As we look more deeply into our own understanding of and emotional response to climate change, our thoughts will often turn to future generations, whether that is our children, our grandchildren, or generations yet unborn. We wonder how this changing planet will be a home for them and how our responses now will impact their lives. “An Epistolary Practice of Play for the Seventh Generation'' is a workshop designed to help engage these questions by offering participants a series of guided letter-writing practices. Based on a notion commonly attributed to the people of The Haudenosanee Confederacy and popularized by Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation, the seventh generation practice invites participants to look deeply into the future of possibility and also of loss.
Created by Ophelia Hu Kinney, a Leadership Commons Curator, this epistolary practice invites participants to consider with soul and body the spiritual and social dimensions of four ecological phenomena over four sessions. During each group gathering, participants will create an intentional and welcoming space to write a public letter to descendants who belong to the seventh generation from the participants’ own, creating opportunities for deep personal investigation and community connection around our emotional and spiritual experiences of climate change.
Ophelia Hu Kinney (she/her) is a storyteller most frequently translating experiences of divinity and wonder. She is a child of immigrants, a spouse, and a sister. She serves as the Director of Communications at Reconciling Ministries Network and the Worship Coordinator at HopeGateWay, a Methodist-inspired community of faith in Portland, Maine.