Green Sanctuary

Green Sanctuary

We are working to apply for Green Sanctuary accreditation from the UUA.  The application will include four focus areas:

  • Environmental Justice — working with marginalized communities most affected by climate change.
  • Worship and Celebration — connecting towards a cleaner, more just & sustainable world.
  • Religious Education — shaping & inspiring toward sustainable practices.
  • Sustainable Living  — using fewer resources & making mindful choices

There is a five-stage process towards accreditation:

  • Team Building and Congregational Education
  • Congregational Assessment
  • Creating an Action Plan
  • Applying to be a Green Sanctuary Congregation
  • Gaining Green Sanctuary Recognition

Stages 1 and 2 Completed

February 28, 2022

We are pleased to report completion of the first two stages in the accreditation process UUA Green Sanctuary 2030: Mobilizing for Climate Justice – A Roadmap for Congregations to Rise to the Crisis.  This Green Sanctuary program is done in five stages:

Stage 1
Team Building and Congregational Education: A Green Sanctuary Team forms and educates itself and the congregation about the program. The Team starts its application process by submitting the Congregational Profile.

Stage 2
Opportunity Assessment: The Green Sanctuary team ascertains what is currently happening in various aspects of congregational life and its community, including calculating the congregation’s carbon footprint. The Opportunity Assessment is submitted to Green Sanctuary via the online application for review and feedback. The Assessment becomes the core of the Action Plan. 

Stage 3
Action Plan: Based on the assessment results, the Green Sanctuary team designs campaigns with projects that address the goals of carbon mitigation, adaptation/resilience, and justice and includes some form of civic action/activism. Action Plan is submitted to the Green Sanctuary Program staff, who give feedback and suggest any necessary modifications to the Plan. 

Stage 4
Final Report: The congregation implements the Action Plan and reports on the results in an online template where it will be reviewed and approved for accreditation/reaccreditation, or returned with comments suggesting what else needs to be done.

Stage 5
Accreditation or Reaccreditation: Once approved the final report will become a public document for information sharing across congregations and organizations.

The entire Congregational Profile and Opportunity Assessment can be accessed here (insert link to the two documents).  These are our (5) congregational transformation goals:

  1. Shift from a small group (2U4C) working on climate “on behalf of the congregation” to each aspect of congregational life taking their part over the long-term.
  2. Deepen the spiritual and emotional capacity necessary to remain aware of very difficult information, strategize and act in complex situations with no guarantee of success, and continue to choose learning and acting to positively impact the trajectory of climate change.
  3. Change resources (and necessary infrastructures) of the congregation, member and friend households and our local community with the goal to restore balance in ecosystems and our human community.
  4. Assess congregational choices through the lens of the connection between climate change, racism and classism, and build accountable relationships across these.
  5. Gain skills and practice climate change work in accountable, collaborative relationships, or in solidarity, with systematically oppressed communities.

2.1 Opportunity Assessment UUCC FINAL 220222

2.1.1 Opportunity Assessment Guidelines UUCC 220227

Our Place in the Web of Life

On April 13, 2020, we began an environmental justice curriculum, OUR PLACE IN THE WEB OF LIFE.  The first session was titled Gratitude for Our Place in the World, and was held via a Zoom meeting (due to COVID-19).  Access Presentation

Climate Forum on Becoming a Green Sanctuary

We hosted the April 5, 2020, Climate Forum where we discussed what was required to become a “Green Sanctuary” and what next steps we wanted to take at UUCC and OBIC.  View presentation.