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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

The Green Sanctuary Movement & UUCS

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

ask these questions
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?
opening reading
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.

what is the green sanctuary
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
how does this program relate to the church mission
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.
honors our seventh principle
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.
  • Green Sanctuary Program Basics
  • Requirements for Green Sanctuary Accreditation
  • We're Getting Greener!
  • UUCS Resources: Our People
background information
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
uu congregations
UU Congregations
  • 1 Re-Accreditation Process
  • 125 Accredited Green Sanctuaries
  • 115 Candidacy Congregations


Total 241 Congregations

program goals
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.
steps to becoming a green sanctuary
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
steps to becoming a green sanctuary13
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
environmental assessment
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
uucs resources our people
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!
four focus areas
Four Focus Areas
  • Worship and Celebration
  • Religious Education
  • Sustainable Living
  • Environmental Justice
action plan religious education
Action Plan – Religious Education
  • 2 Religious Education projects required – 1 for adults, 1 for children/youth
action plan sustainable living
Action Plan – Sustainable Living
  • 4 Sustainable Living projects required.
    • 1 energy conservation-related.
sustainable living
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
“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
action plan environmental justice
Action Plan – Environmental Justice
  • 2 Environmental Justice projects required 1. A major collaboration with another congregation or organization.
what is environmental justice
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.
green sanctuary meets homelessness
Green Sanctuary meets Homelessness

Info & photos from Chuck Hall and

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
the green sanctuary movement summary
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
the green sanctuary movement
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
reading by vern barnett
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.
resources online
Resources Online