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Talk Addresses Achieving Harmony Between Humans, Nature

Jake Morrill Atencion

By Jon Sievert

At this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, the Rev Jake Morrill shares his understanding of humanity’s relationship with the environment, as revealed in a recent hot-air balloon ride over San Miguel.

The Book of Genesis famously says that humans should have “dominion” over creation. Can that be understood as anything other than domination? Rev Morrill says it can by understanding the word dominion in a new light and the dynamics of living systems throughout nature more accurately. In recent decades, biologists and ecologists have observed what’s called “emergent dynamics” in living systems, as they observe how flocks, swarms of bees, and other living systems function. These “smart swarms,” or adaptive systems, are able to relate wisely to their changing environments, even though each individual is no smarter than your average ant, bee, or bird. By understanding more about the nature of nature, Rev Morrill suggests that we humans can develop a harmonious “dominion” with the rest of life, with one another, and with ourselves as well.

A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Rev Morrill has served as lead minister of the Oak Ridge, Tennessee Unitarian Universalist Church since 2003. He has also served on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Association and currently serves on the board of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a large online congregation. Jake is also active as an interfaith organizer and an advocate for LGBTQ people. In 2016, he received the NAACP’s annual community service award for his work in racial justice, rooted in his congregation’s public commitment to Black Lives Matter. His congregation is the first in East Tennessee to agree to provide sanctuary for people at risk of unjust deportation.

He and his wife, Molly, have two school-aged children and three cats. Molly works with migrant farm-workers, most of whom are Mexican, in rural Tennessee. The family is here in San Miguel de Allende until May on sabbatical.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15 and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. For information about our Children’s Sunday Program, contact us at The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


UU Service

“A View from the Balloon”

By Rev Jake Morrill

Sun, Apr 15, 10:30am

Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15





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