Green Sanctuary Team news

The Green Sanctuary Team is hard at work looking at ways to put our Seventh Principle into action! We have an action plan for achieving official Green Sanctuary status through the UUA. Watch for lots of exciting projects coming this church year! If you would like to be involved in the planning or in any specific project, please join us. Our July meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, at the home of Ellen Thomas. Call her at 573-445-2928 for more information.

We have divided the year into six program areas to help us focus our efforts. As we work toward certification, we consider the following guiding principles:

  • Sustainability – Will this action allow one to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs?
  • Justice – Will this action increase the just allocation of the benefits and costs of our use of materials, energy and space?
  • Joy – Will this action increase spiritual growth and joy in life of the person who takes it?

With these in mind, here are our program areas:

  • August and September: Mindful Place-making
  • October and November: Mindful Eating
  • December and January: Mindful use of Energy and Materials
  • February and March: Mindful Engagement
  • April and May: Mindful Journeys
  • June and July: Mindfulness in Nature.

We will address each in greater detail through the year, but here are some thoughts for July regarding mindfulness in nature: We aim to attend to our time in nature to deepen our connection with the ecological systems that make life possible. In June, we celebrated with our Down by the Riverside service. Each Sunday, we provide an opportunity for meditation in nature – during the summer church schedule, that is from 9 to 9:45 a.m. in the Centering Room or at the fire circle behind the church. Also ongoing are the monthly hiking groups. In July, the longer family hike will be on Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m, and the toddler-friendly hike on Monday, July 17 at 10 a.m.

Our certification program requires a variety of projects. To address environmental justice, we started a partnership with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center addressing the role of farmers and agricultural practice in keeping our water clean and how we as consumers and citizens can support good practices. We kicked off with a well-attended film and panel discussion on Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and how local control can help rural communities protect their air and water. This will be an ongoing partnership, with a number of projects and fun activities to come.

Also, addressing water quality, Peter Holmes and Suzanne Griffin are heading up a UU “Stream Team” to monitor water quality in a stretch of Grindstone Creek not far from the church. Watch for more news of a fun and educational event for all ages as we kick that off in the fall.

In future reports, we will have more information about our projects in the areas of Religious Education, Worship and Celebration, Sustainable Eating, and Sustainable Living, and more about our program year plans.