When All Life Depends On It

Discouragement about the climate crisis affects us all. But what if the only way to survive was to keep hope alive? In honor of Earth Day, come hear stories of determination, courage and positive change from the perspective of people living in almost uninhabitable places.

The service will be led by two best friends who met working at an interfaith youth camp, and who continue to collaborate together to examine challenging topics with respect, humor and love.

Megan Lynes is an American UU minister and a Nazish Riaz is a Pakistani Muslim Climate Justice Advocate whose work has brought her to United Nations International Climate Change Conferences, (such as COP22) where she often presents on the link between war and climate change. As movements in the U.S. they are usually quite separate and people often don’t have access to the knowledge about the ways they are linked and what we can do. This dialogue sermon will connect our UU faithfulness to build a better world with the powerful knowledge that outside perspectives may bring.

Rev. Megan Lynes grew up UU in the Boston area, attended Andover Newton Theological School, and was ordained in 2008.  Megan’s ministry has included serving as a chaplain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, working with interfaith youth at Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, and herding cats as the president of the Mass Bay chapter of UU Ministers. She served nine years as the Parish Minister at the First Parish in Bedford, MA, and two years as the Minister of Faith Formation at the First Church in Sterling, MA. Since the start of the pandemic, Megan has stayed home with her two year old son full time.  She lives in Stow, MA, with her best friend Nazish, her son Jesse, two cats and six chickens. Climate justice is a passion for both Megan and Nazish, and they love to collaborate and think outside the box together, within and among various communities of faith. They are both looking forward to connecting with the good folks at UUCWC. 

Nazish Riaz is a Partner at a healthcare consulting company where she leads technology transformation projects for healthcare companies to improve the consumer experience and reduce carbon footprint and cost. She is also a community organizer, leads international educational workshops, classes and small groups with a focus on climate justice, ending war and ending oppression against Muslims, people of color, women and immigrants. She is a relationship builder and passionate about coalition-building across various groups for achieving social justice.