In 2018, we achieved Green Sanctuary accreditation from the Unitarian Universalist Association. Such accreditation is a formal recognition of a congregation’s service and dedication to the Earth. It’s a Big Deal!
The UUA Green Sanctuary process provides a path for congregational study, reflection, and action related to today’s environmental challenges – including climate change and environmental justice. To earn accreditation, congregations must complete all steps in a rigorous process.
Here is how we achieved this honor and completed the demanding requirements.
In 2015, we began the journey to become an accredited Green Sanctuary. A unanimous vote at the 2017 Congregational Meeting resulted in approval to pursue this accreditation.
Our team and congregation began by examining our own current environmental impact, then moved toward developing sustainable practices — grounded in Unitarian Universalism – in four focus areas:
- Environmental Justice acknowledges that marginalized communities are often hit first and hardest by environmental crisis. In partnering with these communities, we are able to address human and environmental needs at the same time. Environmental Justice emphasizes a shift from providing charity to working in solidarity with the communities most affected by climate change.
- Worship and Celebration is the heart of Unitarian Universalism. As we work together toward a cleaner, more just and sustainable world, worship enables us to stay connected to each other and to celebrate the work we have accomplished.
- Religious Education shapes more than just minds. It shapes attitudes and practices toward the earth.
Sustainable Living requires us to treat the world more gently by using fewer resources and being mindful of the choices we make.
Our Green Sanctuary journey guided our efforts in environmental and sustainable living awareness, activities and projects. Although we have achieved our formal recognition, our journey continues as we work to live and promote Green Sanctuary principles.