Green Sanctuary: Taking action to make a positive difference in this time of climate change
The Green Sanctuary Program is a five-stage process, usually carried out over 1-3 years, in which a team of people create an action plan to help their congregation progress in four areas: environmental justice, worship and celebration, religious education, and sustainable living. The Green Sanctuary Program provides a path for congregational study, reflection, and action in response to environmental challenges. The Green Sanctuary Program, now in its sixth edition, partners with congregations to address climate change and environmental justice. Congregations that complete the program are accredited as Green Sanctuaries in recognition of their service and dedication to the Earth.
This program provides a structure for congregations to examine their current environmental impacts and move towards more sustainable practices in ways grounded in Unitarian Universalism.
UUCGN was awarded its Green Sanctuary accreditation in June of 2008. UUCGN has committed to continue to learn how to create a sustainable future in our lives and congregation.
UUCGN participates in this nationwide UUA program that encourages congregations to practice our 7th Principle: respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are part. The program is a means by which we can focus on the theological, spiritual, and ethical aspects of human activities that affect the health and sustainability of the living earth.
Worship & Celebration
The best way to recognize our relationship with the network of life is to make it a regular part of our worship and celebration together. We’ve had an annual Earth Day service at UUCGN since 2007.
Solar power has come to UUCGN! is coming June 2019
Thanks to all the hard-work of the Facilities committee, our new 34.4 kW solar photo voltaic (PV) system is installed and operational. Be sure to save the date of Saturday, December 7, 2019 for our grand celebration. It will be held from 5:00 PM to about 6:30 PM with a 45-minute program and 45-minute reception. We’d like it to be intergenerational and contain music so we are planning on following up with Mary Borland and Lan Lam during September.
Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) had its national conference in June and held monthly meetings at UUCGN in June and August. UUCGN will continue to host CCL on the third Thursday evening each month for the next year.
The Green Sanctuary committee organizes a variety of workshops, small group courses, films, and lectures to provide the most current information on what is happening with our earth.
In April 2019 we offer discussions on essays found in the UUA’s Common Read for 2019, Justice on Earth, People of Faith Working at the Intersection of Race, Class, and the Environment.
In 2018, we learned about Our Children’s Trust and the court case Juliana v. United States. Do Americans have a constitutional right to a livable planet? We think the answer is a resounding, YES!
The Green Sanctuary Committee is always looking for new members to help support these various programs. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Learning how to create a sustainable future in our lives as individuals as well as a congregation
We at UUCGN continue living as an Accredited Green Sanctuary. We’ve developed and integrated an Earth consciousness into our individual and congregational lives. We’ve taken conscious action to reduce or mitigate environmental damage and strengthen our connections with the Earth.
1) Individual Actions: essential but not sufficient
Here are some of our energy-saving commitments:
install a low-flow shower head
unplug appliances when not in use
use technology to enable remote meetings
keep sufficient air pressure in tires
drive less, and practice eco-driving
raise thermostat in summer
lower thermostat on spas
travel by air less often
eat a more plant-centric diet
turn off lights when exiting rooms
take canvass bags into grocery store
reduce use of plastics
2) Political Solutions
Let your congress representative, senators, and president know that you support clean and renewable energy. Suggest a change from the current growth & unregulated economy. Support a local environmental advocacy group (such as Preserve Our Paradise or the Conservancy of SW Florida).
Green Sanctuary hosts the Naples Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. CCL is laser-focused on getting legislation that puts a price on carbon and distributes revenues back to the household passed at the national level. On January 24th, the Energy Innovation and Dividend Act (House Resolution 763), incorporating these principles, was introduced in the US House of Representative. The Naples chapter participated in three meetings with Francis Rooney which culminated in him being a Republican co-sponsor. Several members of our congregation will participate in the upcoming Lobby Day Washington, DC, in June 2019, where we hope the outcome will be a similar bill introduced in the US Senate.