UUCT has joined the local Green Faith Alliance a newly forming network involving church leaders who are committed to fight environmental problems with a heightened concern for those more vulnerable populations . Steve Urse and Rosa Ramos Morgan are our UUCT representatives.
The UUCT Green Sanctuary Movement is Re-Awakening
By Ed Oaksford
Just in case you were unaware that our Church is a formally accredited “Green Sanctuary”, I want to share some background. In May of 2006, UUCT formally applied for accreditation as a “Green Sanctuary” UU Church after a multi-year quest. The
Green Sanctuary Committee led the church through the accreditation process to satisfy a checklist of ‘green’ initiatives that signified our church as a whole ascribed to a program of sustainable living, both in our congregation among members as well as in our individual households. Two of the more prominent actions were the acquisition of our 10kW solar array on our Education Building and participating in the Big Bend Climate Action Team effort with the City for a clean energy plan that did not include a coal plant. However, these were but the shining lights that shone on a base of solid operational procedures in the church and on the grounds that moved us to a new level of Sustainability.
At that time we were able to say; “Welcome to UUCT where every day is Earth Day”. Over time, however, the church has strayed from many of those earth-friendly goals. The re certification process is being fueled by the implementation of an environmental justice initiative focusing on Food Insecurity. The process of selecting this project was guided by lessons learned from a book entitled Justice on Earth, which was read and discussed by a large segment of our congregation. At a time when our landscape blooms with colorful flowers attracting pollinators, our urban forest is healthy, and there is new congregational enthusiasm to tackle climate change, we are ready to carry out this re-certification process.
What better time than now to re-initiate our Green Sanctuary Committee, to review practices and reemphasize our previously established sustainability goals. We seek planners and decision makers for this new Green Sanctuary Committee as well as ideas from all members about improvements that can be made on our church campus as well as personal life practices. As a founding member along with Steve Urse and others, we’d like to invite all to join in a new committee to pursue re-certification of our ‘Green Sanctuary” status, fulfilling the new requirements of this program which have expanded to include engaging the church in an environmental justice issue present in our own Community.
The Green Sanctuary program proclaims our congregation’s commitment to the Earth. It gives roots and wings to the vision that, together, we can create a world in which all people make reverence, gratitude, and care for the living Earth central to their lives.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee became a certified Green Sanctuary in May 2006, a denominational designation bestowed upon congregations after undergoing a rigorous program of education, action and consciousness-raising. In April the following year, UUCT became the first church in the Tallahassee area to install solar panels, becoming an inspiration for other churches, businesses and schools to do the same. This 10 kilowatt system supplies most of the electricity needed to power the church’s education building.
- Focusing on energy efficiency in our buildings and grounds.
- Participating in conservation projects.
- Covering environmentally significant topics during our church services.
- Promoting “going green” in the congregation and wider community.
- Fostering a deeper understanding of the Earth through education for adults and youth.