Green Sanctuary Team News

In September the Green Sanctuary Team continues to call attention to Mindful Place-Making, seeking to think about sustainability, justice and joy as we attend to the places where we live, work and worship, so that they fulfill the needs of other living things as well as our own.

We are grateful to the Grounds Team members for their hard work in bringing a thriving native plant ecosystem to the church grounds. Please consider joining them on their workdays Sept. 16 and Oct. 21 when they will be removing invasive plants and keeping our grounds looking lovely. This is the time of year to start looking for monarch butterfly larvae on our milkweed plants!

We are updating the church’s energy audit and want to thank Larry Lile for his work in upgrading our aging HVAC system to make it more efficient.

This September, the GST will be making its first water quality measurements at our Stream Team site on the Hinkson Creek. We expect this to be a fun and educational opportunity for many of our members, including kids, as we go forward. If you are interested in more information, Suzanne Griffin and Peter Holmes are heading up this effort.

We are continuing our partnership with Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) and their efforts to help our farmers and rural citizens protect water quality in their communities by passing county health ordinances. Pushed by Big Ag interests wanting to place Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Missouri, there are perennial efforts in the state legislature to prohibit these ordinances. Watch for members of the Green Sanctuary Team in the greeting area in September with more information and the opportunity to sign a petition in support of local control.

Looking ahead to October and November, we will turn our attention to Mindful Eating. Watch for news of upcoming events, including:

  • Oct. 13-15 – UUCC all-church campout at Bergfried (near Hermann)
  • Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. – CCUA Farm Day. This is a Columbia Public Schools early-release day, and this is a great family activity!
  • Nov. 4 – MRCC Farm Day. Watch for more information to come! This will be a day-long opportunity to explore the connections between rural and urban, farmer and eater, in the areas of social and environmental justice, food security and access, and access to democratic decision-making.
  • Nov. 11 – Harvest Supper potluck at UUCC.

Nibi Walk: This is an effort led by native women to protect the waters of North America with ceremonial and prayerful walks along our rivers. Starting Aug. 1, a group of walkers began to travel the length of the Missouri River. By the time they get to our section of the Missouri, they will be travelling by floating lodge. We are working to coordinate with them, with plans to provide them with a nourishing meal and supplies and to host a presentation at UUCC about what they are doing. Their schedule for arrival is uncertain at this time, so watch for more information. You can find out more at or follow them on Facebook (Nibi Walks).

The GST’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12 at the home of Suzanne Griffin, 240-994-9068. All are welcome.

– Ellen Thomas, Green Sanctuary Team