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Dedicated to bringing forth a human presence on this planet that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling.
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May 2020
To read this message instead of watching the video, click here. Sue Staropoli, founding member of Rochester's Pachamama Alliance community, reflects on the potential for positive change brought on by the current pandemic.
Turning to One Another
There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
    Ask “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

    Notice what you care about.
    Assume that many others share your dreams.

    Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
    Talk to people you know.
    Talk to people you don’t know.
    Talk to people you never talk to.

    Be intrigued by the differences you hear.
    Expect to be surprised.
    Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

    Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
    Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
    Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

    Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
    Real listening always brings people closer together.

    Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

    Rely on human goodness. Stay together.
― Margaret Wheatley, "Turning to One Another", 2002

In This Issue
Blog: Democracy, Coronavirus, and the Pachamama Vision
Joyce Herman, Pachamama Alliance Rochester Area

“Beneath the images of fingers nervously dialing the phone number of an editorial writer, voices quivering in a public presentation, and knees knocking together during a meeting with a Member of Congress are the actions needed to change the world — and change the world they have.” - Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love” 

As the events of these new and challenging times pull our attention in many directions, staying vigilant and speaking out about the fraying of our democratic protections and processes might take a back seat. If we are to bring about a post-pandemic world that is more just, sustainable, and spiritually fulfilling than our current society, to have a democracy that works is more important than ever  ... read the full article

Visit the "Reclaiming Democracy" page on our website to find further resources.

Seeds of Hope
Resting in Great Uncertainties
Sunday, May 3, 2020
1:30-3:30 pm EDT online via Zoom or phone

There has never been a time when so many people have such great uncertainty about what lies ahead--for themselves, their loved ones, their livelihoods, or the world. The old structures and assumptions that seemed so entrenched are fading into our memories.  Where are we now?  

When a caterpillar reaches a certain stage, it develops a voracious appetite and consumes 300 times its own weight.  Then it stops and spins a cocoon around itself.  Inside the cocoon, all the old caterpillar structures break down into a “nutritive soup.”  Only then do what biologists call  “imaginal cells” begin to find each other.  Together, mysteriously, they begin to knit together the new structure of the butterfly. 

We might think of ourselves as in a collective cocoon. This is not a time to figure out how to escape from its confines as quickly as possible. And it’s not a time to hastily construct a better caterpillar. Maybe it’s a time to let go of the old patterns that weren’t serving Life, to learn how to live in expectant openness in the face of momentous uncertainty, and to tune into the stirrings of new life within us and among us.  

Our online Seeds of Hope gathering May 3 is designed to help us do exactly that.  Together we will

  • Hear a deeply nourishing meditation by Craig Hamilton on resting in uncertainty

  • Reflect on what we find challenging us and changing us in these times

  • Discern what we most want to cultivate in our lives and our world

  • Send our collective love into the world

The event is free, and you can participate by any computer with an internet connection and microphone or with any phone (rate charges may apply). You must enroll by Friday, May 1, to get the access instructions. To enroll, click on, then then click on the orange “Enroll” button. If the Enroll button is not on the title page, or if you have any difficulty, email Sue Staropoli at, and she will sign you up. All who have enrolled one way or another will receive an email on Saturday with the subject line “Accessing Seeds of Hope Zoom tomorrow.”  

You are welcome to invite others to join you, but they will need to enroll as well. 

These are momentous times to be alive!  Let’s live in them as fully as we can.

Upcoming Drawdown Programs
We can reverse global warming. The first step is learning that it is possible. In these programs, you'll discover a solutions-oriented approach, one with a sense of opportunity, possibility, and hope for the future. 
Visit our website to see all our local upcoming programs.
Our programs are ON in an interactive, online format (using Zoom).

When New York State went on “Pause” in response to the  Covid-19 pandemic, the PARA Drawdown team had been eagerly anticipating a busy and exciting schedule of programs to celebrate Earth Day 2020. To meet the requirements of social distancing, the Rochester PARA Drawdown Team moved quickly to offer presentations hosted by local Drawdown Ambassadors via ZOOM. (Note that, in fact, "Telepresence" is listed as a Drawdown solution.)  

We are now recovering our momentum and experiencing an upward trend in attendance to these interactive programs. Our team is heartened by the realization that, in spite of the pandemic, the Rochester community is connecting, caring for one another and communicating in new and inspired ways. Meanwhile the air above our cities is clearing, animals and people are breathing deeply, and evidence of spring is everywhere.

Encourage your friends and family to visit our website to see program descriptions. You can find dates and times on the program registration page and sign-up for an "Introduction to Drawdown" or the four-session “Getting into Action” course. Keep the momentum going! Together we can reverse global warming! GAME ON!!

Register for Drawdown Programs
Want to get more involved in reversing global warming? There are many ways to engage positively with climate change and help us grow the local impact of the Drawdown solutions. Take a look at this list for ideas, visit the Drawdown page on our website, and check out the LETTUCE Initiative in this newsletter. 

Check out the app WeDontHaveTime and turn your screen time into climate solutions - with tools for measuring and reducing your carbon footprint, and much more.

If you have other ideas, we want to hear from you! Contact us at - there's a role for everyone in reversing global warming. 

Lowering Emissions Through Thoughtful Unified Community Engagement

The LETTUCE group formed when participants in a Drawdown Getting Into Action course were inspired to do something to reduce food waste and increase food scrap composting - energized by their newfound awareness that, when combined, these activities were more effective than 77 of the 80 Drawdown solutions in helping to reverse global warming. The goal of the LETTUCE group is to spark community action to reduce food waste and increase composting, thus diverting food from landfills and reducing emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

One of the activities LETTUCE has initiated is door-to-door neighborhood outreach. This involves sharing information about food waste and composting and, equally important, listening to the questions people have about whether this is an important issue for them in their already busy lives. The group is developing an Outreach Handbook and an online library for sharing relevant videos, websites, podcasts, articles, and books.
Although face-to-face outreach has been put on hold by the COVID-19 crisis, the group is meeting monthly via Zoom. Meetings focus on ways to spread the word about reducing food waste and composting food scraps, as well as exploring avenues for collaboration with advocates and businesses, such as Community Composting.

Want to get involved and help make Rochester a leader in reducing food waste and composting food scraps? Find the LETTUCE mission and vision at learn more, get inspired, and consider joining, send a message to
Blog: Could Covid-19 Be Our Teacher?
Sue Staropoli, Pachamama Alliance Rochester Area

The Pachamama vision invites us, individually and as a society, to look at changing our relationship with ourselves, each other, other species, and the planet. Especially now, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, I find my perception shifting and opening.

I ask myself, how do I actually perceive the Covid-19 pandemic? How is our society relating to it? 
 - Do we see it as the enemy, as something to be at war with? As something to fear and fight against?
 - Do we think of it as something “outside”, that needs to be managed by control?
 - Do we view the pandemic as punishment for something we have done? 

Could there be another perspective? What if we viewed the Covid-19 pandemic as a teachable historical moment, something we can learn from? ... continue reading

From Pachamama Alliance International
Resilience and Possibility  is a new series of programs, including weekly talks with world-class thought leaders and daily offerings to promote centering and clarity, created by PA International for support during the global pandemic. 

We highly recommend this and other Pachamama Alliance programs listed on our website, which inform our own work and bring together people from around the world, to learn, grow, and take action to transform themselves and their communities.
Further Resources
Find our community calendar and many resources to support your journey of learning and living on the "Resources" page of our website.

If you discover events and resources to share, email with subject line "Newsletter Resources".
Found on Facebook recently: "I remember a story about a Rabbi during a natural disaster. He was asked how he could explain such a tragic act of God.

The Rabbi answered that the disaster was an act of nature. The act of God occurred when people stepped up to help each other."
Do not be afraid!
These are days of power and possibility!
You are here now because you are needed!
Continue the adventure!
Keep making your difference!
PachamamaRochester - Facebook
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