UU Green Sanctuary – Learning in Service to Life
On this page:
- Guiding Principles
- Six Areas of Service
- Becoming a Green Sanctuary Congregation
- Learn More
UUGS is a mindful movement towards growth in environmental consciousness and advocacy for the health of the earth and all living things through:
- Sustainability – Actions that allow one to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
- Justice – Actions that increase the just allocation of the benefits and costs of our use of materials, energy and space
- Joy – Actions that increase spiritual growth and joy in life of the person who takes it
How Green Sanctuary fits with UU Principles (those that apply to our work in particular are italicized):
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part.
We wanted to be sure to capture all the ways we can grow towards environmental consciousness and advocacy for the earth, so we set up six categories of actions. Our goal is to devote two months of the year to each category to make sure we cover these areas as thoroughly as possible.
- Mindful Place-Making – Attending to the places where we live, work and worship, so that they fulfill the needs of other living things as well as our own. (August and September)
- Mindful Eating – Attending to the food we eat, so that it nourishes the soil from which it springs, the growers who cultivate it and our spirits as well as our bodies. (October and November)
- Mindful Use of Energy and Materials – Attending to how our needs and wants are met, so that we ensure the abilities of future generations to meet their needs and wants. (December and January)
- Mindful Engagement – Attending to our thoughts, words and actions so that they inspire others to justice in sharing the costs and benefits of our uses of nature. (February and March)
- Mindful Journeys – Attending to how we cover the steps and miles in our lives so that our travel fits the need as well as distances, conditions and occasions (April and May)
- Mindfulness in Nature – Attending to our time in nature to deepen our connection with the ecological systems that make life possible. (June and July)
Our More or Less Regular Activities:
- Stream Team – We sample the macro-invertebrate population of our adopted section of Gans Creek two or three times a year
- Harvest Supper – In the fall we sponsor a local foods potluck dinner, with entertainment
- Down by the Riverside – In the early summer we organize an outdoor worship service on the banks of the Missouri River
- Camping at Bergfried – In early fall we organize a campout at Bergfried, a beautiful facility owned by our sister church Eliot Chapel of Kirkwood, Mo.
- Learning in Service to Life – Six times a year we offer a 90 minute workshop for all ages with a skill for helping to understand and take better care of the planet project. For 2018 our workshops are:
• Feb. 10 – Civic Engagement Skills
• April 14 – Journeying Skills
• June 9 – Being in Nature Skills
• Aug. 11 – Place-Making Skills
• Oct. 13 – Food Skills
• Dec. 8 – Materials and Energy Skills
Green Sanctuary (https://www.uua.org/environment/sanctuary) is a Unitarian Universalist Association program that provides structure, leadership, and support for any UU faith community to engage in an environmental and climate justice movement that seeks to live fully our 7th principle and achieve our vision of a viable and just world for all.
We applied for and received permission from UUA to seek Green Sanctuary Certification in 2017.
The application required a review of current church efforts, an energy audit, and a plan for actions in four areas: Environmental Justice, Worship and Celebration, Religious Education, and Sustainable Living. View/download PDFs of the application and of our energy audit. Here is a summary of the plan:
1. Environmental Justice
Project: Helping Protect the Air and Water of Rural Communities with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (Engagement)
2. Worship and Celebration
Project: Annual Green Sanctuary Service (Being in Nature)
Project: Down by the Riverside (Being in Nature)
Project: Green Hearts: Practice = Justice = Love (All)
3. Religious Education
Project: Family Farm Day (Engagement)
Project: Green Sanctuary Church Year (All)
Project: Nature Sunday School (Being in Nature, Place-Making)
4. Sustainable Living
Project: Installing More Efficient HVAC Units (Energy and Materials)?
Project: Stream Team (Place-Making, Being in Nature)
Project: Harvest Supper (Eating)
Project: Plates and Utensils Challenge (Energy and Materials)
We welcome your help in fulfilling the goals of this plan.
Bulletin Board – check out our bulletin board in the southeast corner of the greeting area
Newsletter Column – read our column in the monthly newsletter
Committee Members – visit with one of these people at service, or send them an email:
Meeting Time – 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday each month. Contact Jan Weaver for the location.