The Green Sanctuary Movement & UUCS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Green Sanctuary Movement & UUCS. Adapted from UUA presentation with thanks to Robin Nelson, Program Manager, Congregational Stewardship Services, UUA. Ask these questions: . 1. How does this issue/program relate to the church mission?

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The Green Sanctuary Movement & UUCS

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The green sanctuary movement uucs l.jpg

The Green Sanctuary Movement& UUCS

Adapted from UUA presentation with thanks to Robin Nelson, Program Manager, Congregational Stewardship Services, UUA

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Ask these questions:

  • 1. How does this issue/program relate to the church mission?

  • 2. How can this program provide for multiple ways for the children and youth, as well as adults of differing interests and abilities, to be involved?

  • 3. Do we have the resources to carry out the program?

  • 4. How can this program help our church grow stronger and stand taller in Spartanburg and in the TJ District?

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Opening Reading

by Sydney A. Morris

Brothers and sisters in creation, we covenant this day with you and with all creation yet to be;

With every living creature and all that contains and sustains you;

With all that is on the Earth and with the Earth itself;

With all that lives in the waters and with the waters themselves;

With all that flies in the skies and with the sky itself;

We establish this covenant, that all our powers will be used to prevent your destruction.

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In wilderness is the preservation of our world

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What is the "Green Sanctuary"?

  • A comprehensive program –a journey—towards a more earth-aware and earth-caring lifestyle for our church community, bringing in everyone from the pagan to the tech-savvy.

    • Not just changing light bulbs (which is one small but worthwhile effort) but a UUA-developed program which encompasses both worship and action

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How does this program relate to the church mission?

  • Religious leaders from most of the world’s faith traditions have claimed that these environmental crises may be the greatest moral challenge facing humankind in the twenty-first century.

  • Environmental problems affect poor people in the developing world and in developed countries more than they affect the middle class right now.

  • They affect animals, plants, and eco-systems; they destroy our earth.

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Honors our Seventh Principle

  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

  • Practice environmental stewardship

  • Become better stewards of the Earth.

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  • Green Sanctuary Program Basics

  • Requirements for Green Sanctuary Accreditation

  • We're Getting Greener!

  • UUCS Resources: Our People

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Background Information

  • Originally founded and managed by the UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE)

  • First congregations accredited in 2002

  • July 2008 UUMFE transferred the Green Sanctuary Program to the UUA Office of Congregational Stewardship Services

  • September 2009, Green Sanctuary Manual, 5th Edition, available free-of-charge on UUA website

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UU Congregations

  • 1 Re-Accreditation Process

  • 125 Accredited Green Sanctuaries

  • 115 Candidacy Congregations


    Total 241 Congregations

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Program Goals

  • Strengthen the connection between spiritual practice and Earth consciousness.

  • Build awareness of the significance and complexity of environmental issues.

  • Encourage personal lifestyle changes.

  • Engage in community action on environmental issues.

  • Work to heal environmental injustices.

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Steps to becoming a Green Sanctuary

  • Establish a GS program team

  • Conduct an environmental assessment

  • Create an action plan

  • Apply for GS candidacy

  • Review feedback from a GS Review Team

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Steps to becoming a Green Sanctuary

  • Make appropriate modifications to your action plan

  • Complete your action plan

  • Apply for GS accreditation

  • Receive recognition as a Green Sanctuary

  • Complete the re-accreditation process every 4-5 years

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Environmental Assessment

This is an assessment of where your congregation is at this point in terms of environmental stewardship.

Where are you starting from?

  • Congregational Assessment

  • Professional Energy Audit

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UUCS Resources: Our People!

  • Jack Seitz, Political Science Professor at Wofford, Author of "Global Issues, An Introduction" and long-time Sierra Club leader

  • Charlton Hall, culture artist, author on environmental issues, cob builder and the Executive Director of the Mindful Ecotherapy Organization.

  • Don Rollins, Minister at two previous congregations while they worked on the Green Sanctuary program

  • And, of course, others …We have many talented, able, and hard-working people.

  • This program can be done one step at a time!

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Four Focus Areas

  • Worship and Celebration

  • Religious Education

  • Sustainable Living

  • Environmental Justice

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Action Plan – Worship + Celebration

  • 2 Projects Required

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Action Plan – Religious Education

  • 2 Religious Education projects required – 1 for adults, 1 for children/youth

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Action Plan – Sustainable Living

  • 4 Sustainable Living projects required.

    • 1 energy conservation-related.

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Sustainable Living

  • Projects can cover grounds, parking lot, location,transportation, facilities, kitchen, food, recycling/reuseables, office and cleaning supplies, energy use, investment policies, congregation policies, congregation committees, etc.

  • “The children in our RE program not only took initiative in helping with the church grounds, but also reached out to help an elderly couple with their yard work”

    • First Unitarian Soc. Schenectady, NY

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  • “The formation of a Green Team was the spark that set into motion a wide range of progressive environmental movements within the church”

    • UU Charleston, SC

  • “There is much more energy around making a difference.”

    • UU Church, Fairfax, Oakton, VA

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Action Plan – Environmental Justice

  • 2 Environmental Justice projects required 1. A major collaboration with another congregation or organization.

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What is Environmental Justice?

  • The human affirmation of our place within the interdependent web of all existence.

  • Pursues simultaneously the protection of natural systems and the ecological health of human communities,

  • specifically disadvantaged, oppressed, and indigenous communities

    • while building relationships to create a larger impact.

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Green Sanctuary meets Homelessness

Info & photos from Chuck Hall and

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A Group Effort Creates Sustainable Housing-- great for all ages

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How can this program help our church grow stronger and stand taller in Spartanburg and in the TJ District?

  • “Our recognition as a Green Sanctuary enhances our ability to make positive contributions to our community.”

    • A UU church in Mass.

  • “We are forming partnerships with other churches and faiths.”

    • UU Church in Eugene, OR

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The Green Sanctuary Movement: Summary

  • The UUA is getting greener!

  • 1 in 4 UU congregations across the country are formally involved in the Green Sanctuary Movement.

  • List-serve for Green Sanctuaries

  • Congregational Stewardship Blog

  • Environmental Justice Newsletter

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The Green Sanctuary Movement

  • Green Sanctuary Manual, updated in September 2009

  • District and Regional opportunities to partner with other congregations

  • Support and Updates from Congregational Stewardship Services

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Reading by Vern Barnett

  • I pledge allegiance to the earth

  • On which I stand,

  • and to the environment

  • Of which I am a part,

  • one planet in a Process,

  • with soil, water and air like one body,

  • indivisible, with resources to be

  • cherished and protected by all.

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Resources Online

  • Login