Help Jumpstart Green Sanctuary!

Are you passionate about any of these?

  •  Clean Drinking Water
  • Breathable Air
  • A Healthy Earth
  • Carbon Drawdown
  • Climate and Social Justice
  • Composting
  • Sustainabilty
  • Your Ancestors and Future Generations

Do you want to do something about it at First Unitarian? Read on!

“Energy and Justice for All” was the initial group leading us at First Unitarian. Jon McAlister and Roger Lemons were the integral members. They encouraged UUs and the broader public to take personal and political action in response to the crisis of climate change. They hoped that together we would be able to envision and create a new, more just, greener local and global economy. They accomplished much before other commitments prevented them from continuing.

Members of the Energy and Justice for All Team initiated the “Green Sanctuary Accreditation” at First Unitarian Church in 2011. By the fall of 2014, members of several committees and dozens of additional volunteers completed 18 projects toward the accreditation. The UUA awarded the Green Sanctuary designation to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines in February 2015.

“Green Sanctuary 2030” is the new iteration. They promote Mitigation,Resilience, and Justice. All congregations are invited to use this program whether or not they are interested in Green Sanctuary accreditation or reaccreditation.

“Mitigation” acknowledges that people are responsible for creating the climate crisis and we need to take action to reverse the effects. Mitigation is essential for climate justice and a sustainable future for all. “Climate justice examines concepts such as equality, human rights, collective rights, and the historical responsibilities for climate change” (Wikipedia).

“Resilience” means we should provide climate-focused educational and spiritual content to worship services, religious education, and congregational life.

“Justice” is working in partnership with communities who experience and confront the reality that the greatest impacts of the climate crisis are disproportionately imposed on those historically oppressed and least responsible for the crisis, with the fewest resources with which to face the crisis while already under environmental stresses, and future generations.

It is time that we honor and share our appreciation for Energy and Justice for All for being the voice, soul, and spark representing our church community in the larger Des Moines Community.  The movement has progressed to the point that we now need to work collaboratively with groups in our larger community and bring forth an interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part.

As we work to be in alignment with the UUA, I propose we start a new momentum that continues to stand for Energy and Justice for All and name the new spark as “Green Sanctuary”. UUA’s 7th Principle states “Show respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”. The name would represent the sanctuary, power, and talents we have in our own bodies, hearts, and, in bringing forth the proposed 8th Principle “…journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

Our journey together will not be one of receiving a certificate or award. It will be focused on building a thriving, equitable, socially just, life affirming future for all, through an informed reallocation of our resources.

I am committed to doing the above work.  More information will be shared in the coming weeks. I hope you will reach out to me for a conversation so that we can better get to know each other and clarify next steps together.

Ron Heideman