Green Sanctuary Team Gets Rolling

At the July organizing meeting of the Green Sanctuary Team, Don Shepherd, Linda Lemons and Ron Heideman discuss priorities and

  • We reviewed the document “What Does a Green Sanctuary Church Do” and discussed the history of Green Sanctuary at our church.
  • We want Green Sanctuary to have shared leadership rather than traditional chair, co-chair, etc. Shared Leadership: Members who are willing to take responsibility for the effectiveness and well-being of the group. Members are not elected by the group, but rotate on or off leadership based on their willingness to serve, and their availability and interest in leading. The strengths of a shared core leadership is that the roles of leadership are shared, history of the team is maintained as new members join and learn the process, and it allows for fresh perspectives and opportunities for others to assume leadership roles.
  • We will work on environmental and social justice.
  • We need to survey our building and grounds to determine what is currently being done and what needs to be implemented (energy efficient lights; separating recycling, composting, and garbage, etc.)
  • We need to increase the number of members on our team by inviting others who may be interested.
  • Green Sanctuary should publicize events within First Unitarian, Des Moines, and Iowa. We should educate members of our church about environmental issues.
  • All congregations are invited to use Green Sanctuary 2030 whether or not they are interested in Green Sanctuary accreditation or reaccreditation. If accreditation or reaccreditation is desired, the congregation must document its assessment, action plans, and impacts of significantly increased participation for campaigns to meet the following three intersectional goals. Should we seek recertification?

We plan to meet at least once a month, perhaps more frequently. One of our first tasks will be to write a vision statement. Each of us is asked to do this and we’ll discuss and reach consensus at our next meeting.

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, August 25, at 7:30 pm: Contact Ron Heideman for more information at

Upcoming Events

“Awakening the Dreamer”, August 10, 17, and 24, 1:30-3:00. Awakening the Dreamer is a program offered by global Pachamama Alliance that offers one the opportunity to look at the challenging state of the world, reflect, and clarify where one is being called to take action. You must Register in advance for these meeting:

“Kiss the Ground”, August 29, 1:30-3:30, in person at Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 200 S. Howard (east door), Indianola. “Kiss the Ground” is a full-length documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that sheds light on a “new, old approach” to farming called “regenerative agriculture” that has the potential to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world.

“Climate Solutions 101 – Project Drawdown”, a series of videos will be shown over five sessions: September 12; September 26; October 10; October 24; November 7. Each session will be 1:30 – 2:30 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 200 S. Howard St (east doors), Indianola. Your climate solutions journey begins now. Filled with the latest need-to-know science and fascinating insights from global leaders in climate policy, research, investment, and beyond, this video series is a brain-shift toward a brighter climate reality.

RegenIowa is hosting an Earth Regen X 3030 & World Food Forum on October 1st, 2021. RegenIOWA Addresses Rural and Urban Economic Development, and Models a way to Regenerate the Health of our Planet!

Water Elders Event. A Water Event that Mike Delaney, a member of our church is organizing. Currently the Raccoon River is considered one of the worst waterways for pollutants. It is the source of water for Des Moines and many municipal communities. They are planning an event at Izaak Walton on Wednesday, September 15.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: WILPF Des Moines has reserved First Unitarian for Saturday Afternoon October 9th for an event, regarding clean water and Regenerative Farming.

UU Ministry for Earth: UU Ministry for Earth supports UUs in connecting with others to grow our faith grounding, resource each other, and organize for action.