The Green Sanctuary Committee promotes environmental awareness and advocacy in the areas of worship, education, social justice, earth ethics, and sustainable living.
We are now officially recognized as a Green Sanctuary by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth!
Green Sanctuary is a movement within the UUA to put into action the Seventh Principle, by incorporating environmental awareness and advocacy into all areas of church life. In support of the Seventh Principle (respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part) we engage in sensitivity awareness activities as well as environmental projects to reduce our individual and collective “carbon footprint.”
The Green Sanctuary Committee at First Unitarian Church of St. Louis was established in 2008. The Green Sanctuary program involves four major areas:
- worship and spiritual practices
- religious education and lifelong learning
- environmental justice (community outreach)
- sustainable living
The goals of the Green Sanctuary Program include building awareness and examining the complexity of environmental issues; encouraging personal and community action; strengthening the connection between spiritual practice and Earth consciousness; and, working to heal environmental injustices.
For all this we need your help! We encourage everyone to get involved.
—stop by our Green Corner in Fellowship Hall to learn more, sign a petition or express your concerns
--contact a committee member to join their project
---sign up to help with a worship service or to co-lead a tour
--join us for a field trip or a garden tour
The Green Sanctuary Committee meets monthly on the fourth Sunday of the month, at 12:15 PM, in the Clark room. New members are always welcome.
for more information.
Worship and Spiritual Practice
Walking-in-Garden Meditation Tours – Joyce Pearl Jones
Garden Tours for Groups: Walking-in-Garden meditations provide the opportunity to become sensitized to our earth’s needs through experiencing gardens as sanctuaries. These guided garden tours take place seasonally. In 2010, Joyce collaborated with Melanie Fathman to lead a group on a Turkish garden-as-sanctuary tour in Missouri Botanical Garden’s Ottoman Garden. Joyce also led group tours in the Chinese and Japanese Gardens at Mobot.
In 2011, group tours continue and co-leaders of tours are sought.
Home Garden Tours: in 2011 the possibility exists for a private tour of home gardens. Co-coordinator for this project is vacant.
Garden Tours for people in Grief, Disabled, or with a Chronic Illness: a guided, one on one “Walking-in-Garden” meditation tour is available in First Church’s memorial garden; or in a garden elsewhere in city, for people suffering the loss of a loved one, for those coping with a chronic illness or other life challenges. A demonstration on Qigong, Chinese moving meditation, in the garden, is available.
Lay Led Service - Betsy Grimm-Howell, 2010
Working through the Worship Committee, Betsy coordinated a service at which Jean Ponzi (from EarthWays Center, a division of Mobot, which promotes sustainability through environmental education and the built environment) provided the platform lecture; and members of the congregation contributed to the Sunday service with readings, music, and prayers related to earth stewardship.
Solstice and Equinox celebrations – Paulita Pranschke
A full cycle of solstice and equinox celebrations have been completed in 2010 and 2011.
We continue with outdoor and indoor readings, music, and celebration, often followed by a potluck in Fellowship Hall. We are now working on the next set of earth cycle celebrations.
Compost project – Bill Chilton
Kids in the RE program researched compost, built a small compost container, and now maintain it, with help of parents and teachers. The compost project incorporates our kitchen waste as well as botanical waste and leaves. We are also composting our leaves in a leaf-composting area to the west of the church building.
Locavore brunch after church – Susan Lammert, 2010 Attendees learned about eating locally, and enjoyed food grown within 50 miles of church at a Sunday brunch sponsored by the Boston Trip Group. The local food was served on compostable or recyclable tableware, the leftovers were composted and the project worked to reach zero waste.
Voluntary Simplicity Course – Lisa Ross
The Voluntary Simplicity Course from Northwest Earth Institute was offered Spring 2011, and ~ 16 people participated. We hope to offer additional adult RE classes in the future.
Environmental Movie Series – Lisa Ross and Lynn Hunt
We are planning a series of environmentally themed movies this fall (e.g. Bag It, King Corn, and Dive), followed by discussion.
Edible Garden – Kiri Umschneider
In spring 2011 we built raised beds for vegetables and flowers on the lawn facing Kingshighway. This has been an inter-generational project which has involved our Sunday school classes. This garden has produced vegetables that we have taken to the Trinity food pantry. We hope to have a canning class this fall.
We are now working with Missouri Health Literacy and the Holy Ground Collaborative to create a more expanded community garden beginning next year. We plan to also work with Gateway Greening and apply for one of their Community Garden grants.
Energy Care – Lisa Ross
Adults and older church youth work on selected Saturdays November to February, to help install winterization kits in community homes to increase comfort and cut energy bills.
Changing to non-toxic cleaning and landscaping products – Lisa Ross
We have worked with the facilities and landscape committees to transition to non-toxic products. This has been accomplished.
Green Corner in Fellowship Hall – Joyce Pearl Jones, Lisa Ross
We now have a table that we staff each week between services, at which we offer green tips, information on various environmental issues (eg carbon footprint, vampire power, community supported agriculture), sign-up sheets for projects and discussion groups, and activities that promote earth awareness and stewardship. When the new website is up and running, we plan to have links to green tips, activities and resources. We have a question box in the Green Corner, and plan to have a virtual question box on the website.
Church Environmental Policy – Lisa Ross, Betsy Grimm-Howell
We are working with the Board of Directors to develop a written church policy for incorporating sustainability practices and earth justice concerns into church decision making
Alternative Transportation to Church Initiative
When the new Church website is up and running, we plan to have an interactive carpooling page, where Church attendees could input their zip code, contact information, and service they go to, and find others interested in carpooling. We also have bus and metrolink schedules posted in Fellowship Hall.
with questions or concerns.