Green Sanctuary of UU Visalia

... tracking our progress towards accreditation as a Green Sanctuary.

Monday, June 25, 2007

We Receive our Green Sanctuary Certifcation!

On June 24, 2007, at the General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, our
Fellowship received our official Green Sanctuary Certification from the
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth! We were one of 9 other
Fellowships from around the country to receive this honor, presented to us
during the final Plenary Session on the last day of the General Assembly!

Many thanks to all our hard-working volunteers who made this happen!

This is only the beginning.... we will keep striving to promote
environmental awareness, sustainable practices, and environmental justice
into our church community, our personal lives, and our wider communities.

In fact, our next "green" event will be a showing of "Green: the New Red,
White and Blue" video by Thomas Friedman on August 19, 2007 at 3:30 p.m.

We'll keep on working as a Green anctuary, with our new Certificate proudly
hanging in the sanctuary!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Congregation Adopts Resolution for Accreditation

At our annual meeting on June 3, 2007, our Fellowship unanimously passed a Resolution approving the application for accreditation for Green Sanctuary status as submitted by our Fellowship's Green Sanctuary Committee to the UU Ministry for Earth.

In addition, the Resolution acknowledged the following:

"We understand that the Application for Accreditation and action plan that we have completed is just the beginning of our work to integrate environmental awareness, sustainable practices, and environmental justice into our church community, our personal lives, and our wider communities. Our congregation commits to continue to strive on an ongoing basis to seek reliable information, inspiration, and opportunities for meaningful ways to integrate eco-spirituality, sustainable living, and environmental justice in our congregation."

Download PDF of the Resolution.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Application for Green Sanctuary Accreditation Submitted

On May 14, 2007, we submitted our 19-page application for Green Sanctuary Accreditation (PDF), which we hope will be approved by a congregational vote at our June 3, 2007 annual meeting, and then by the UU Ministry for Earth.

The goals of the Green Sanctuary effort are:

  • To build awareness of societal environmental issues among UUs.
  • To build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices.
  • To generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes.
  • To motivate UUs to community action on environmental issues.
  • To build a connection between spiritual practice and environmental consciousness.


To address these goals, we worked on 12 action projects for the past year. These resulted in energy savings and greater education of the community and our Fellowship on the importance of energy conservation, and the need to address global warming and other environmental concerns. These action projects covered all areas of congregational life, including Worship and Celebration, Religious Education, Social Justice, and Sustainable Living.

Our 12 completed projects included the following:

Project 1: Arranged for 6 "green" sermons during the year.

Project 2: Researched and prepared a Service on Water Justice.

Project 3: Researched and prepared a service presentation on Renewable Energy Certificates/Carbon Offsets.

Project 4: Added to our Fellowship library nearly 40 books on environmental issues.

Project 5: Planned and carried out a Compact Fluorescent Light donation program with London Community Council - we donated 1,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs, with accompanying information in English and Spanish, to this community.

Project 6: Participated in California Interfaith Power & Light, including a showing on "An Inconvenient Truth."

Project 7: Environmental investing - Opened a "Eco-Max" CD with Shorebank Pacific.

Project 8: Developed a renewable energy/carbon offset program, contributed through Fellowship funds and encouraging members to participate in carbon offsets with Carbonfund.org.

Project 9: Presented a program for the congregation on the value/importance of CFLs, then get pledges - we successfully asked 80% of congregation to replace three most used traditional lights with Compact Fluorescent Lights.

Project 10: Asked congregation to have three family & friends replace three most used lights with CFLs as part of their 2007 Earth Day Pledge.

Project 11: Raised $874 to replace the Friends Meeting House refrigerator/freezer with an ENERGY STAR unit. Our successful rummage sale was enjoyed by all!

Project 12: Transition a change to recycled paper products and green cleaning products.

All this effort came about by the individual contributions of a large number of our Fellowship's members and friends - a vast majority of our Fellowship contributed in one way or another during the past year. We owe our thanks to all these members.

In addition, we undertook several other "green" activities throughout the past year.

These include the following:

1. Additional Activity 1: Summer 2006 discussion series on Thoreau as Spiritual Guide

2. Additional Activity 2: Prepared comments on the UU Statement of Conscience on Global Warming.

3. Additional Activity 3L Advocated Clean Water in School Health Plans by writing to school districts in Tulare County.

4. Additional Activity 4: Held a Sustainable Living Discussion Cours with 13 participants.

5. Additional Activity 5: Film and Environmental Education Programs, included several environmental films including "Suzuki Speaks."

6. Additional Activity 6: Vegetarian Awareness.

As past President Don Chapin says, "The most important benefit in participating in the Green Sanctuary program was that it brought home to us the importance of environmentalism as a tenet requiring specific changed behavior. It is not enough to be opinionated about environmental issues; we must also 'walk the talk.' Our members are converting to CFLs, using non toxic household cleaners, purchasing hybrid cars, changing their buying habits, changing their driving habits, reducing their home energy usage - to name a few."

Also, an important benefit for us was the community-building and infrastructure improvements working on the Green Sanctuary program gave us. By having specific goals and timelines, we worked together as a community more than ever before, deepening and strengthening relationships in the congregation in the process.

Because our Green Sanctuary effort has been such an inspiration, we hope it will continue to be a crucial part of our Fellowship's life in the coming years.

Monday, April 23, 2007

CFL Donations made in London

UU Visalia CFL Donation

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia is donating a thousand light bulbs to the small rural community of London (population - 2000) in Tulare County.

"We wanted to create a pilot project that would help directly reduce global warming emissions," said April Hill, President of the congregation. The congregation is a member of the California Interfaith Power & Light program for churches and other faith communities. Interfaith Power & Light believes that global warming is the moral issue of our time. The Fellowship wanted to find a way to help reduce global warming directly - which it did by providing two compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to each household in the community of London.

Hill said many people are unaware of the cost-saving benefits of CFLs. They cost more than old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs, but can save up to $30 or $40 in energy costs over the lifetime of the bulb. To help educate people, the Fellowship is providing information sheets from P G & E in both English and Spanish to the community.

Hill said, "Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) use up to 75% less energy than conventional bulbs. CFLs save $60 a year or more in energy costs if you replace five regular incandescent light bulbs! We wanted to provide these cost-saving devices to help directly reduce global warming emissions."

"We're a small congregation, so we chose a small community," said Hill. "Bigger churches could undoubtedly make a much bigger impact by targeting larger areas."

The Interfaith Power and Light group encourages faith communities of all denominations to help fight global warming, while maximizing their energy savings by replacing the most frequently used lights with CFLs. The Interfaith group believes "All major faith traditions call us to be good stewards of the earth; therefore, we must work together to address the grave threat to humanity and all of Creation posed by global warming."

Photo: Carolyn Thomas, General Manager, London Community Services District, left, and April Hill, president of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia, with the Meza family.


For More information:
www.uuvisalia.org/justice/energy.html
www.interfaithpower.org

Download PDF Press Release

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day 2007 - CFLs and the Earth Day Pledge

On Earth Day 2007, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia celebrated Earth Day with a special program entitled, "Change a Light, Change the World," presented by Green Sanctuary Chair, Harold Wood. The Power Point presentation explained the wastefulness of conventional incandescent light bulbs, and the much more efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED lights now available. Going well beyond the basics, the presentation gave information on the three most important things to look for when buying CFLs - which involves earning some new language for most people: lumens, correlated color temperature, and the color rendering index.

At the end of the program, everyone attending were invited to take two dimmable compact fluorescent light bulbs home with them - for free - thanks to the generosity of congregation friend Daljit Singh. Dr. Singh also contributed the funding for 1,000 CFLs which the Fellowship has delivered to the low-income community of London, in rural Tulare County (pop. 2,000).

Congregational members and friends were also asked to sign the UU Visalia Earth Day Pledge. 99% of all attending turned in the pledge!

The 2007 UU Visalia Earth Day Pledge had three parts:

1) Part One asked each member or friend to replace three or more of the most used lights in their home with Energy Star Compact or Tube Fluorescent lights.

2) Part Two asked each congregant to in tern ask three friends or family to replace three or more of the most use lights in their home with Energy Star Comp[act Fluorescent lights.

3) Part Three asked each congregant to choose one additional action item of their choosing that would help combat global warming and promote greater harmony with the environment.

Here is a sampling of the additional items that members and friends pledged to do:

Eat less meat.
Purchase a Prius.
Use the thermostat to reduce energy usage.
Bike to work one day per week.
Use reusable cloth shopping bags.
Dry clothes on a line outside rather than using a dryer.
Stop buying bottled water, filter my own water.
Buy a new Energy Star HVAC.
Install a drip watering system for yard.
Buy local produce more often.
Introduce my kids to public transportation and use once per month.
Ask my legislator to increase auto fuel efficiency standards to 40 mpg.
Pick up trash wherever I see it - everywhere and always.
Promote CFLs on my e-mail signatures & website
Drive slower in the slow lane rather than in my former fast lane.
Use a bicycle for local errands.
I will talk to supply people in my work place to consider purchasing LED exit signs in all 11 of our buildings.
Use less toxic household cleaners & spread the word.
Bike to farmer's market once a month.
Walk to work one day per week.
Use a power strip to turn off instant-on appliances.
Try to become a vegan.


Anyone interested in learning more about the environmental activities of UU Fellowship of Visalia may e-mail green@uuvisalia.org

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Our Green Sanctuary Program in the News!

April 11, 2007 - Retired electrical engineer David Hodges came up with a plan for his church, the UU Fellowship in Visalia, Calif., to give two energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs to every home in the nearby low-income town of London as part of a Green Sanctuary social justice project. (The Fresno Bee)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Report of Feb 11 2007 Green Sanctuary Meeting

We had a quick meeting tonight. The stores we've talked to about CFLs for our Action Project haven't had time to respond, plus we will likely need to follow up on each of them individually.

We're exploring the idea of a Talent & Service Auction, which will depend on what our fundraising goal ultimately turns out to be.

We're celebrating the installation of our Energy Star Refrigerator! That completes one of the 12 projects towards obtaining Green Sanctuary status.

The rest of our projects are still being worked on. In addition to previously identified presentations, Harold will be doing a presentation on Green Sanctuary at the "Liberal Voices in a Conservative Landscape" conference in Fresno on February 24.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Report of 1/14/07 UU Visalia Green Sanctuary Meeting

I. GREEN SANCTUARY

1. "Choices for Sustainable Living" Discussion course started January 18, 2007, with 13 persons. We will meet together for the opening and refreshments afterward, but split into two groups for discussion.

2. Action Project: Don has contacted PG & E who are sending some information packets they are willing to give us, but they indicated they are not able to provide the compact flourescent light bulbs. We decided to request hardware stores in town to each provide 1/4 of the 400 households we need to cover. We assigned members to contact them as follows:
Target - Don; Home Depot - Bill; Orchard - David H.; Loew's - Harold; Albertson's - April

3. Carrbon Offsets: We've now paid for the y ear and the info is on our website, but Harold still needs to develop nesletter article.

4. Energy Star Refrigerator - At the meeting, Katherine thought we will need more funds for this project, but she subsequently found a good 25 cubic ft. model at Loew's, who is willing to provide a 10% discount so we shoud be able purchase it with our garage sale fundraiser. However, we discussed having another fundraiser - a "Share Your Talents Auction" which we will proceed to use in order to use on our Action Project.

5. Presentation on Compct Fluorescents - Harold still working on this

6. Recycled Paper - January 2007 newsletter identified some local sources

7. Library - Harold has started the Librarything.com catalog, but needs to add the environmental and other newer books to the list.

8. Non-toxic cleaning - Janet has given to Bob of the Friends Meeting House a handout she created about non-toxic cleaning.

9. Upcoming Presentations - we've finished 2 of our six planned presentations: UU's Take on Global Warming (12/10/06) and "An Inconvenient Truth" Forum on October 1, 2006. Additional presentations planned include:
a. Water Justice (April)
b. Compact Fluorescents (Harold)
c. Asphalt Nation (Katherine)
d. Earth Day (Harold & Committee)

II. MORAL VALUES FOR A PLURALISTIC SOCIETY

1. We agreed we want to review this and submit comments. Deadline to UUA is March 1, 2007.
See:
http://www.uua.org/csw/moralvalues1.htm

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Report of 12/10/06 UU Visalia Green Sanctuary Meeting

We had a short meeting this time. We are making steady progress on all our projects.

Two of our project have some minor glitches:
1. Our Social Justice Outreach for Compact Flourescent Bulbs for Low-Income - we're experiencing delays in PG & E getting back to us on this issue. We will perservere!
2. In shopping for an Energy Star Refrigerator for the Meeting House, the Energy Star models we had our eye on were a bit smaller than the current model, and we need to replace the some amount of cubic feet. So we'll be doing some more research - and might need to raise a bit more money to pay for a larger model.

Donations for our congregational library on sustainable living, peak oil, global warming, environmental protection, and so on, are still being sought.

We had some additional sign-ups for our Choices for Sustainable Living Discussion course, which brings us up to 10. If we get several more, we might split into two groups. Registration deadline is December 15, 2006. If interested, contact Harold at green@uuvisalia.org.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Report of 11/12/06 Green Sanctuary Committee

A. GREEN SANCTUARY

1. "Choices for Sustainable Living" Northwest Earth Institute Discussion Course starting January 18, 2007.
- Location - We are still investigating several possibilities.
- Publicity - Announcement has been sent to: Sierra Club, Audubon, Sequoia Riverlands Trust
- Sign-ups - 7 so far; Harold will order first set of Workbooks

2. Action Project - CFL Project -- compact fluorescent light bulbs for low-income families in the community of London. Don will continue to make phone calls to see if P G & E will help fund the project. There are about 400 to 500 households in London.

3. Progress on Action Plan -
a. Carbonfund.org - Now paid for year and logo on website - still need to:
- Develop questionnaire & newsletter article to encourage members to also participate. Harold will work on this.
- Market program to other congregations in our area.

b. Energy Star Refrigerator - Our Rummage Sale last month raised $874! Katherine has talked to Southeern California Edison who will remove and disable old inefficient refrigerator when we buy the new one, and give a $35 payment to take the old one off the grid, and a $50 rebate for purchase of an Energy Star model.
c. Compact Flourescent program for the congregation – Harold has begun preparing
d. Recycled Paper and green cleaning - Janet, Katherine, and April will work further on encouraging the Friends Meeting House to use non-toxic cleaning supplies.
e. Library - Environmental and Sustainability books - see list from Green Sanctuary Listserv.
f. Religious Education - Adult Ed ison track, what about for kids? April will continue to be on the lookout for appropriate things to do.

4. Upcoming (of minimum of 6 required) Presentations to do this coming church year:
a. "An Inconvenient Truth" - First Sunday Forum – October 1, 2006 – Completed
b. Service on "Living Lightly: UU's Take on Global Warming" (scheduled for 12/10/06)
c. Compact Flourescents Presentation - efi.org (in progress - Harold)
d. Water justice (April Hill)
e. Book: Asphalt Nation - in the Spring (Katherine)
f. Earth Day 2007 - Will probably use UU Ministry for Earth or Earthday.net materials.

B. GLOBAL WARMING

1. 11/9/06 - Christian Science Monitor reports that Evangelicals are accepting the reality of Global Warming as a real moral responsibility – citing Alanis Morisette film, The Great Warming. Even the new President of Christian Coalition says global warming must be addressed! So it appears a sea-change of attitudes is coming over to our concerns.

C. NEW BUSINESS

1. Jerry suggested we re-instate composting at the Friends Meeting House. We can add this as a new project.
2. An article on UU environmental projects is in the UU World, including a quote from Harold.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Report of 10/8/06 Green Sanctuary Committee

A. GREEN SANCTUARY

1. Choices for Sustainable Living Northwest Earth Institute Discussion Course will start January 18, 2007, and will continue every other Thursday after that until 5/10/07.
- Location - We will see if we can reserve the TCOE Board Room.
- Publicity - Outreach to other groups
- Sign-ups- We have 6 sign-ups already; participants need to pay $15.00 to Harold to obtain the workbooks

2. Progress on Action Plan
a. Renewable Energy Certificate subscription to carbonfund.org has been completed. We will now further publicize this effort to encourage others.

b. Energy Star Refrigerator - Rummage Sale to be held on October 21,2006 - Sale items should be taken to Katherine by end of this next week if possible. Items sought: antiques, collectibles, bottles, costume jewelry, dishes, glassware, camp gear, garden gear, holiday decor, needlework, table linens, toys, games, dolls, furniture, small appliances and electronics. Please no clothing or books.

c. Compact Flourescent program for the congregation - efi.org is a source. Program planned for 2007.

d. Recycled Paper and green cleaning - April has some sources

e. Library - Environmental and Sustainability books. Three books have been donated for this effort:
Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin


3. Upcoming (of 6 required) Presentations to do this coming church year:

a. Report on UUA Statement of Conscience and what it means for us as a congregation and as individuals. (ready to go)

b. Water justice - Spring of 2007 (April Hill)

c. An Inconvenient Truth Video - First Sunday Forum – October 1, 2006 – Completed

d. Compact Flourescents Presentation - Early 2007.

e. Book: Asphalt Nation (Katherine will offer to present a review at an upcoming service)

f. Earth Day 2007

4. Action Project - CFL Project -- compact fluorescent light bulbs for low-income families in the community of London. David is out of state. Don will check to see what role C-SET could play in our proposal.


B. GLOBAL WARMING

1. AB 32 passed the legislature was signed by Governor. Interfaith Power and Light got credit for being one of the important supporting groups.

2. Follow-up for An Inconvenient Truth showing. Late-arriving materials from IPL will be offered to attendees.

C. NEW BUSINESS - Social Justice Issues

1. Prison Ministry - seeking volunteers to do letter-writing
2. Food Pantry - will be discussing possibilities with board
3. Marriage Equality - unfavorable court ruling

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Report of September 10, 2006 Green Sanctuary Committee Meeting

A. GREEN SANCTUARY

1. Small Group Reading and Discussion Group. After considering congregational interests, our Fellowship will sponsor, starting October 17 at 7 p.m., a small group discussion group on Articulating Your UU Faith. April will order an extra copy of the materials. We will postpone the proposed discussion group The Great Turning by David C. Korten perhaps to next spring. Harold has the book for anyone who would like to borrow it.

2. Northwest Earth Institute Discussion Course for January, 2007. After reviewing the six available courses, we reached consensus to host in January 2007 the 9 - week Discussion Course on Choices for Sustainable Living. The first session will be Thursday, January 18. We will invite other organizations to participate.

3. Progress on Action Plan

a. Renewable Energy subscription to carbonfund.org? We'll check with Treasurer for progress on this.

b. Energy Star Refrigerator - Katherine gave an extensive analysis of her research on available Energy Star models. The top rated Models are Kenmore model 7452, 7426, 7495, 64095, or 7496. The super-efficient Sun Front refrigerators are prohibitively expensive - $1,900 and up, so we will target a Kenmore model ranging from $731 to $839.
Lesley volunteered to do further web research on how to ensure the old refrigerator is taken off the grid, properly recycled, perhaps returned to the utility Southern California Edison. Katherine offered to host a fundraiser garage sale for the "Green Refrigerator." The sale will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2006. Janet and Lesley will assist organizing and staging the sale. Don said he could come on the day of the sale to help, and hopefully David H. can as well. Members of the congregaton as requested to bring their items to Katherine for the garage sale.

c. Recycled Paper and green cleaning. Lesley volunteered to see if there are less expensive places to buy recycled paper in bulk, in order to get better prices, especially since it is so hard to obtain the 100% recycled paper in Visalia.

d. Library - Environmental and Sustainability books. Harold has a starting list of books to consider. We need another volunteer to work on this, to research and narrow down the best and most appropriate books for addition to our Fellowship Library.


4. Upcoming (of 6 required) Presentations to do this coming church year:

a. Report on UUA Statement of Conscience & what it means for us as a congregation and as individuals. Harold has completed a Power Point on this and has offered it to Worship Committee.

b. Water justice - TBA (April)

c. An Inconvenient Truth - First Sunday Forum – October 1, 2006 – at 3 p.m. at Friends Meeting House.

d. Compact Fluorescent program for the congregation. Harold wondered if there was enough to do an entire worship program on this topic, but the group concluded that there was, because there is so much confusion about their relative cost, their relative efficiency, and which types to buy for different purposes. We also decided to make this a fundraiser as well, making some of the hard-to-get types available to the congregation. This program might not be held until 2007.

e. Book: Asphalt Nation - TBA (Katherine)

f. Earth Day 2007

4. Action Project - CFL Project -- compact fluorescent light bulbs for low-income families in the community of London. Tabled in absence of David.


B. GLOBAL WARMING

1. AB 32 passed the legislature and probably will be signed by Governor. Thus California will have specific targets to combat global warming.

2. Handouts and discussion for An Inconvenient Truth showing - We won't have much time for group discussion immediately after the film showing, but can briefly discuss whether to have a follow-up discussion at a later time.

Next meeting will be October 8, 2006 at 6 p.m. during potluck.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Report of August 13, 2006 Green Sanctuary Committee Meeting

Our Green Sanctuary Committee met August 13, 2006 to plan the next steps on our Action Plan. We already have 1 of our 12 "Action Items" completed (our spring presentation on Renewable Energy Certificates)!

We will coordinate with the Worship Committee to prepare a minimum of six additional "green" topics during the upcoming "church year." Harold plans sermons on the UUA Statement of Conscience on "UU Action for Global Warming" and on "Compact Flourescents for Social and Environmental Justice." April plans a program on water justice, and Katherine offered to do a service on "Asphalt Nation." With our October showing of "An Inconvenient Truth" and an Earth Day Program, we should readily meet this set of action items.

The Committee will work on adding to our Fellowship library at least 20 books on topics of sustainability and environmental awareness and justice. Donations are encouraged.

The proposed environmental investing program may have to wait until we officially obtain 501(c)(3) status, since the eco-bank requires this.

Don will check the minutes from last spring's board meetings, and the board will review with the Treasurer concerning making monthly donations to Carbon Fund so our congregation can be "carbon neutral."

David reported on his contacts with the London community council, and will continue to develop a proposal for enabling greater use of compact flourescents to assist that low income community. He will try to get more information from PG & E, and will investigate wholesale prices for Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs.

Katherine will continue to research replacing the Meeting House refrigerator with a new energy efficient Energy Star model, and plan a fundraising effort to purchase it.

April and Katherine are leading the effort to change to green cleaning products and recycled paper products. Katherine handed out a compact summary of non-toxic cleaning methods, excerpted from the Teri Van Huss presentation last spring on Ideas for a Non-Toxic Home.

We discussed at length whether to have a book reading group (such as David Korten's The Great Turning) or plan on using a Northwest Earth Institute (NEI) study course on Sustainable Living or Deep Ecology. We decided to both! We will explore hosting a NEI course to begin next January, hopefully to invite other churches and groups to participate. For this fall, April will circulate a questionnaire to the membership asking for a decision on which of two small group study groups to have first: A reading group on The Great Turning, or a series on Articulating our UU Faith. Hopefully we will do both, but this will decide which to do first.

We wrapped up our agenda by referencing some current action on Global Warming:
* New Science Reference for UU's on Global Warming
* California Solutions for Global Warming - AB 32
* Clean California from Union of Concerned Scientists - more on AB 32

Finally, we noted that the congregation has just adopted a set of top priorities at our weekend retreat, all of which we will assist in implementing with the "green sanctuary" dimension in mind.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Candidate Status for Green Sanctuary Approved!

The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth on August 3, 2006 approved our status as a Green Sanctuary candidate congregation! They were imporessed with the ambitious program we proposed, especially with a congregation as small as ours. They encouraged us to find ways to integrate children into our activities, which we would certainly like to do. Our program is diverse, well-balanced, and exciting. We look forward to continuing our jounrey towards becoming a Green Sanctuary.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Statement of Conscience on Global Warming / Climate Change

The Unitarian-Universalist Association has just adopted a strong Statement of Conscience on Global Warming/Climate Change:

"As Unitarian Universalists, we are called by our Seventh Principle to affirm and promote 'respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.' We envision a world in which all people are assured a secure and meaningful life that is ecologically responsible and sustainable, in which every form of life has intrinsic value. In other words, Unitarian Universalists are called to defer to a balance between our individual needs and those of all other organisms. Entire cultures, nations, and life forms are at risk of extinction while basic human rights to adequate supplies of food, fresh water, and health as well as sustainable livelihoods for humans are being undermined.

"To live, we must both consume and dispose. Both our consumption and our disposal burden the interdependent web of existence. To sustain the interdependent web, we must burden it less while maintaining the essentials of our lives. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are painful omens of how racism, sexism, and poverty worsen the effects of global warming/climate change. Our world is calling us to gather in community and respond from our moral and spiritual wealth; together we can transform our individual and congregational lives into acts of moral witness, discarding our harmful habits for new behaviors and practices that will sustain life on Earth, ever vigilant against injustice."

- Excerpt from Statement of Conscience: Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change (PDF) - adopted by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (June 26, 2006)

See also our new pages on:

Personal Practices for Earth Stewardship

Energy Efficiency Tips


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Walden Summer Discussion Series Begins June 11, 2006

Our Fellowship is sponsoring a Summer Discussion Series on
Thoreau as Spiritual Guide:
Walden as a Guide for Spiritual Renewal and Transformation


Sundays, 5 p.m., beginning June 11, 2006 through July 30, 2006.
at Friends Meeting House, 17208 Avenue 296, Visalia, California

Our guidebooks for this summer's series will be:

Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Many editions available - including free on the Internet:
Illustrated and annotated HTML version at:
http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden00.html
Searchable Word .doc file at:
http://www.archive.org/details/Walden

Thoreau as Spiritual Guide: A Companion to Walden for Personal Reflection and Group Discussion by Barry M. Andrews (Skinner House Books, 2000)
- available from any of these sources:
www.uua.org/bookstore
www.amazon.com
www.bn.com

It is not essential that you obtain either of these books to participate in our
summer series, but you will get more out of it if you do get hold of a copy of Walden. In addition, the leaders' resource will be the Barry Andrews book identified above; interested participants may also be interested in obtaining a copy for personal reflection.

Download Series Guide (PDF)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ideas for Non-Toxic Homes

On May 7, 2006, our Fellowship hosted Teri Van Huss, of EIS Consulting and Sequoia Riverlands Trust, who gave a wonderful and useful presentation for "being the change you want to see:"

"Ideas for Non-Toxic Homes"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Application for Green Sanctuary Candidate Status

On April 26, 2006, the Green Sanctuary Committee and the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Visalia applied to the UU Ministry for Earth for candidate status as a Green Sanctuary.

This blog (web page) will track our progress as we work toward final certification.

Documents:

Action Plan - Word format

Environmental Audit - Word format

Charter - HTML