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Green Sanctuary

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis is a GREEN SANCTUARY!

On Becoming A Green Sanctuary Judy Moores Receives the Guardian of the Future Award at Justice GA 2012

by Judy Moores and Lynne Nittler, Co-Chairs of the GS Committee, September 2011

(click on any title below to learn more)

Background:

Accredited Green Sanctuary since February 2007, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis (UUCD) is currently working on re-accreditation, as is required every five years.  The re-accreditation application and plan are posted on this website. When UUCD became accredited only 50 churches in the United States had been certified as Green Sanctuaries. UUCD was the second church in California. The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUME), an affiliate organization of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), began the congregation-based Green Sanctuary Program in 2002 with a few churches piloting the program.  Today the UUA manages the program with 171 Green Sanctuary accredited UU churches nationwide, including 17 in California.  The UUCD is counted among the first re-accreditation candidates.

History:

In May 2005, the UUCD embarked on the important and daunting task of becoming a Green Sanctuary: a church whose members truly live with “respect for the interdependent web of which we are a part. We recognized that Earth’s systems are in peril from human activities, and that as people of faith, we face a moral and spiritual crisis of the utmost importance. If, as Rev. Michael Dowd suggests, we are the living manifestations of the stardust formed at the beginning of the universe, we have a "cosmic loyalty" or duty not only to minimize our negative impacts on other manifestations, but also to open the minds and hearts of as many people as we can to this profound insight. Thus, our goal was and is to learn to live in harmony with nature by focusing on theological, spiritual, and ethical aspects of human activities that affect the health and sustainability of our living Earth, and then to make changes in our lives to bring our church and ourselves closer to the goal of sustainability.

In order to become a Green Sanctuary, the church was required to form an on-going oversight committee, do an extensive audit of the church’s buildings, grounds, and practices, and develop twelve projects including the subject areas of worship, religious education, sustainability and eco-justice. All members of the congregation had to be involved in one or more projects and the church had to reach out to other churches and groups and involve them in an on-going eco-justice project.  Once the qualification requirements of the Green Sanctuary program had been met in November 2006, the UUCD Congregation unanimously approved the following statement regarding our church’s Green Sanctuary efforts:

We understand that the action-plan that we completed was just the beginning of our work to integrate environmental awareness, sustainable practices, and environmental justice into our church community, our personal lives, and our wider communities. We have continued to work on these issues and plan to do so, until Earth herself is once again a healthy Sanctuary for all.

Future:

During the intervening years the Green Sanctuary (GS) Committee worked actively with the congregation to continue this Earth Ministry within the congregation and beyond.  During the last few years, the impact of the climate crisis has become more and more apparent.  Cities around the world, including Davis, have begun the work of mitigation and, just as important, adaptation to the environmental changes already affecting much of the planet.  The members of UUCD and its GS Committee are working with the City of Davis on local implementation of the City of Davis’ Climate Action and Adaptation Plan – carrying our Green Sanctuary efforts on behalf of Earth to the larger community, state and nation.

Green Sanctuary Resources:

Please use these materials to learn about our current re-accreditation, our completed projects, and to make your home, place of faith, other organizations, and community a “green sanctuary.”

5. Links
  • City of Davis Low Carbon Diet Challenge
    http://cityofdavis.org/pgs/lowcarbondiet/
    Helping households save energy and make a measurable difference in the fight against global warming
  • Davis Recycling
    www.davisrecycling.org
  • Empowerment Institute
    wwww.empowermentinstitute.net
    Publisher of Low Carbon Diet guides and provider of a web-based carbon footprint calculator
  • Freecycle
    www.freecycle.org
    A grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns
  • Northwest Earth Institute
    www.nwei.org
    NWEI provides curricula that encourage participants to explore their values, attitudes, and actions toward the Earth through discussion with others.
  • Stop Junk Mail
    bayarearecycling.org/junkmail
    Reducing junk mail de-clutters your mailbox, frees up your time, and protects the environment.
  • UUA Green Sanctuary Program
    www.uua.org/environment/sanctuary
    Provides a framework for study and reflection and encourages individual and collective action to help heal the Earth. As of Summer 2011, there are 117 certified Green Sanctuary Churches across the U.S. and more in process. 
  • UU Ministry for Earth
    www.uuministryforearth.org
    An affiliate organization of the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • YEEP - Yolo Energy Efficiency Project
    www.city.davis.ca.us/yeep/residential.cfm
    Yolo County provides energy efficiency rebates for residents and businesses.