Green Sanctuary Team

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With the encouragement of the Green Sanctuary Team, several UUs attended the Empty Bowls event of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture on April 10, 2016 to support fresh, healthy food and local hunger relief. Pictured, from left, are Lisa Guillory, Janice Smith, Vic Myers, Ellen Thomas and Barbara Carter.

Green Sanctuary Team Overview

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Green Sanctuary Chalice

While our church has had a Green Sanctuary Team for a number of years, we are not officially certified by the UUA Green Sanctuary Program. That is about to change.

In October 2013, we began our journey toward official Green Sanctuary Certification. Our minister, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, wrote the following to the congregation in the October 2013 issue of our newsletter, The Searchlight:

Green Sanctuary Certification is a multiple-year project of integrating care for the environment and connection to the earth into every aspect of our life together. This is not just a matter of recycling or changing our energy use; it is a matter of our spiritual lives and well-being. Recognizing ourselves to be connected and bound together with all of creation in a great web of life… that is a theological matter!

Just as all of life is connected and interdependent, so are the many programs and activities of our church, and I hope we can find synergy among us in pursuit of deeper care for the earth. Are you involved with an activity of the church? Do you have ideas about our relationship to the environment – spiritually, emotionally, and pragmatically? Talk to each other! Connect with other people and programs! And then, let other leaders, staff, and me know about the web of creativity that is emerging, so we can support new connections and new ideas.

The certification effort was introduced to the congregation by a presentation prepared by Melissa Bedford and shown at the 2013 Local Harvest Supper on Sept. 28, 2013. You can view the presentation below (Flash® player required):

Click the arrow in the center to start. Click the right and left arrows to change the view.

More information about Green Sanctuary certification on the UUA website.

In the past our Green Sanctuary Team worked to integrate earth-friendly practices into our church’s spiritual and physical realms. Among the many projects and activities promoted by the team were:

  • Environmental awareness and recycling in our facility
  • Recognition in worship of the UU Seventh Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”
  • Movie nights focusing on environmental issues
  • Meditation in Nature
  • The annual Local Harvest Supper celebrating locally grown foods
  • Participation in Earth Day activities in conjunction with our church’s Social Action Team.

A project successfully completed as part of the Green Sanctuary Certification effort was placement of solar panels on the roof of our church to generate a substantial portion of our electricity needs.

Earth Day 2016

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From left, Lisa Guillory, Ellen Thomas and Allie Gassmann.

On Sunday, April 24, 2016 the Green Sanctuary Team once again hosted a UUCC booth at the Earth Day Celebration downtown at Peace Park and on adjoining streets.

Staffing the booth at various times were Ellen Thomas, Allie Gassmann, Dennis Murphy, Lisa Guillory and Vic Myers.

Volunteers who set up and took down the booth were Ellen Thomas, Vic Myers, and Lisa Guillory.

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Allie Gassmann and Dennis Murphy