Sunday, 18March18 at the Environmental Cottage: Author Brian Castner

miki soos logoIn 1789, Alexander Mackenzie traveled 1200 miles on the immense river in Canada that now bears his name, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage that had eluded mariners for hundreds of years. In 2016, the acclaimed memoirist Brian Castner retraced Mackenzie’s route by canoe in a grueling journey — and discovered the Passage he could not find.

Disappointment River, Castner’s latest book, has just been released.

Castner is a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer who received a Bronze Star for his service in the Iraq War. He is the author of two books, The Long Walk (2012) and All the Ways We Kill and Die (2016), and the co-editor of the anthology The Road Ahead (2017). His journalism and essays have appeared in Esquire, Wired, Vice, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and other publications.

Brian has just become the new military ordnance and weapons expert for Amnesty International.

Note from Brian re Sunday’s talk: I’ll be sure to highlight more environmental and human rights themes. I spent some time among the indigenous First Nations, and have some good stories there, and I wrote a whole series of climate changes dispatches for VICE:

Program for Feb. 25: Using utopian and dystopian ideas

miki soos logoKevin Hinkley and Dr. Melanie Mayberry taught a course last semester at Niagara University that explored alternative social arrangements. Using utopian and dystopian literature and films, they encouraged students to think about the possibility of cooperative associations that emphasize mutual aid, autonomy, and the absence of structures that facilitate domination and exploitation. The capstone of the course was a simulation exercise in which students collectively designed a community based on the ideas they value. Students from the course continue to talk about actualizing that community—maybe on Grand Island!—and putting their ideas into action. Kevin and Melanie will share the lessons from their course and the surprising results of their simulation with the students.

Kevin is a graduate of Harvard Law School and currently serves as Niagara University’s General Counsel, in addition to teaching in the Department of Political Science. Melanie Mayberry is a recent Ph.D. graduate of the University at Buffalo’s Physical Anthropology program, and was instrumental in the effort to respectfully reinter at Assumption Cemetery the human remains from 372 gravesites at the former Erie County Poorhouse cemetery. She teaches anthropology, archaeology, and related courses at a number of local colleges and universities.

We meet from 4 to 6 p.m. (+ potluck) at the Environmental Cottage, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072. ALL WELCOME!

Celebrating the life of Bobbie Grimm

Celebrating the life of Bobbie Grimm

Sunday, November 19, 2017; 2:00 p.m.

Riverside-Salem Environmental Sanctuary

3449 West River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072 are thankful ever for Bobbie’s love of the earth and all its inhabitants.

Please join us this Sunday as we enjoy songs, poetry, “Bobbie stories,” and images of The Celebrants dances, along with refreshments and perhaps even a labyrinthine walk.

Sunday, Feb. 26: Bias, binary thinking, and white privilege

miki soos logoWe will continue our White Privilege conversation this Sunday (Feb. 26th) with consideration of bias and the notion of binary thinking.

If you would like to prepare, use the following link to complete the implicit bias activity. If you do not have access to a computer and would like to give it a try, we will have a laptop at the cottage on Sunday that you can use.

We will meet Sunday at 4 p.m. at Riverside Salem Environmental Cottage, 3449 West River Rd, Grand Island 14072.  Everyone is welcome.  Potluck to follow.

If you want to check out the UCC White Privilege curriculum, go here —

*What the BLEEP Do We (K)now!*

miki soos logoJoin us Sunday, 05Feb17, to watch a DVD titled “What the BLEEP Do We (K)now!” The makers of the film describe their work  as “science and spirituality come together in this mind-bending trip down the rabbit hole.”

And this from the cover: Embark on a life-changing journey with Amanda (Marlee Matlin), a divorced photographer who tumbles down a metaphysical rabbit hole.  Her mind-bending voyage through the worlds of science and spirituality includes revelations by quantum physics experts, playful animation, and even a conversation with a wise, 35,000-year-old being.  Ultimately, Amanda’s perception of reality is turned inside out and the meaning of life becomes clear.  See for yourself why this groundbreaking movie became one of the most compelling and talked about films of the year 2004. A genuinely upbeat movie with big questions and hopeful answers.

We meet from 4 to 6 p.m. (+ potluck) at the Environmental Cottage, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.  ALL WELCOME!

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