenever we need it.  We were able to secure the greenhouse a bit more by digging it into the ground a few inches (it would stood the wind from this weeks storm).

Today we also turned the compost and began to create a new planting bed where we may want to plant some zucchinis. Mother Nature has taken care of the watering this week.
Next Steps
We need to continue planting additional seedlings, turning the compost, and mixing soil in our new bed.  We should also be thinking about how to create a sitting space by perhaps moving our stone bench.  

If anyone knows of an outdoor table that can be donated, please let us know since this would be great for our garden. 

Again please try to come on Saturdays at about 10 am or Wednesdays at 5 pm. As always stop by any time as you can help turn the compost, weed the vegetable beds, water, or just watch and enjoy how all of our plants are doing.
Have a great rest of the week.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Growth Project

--by Marcus Panozzo, member of South Church's 2013 Confirmation Class

Ever since I was a little boy I loved watching my dad work outside in the garden and I used to be fascinated with all the different plants in our backyard and I still am today.  So it is no surprise that for my confirmation project I chose something that would tie into justice through food –helping through learning to grow it yourself.

My project had a simple goal, which was to help spruce up the Labyrinth Garden in front of South Church.

As I worked on the labyrinth garden, I wondered if I could design and plant my own labyrinth at home someday.  

It was a lot of work moving mulch, which sort of gives me a glimpse of how tough this kind of work really is, but enjoyable at the same time. Especially when it’s sunny out and a little breezy. Learning about the different plants and herbs is interesting. My friend and mentor Chris helped me a lot understanding the ecology.

It was refreshing to spend some time outside instead of rushing home after church.  

Kitchen Garden Musings

presented by Robin Larkin, of Cabrini Immigrant Services--Roots & Wings partner in the Kitchen Garden, at South Church Celebrates Roots & Wings, April 2013

First Saturday in April.  

Clear.  Chilly.  
The gate opens to the dormant garden space.  
So many possibilities.  
Mark and Pablo are looking at drawings of raised beds.
A green house has been placed
where a tree once stood.
It's warm inside
Ready for new growth.

Doris, Virginia, Solange arrive.  
We stand there --  
Remembering what grew where, what didn’t, why?
Last year, the questioning, the newness.
Would it work?  It worked.  Would people come?  They came.
Would we understand each other? 
Yes.  Si. はい(hai). (ye). (shì). جی ہاں (jee haan).
All speak, hear and teach the same language in the garden.
A shiver passes when the wind picks up.  The Spirit… 

English and Spanish warm today’s air
as Mark shows the blueprint.
“It’s beautiful,” Doris says,
“We need to clear the space,” Solange adds.
Virginia has already started.

The garden re-awakens.  Rakes scratch its surface.
Blankets of leaves are removed, then moved to the compost pile.
Uncovering the dirt to start over.
It too was waiting for this reconnection.

“I like the way this smells.”
The stirring of the earth continues, as memories also stir…
Of parents, grandparents, other countries, other backyards,
And their garden smells. 
“We did this at home…”

We are doing this now. 
This can be “home…”
“There’s room for a table now… A meditation space…
Maybe a grill... A mattress in the greenhouse?” 
Just kidding, Linda Jo!
But the talk is of being together in this place…
…This sacred space.

The strength of these women who came,
And then came back with their families.
Our own Easter messengers.

Waving goodbye for now.
“Te amo.  I love you all.  It’s beautiful.”
Cultures together.
Generations together.
Faiths together.
Neighbors together.
Community.  Sustainability. Prayer in Action. 
WE ARE Roots & Wings. 
“Te amo.  It’s beautiful!”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Celebration of our 3rd Anniversary

Thank you Robin Larkin of Cabrini Immigrant Services, for preparing this beautiful recap of Roots & Wings' first three years!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

roots and wings collage 4

South Church Celebrates Roots & Wings!

You're invited to a worship service featuring music, photos and stories

This Sunday, April 14, at 10 AM

at South Church, 343, Broadway, Dobbs Ferry. Directions.

All are welcome!

Roots & Wings' STORIES. Pictures of GARDENERS and journeyers. South Church VOICES on food, nourishment, and sustainability. "MOTHER EARTH" sung by the South Church CHOIR. Alex's CREPES. A chance to PLANT a seed. Robert SCHUMANN'S Novellette #1. . .   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Transition Training a Success

A group of 40 participants immersed themselves in Transition Training last weekend . . .  learning how to organize a movement for sustainable change in their community. One of the best parts was meeting new friends and being inspired by their stories! 

It was great meeting you this weekend. Nice to know Westchester/Putnam counties are seeded with people like you!
Lisa from Larchmont’s Committee on the Environment

It was great spending the weekend with you immersed in the very special world of Transition. I won't soon forget it, AND we will hopefully build upon it little by little, steadily expanding and putting to use what we learned. Again, thanks to everyone involved, and especially to our wonderful facilitators and to those in Roots and Wings who made it all possible, and to Transition Hastings for feeding us! 
Deb from

This weekend was exceptional and I am deeply grateful to everyone who participated for sharing their time and their hope and their energy. 
Pauline from Transition Westchester

Thank you all. . . . What a fabulous experience South Church, Roots and Wings, Transition Westchester, The Rivertowns Transition towns and the participants that you magnitized to the training provided for us. We are basking in a Westchester glow that has me smiling from ear to ear as I type this.
We are deeply appreciative and grateful for the warmth and compassion that enveloped us all this past weekend.
Pamela , Certified Transition Trainer. Mid-Atlantic Regional Transition Hub, of Transition US

Thank you Roots and Wings for the wonderful Transition Training workshop. 
Jessica from GreenDrinksGreenwich

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Transition Training in Dobbs Ferry on February 1 - 3

Don't miss this local opportunity to benefit from world-renowned Transition Training. Learn to build strong and resilient communities that can weather all kinds of storms!

Local Resilience: A Transition Town Weekend with trainers Tina Clarke and Pamela Boyce Simms 

  • Spans Friday, February 1, 6:00 – 9:00, dinner included; Saturday, February 2, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, lunch included; to Sunday, February 3, 1:00 – 6:00 PM, dinner included
  • at South Church, 343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY
  • $140 for weekend / $50 for students (minimum age 14). 
  • No one turned away for lack of funds. For scholarships contact Kathy: 914-693-7389 /
  • This training is sponsored by Roots & Wings, the sustainable initiative of South Church, and is cosponsored by Transition Hastings and Transition Westchester

For those that see today’s diminishing oil supplies, economic disparities and climate chaos as just the tip of the iceberg, change is necessary. But how? That’s where the Transition Network comes in. Transition is a community-organizing plan that responds to the realities of climate change and the shrinking supplies of cheap energy. It evolved in the UK in 2006, and quickly moved from towns in Ireland to neighborhoods in Portugal, from cities in Brazil to rural communities in Slovenia, from urban locations in Australia to islands off the coast of Canada.

There are now 1075 Transition initiatives worldwide, with 323 in the United States alone.  It’s a movement that has a toehold in Westchester County, too, with groups in Katonah, Ossining, and Hastings. Common goals of Transition Towns include energy descent plans, rebuilding the local economy, supportive relationships with friends and neighbors, and growing food year round.

Says John Bell, founder of Transition Westchester, “We’ve just been through Hurricane Sandy. We’ve seen the first gas lines since the 70s. Something is changing. Transition Training will help you understand what is changing and will give you tools to deal with these changes.” 

“Hurricane Sandy reminded us that our first responders are our neighbors,” adds Elizabeth Marouk-Coe, one of the founders of Transition Hastings. “There couldn’t be a better time for this training.


TRAINER Tina Clarke
Tina Clarke, who worked with Greenpeace USA and Bill McKibben’s Global360 before becoming a certified Transition Trainer, opens the gathering by presenting the reality of the planet's state of being and how to share these facts with others. Participants envision a post-Transition world together, and Clarke offers tools to make the vision reality. Working groups are set up to move towns towards resilient sustainability.

Pamela Boyce Simms, an activist who has worked sustainable initiatives in Africa and within the Tibetan Buddhist community, calls climate change “the eye of the needle, as our planet does what it needs to do.” She focuses on inner worlds’ transitionthe emotional, psychological and spiritual dimension of the Transitioning process using Joanna Macy's "deep ecology," self-exploration exercises.

 “When I was laid off, I found myself craving community,” says Elizabeth Marouk-Coe, of Hastings, NY. “I wanted to start new and be part of the solution, rather than part of the system. I met someone in a parking lot and she said to me, ‘Have you heard of Transition?’ I am now one of the founding members of Transition Hastings. My neighbors and I are now sharing a generator and a storehouse. We’re bartering. We’re hoping to map all of the neighborhoods in Hastings and put public readiness practices in place.”

Pauline Schneider, one of the founders of Transition Katonah, went through Transition Training two years ago. She says,  “I loved watching Tina Clarke take a room full of strangers and turn us into a loving close-knit community. We are still in touch with each other. Transition is fun.”