Our church is a Green Sanctuary
What is Green Sanctuary? The Green Sanctuary Program provides a path for congregational study, reflection, and action in response to environmental challenges. It provides a structure for congregations to examine their current environmental impacts and move towards more sustainable practices in ways grounded in Unitarian Universalism. The program has four focus areas: Worship and Celebration, Religious Education, Sustainable Living and Environmental Justice.
Murray Church formed a Green Sanctuary Team, which was recognized by the Executive Board in June 2015.
Our Charter Statement: The Green Sanctuary Team at Murray UU Church is committed to promote and support the pursuit of environmentally sustainable practices in our congregation. Our purpose is to minimize our footprint on the earth, in the face of the global climate change. We do this as an expression of living our UU values.
In May 2017, we submitted our application to be a UUA Green Sanctuary Candidate. This includes a proposal to conduct 12 projects, in pursuit of Green Sanctuary certification, as follows:
- Address food insecurity—Building on our Food Pantry & Food N Friends Kitchen ministries, increase understanding of food insecurity with education & advocacy.
- Create a Green coalition – with Attleboro area faith and environmental organizations to improve our collective carbon footprints.
- Modify “Joys and Concerns” ritual – Use pebble in glass vase instead of candle, thereby reducing fossil fuel use and harmful fumes.
- Pursue interfaith partnerships to foster cross-cultural understanding – justice work involves working along side people most impacted by environment effects.
- Understanding climate justice – Use worship to develop spiritual and moral understanding of UU Principles related to climate and social justice actions.
- Involve children in Food Pantry – annual intergenerational bake sale and education to deepen children’s understanding of this mission driven program.
- Encourage respect for the earth – Incorporate 7th principle in children’s RE, including use of outside resources in churchyard and community.
- Enhance lifespan RE – movies, speakers, discussion, field trips to address climate and related topics.
- Expand recycling – multiple phases will include bins in each room, education, composting, renter agreements to encourage recycling.
- Nature trail – Using our 2-acre wooded area behind church, create a trail with benches and placards to enhance education and meditation value for all ages.
- LED lighting upgrade and programmable thermostats – upgrade will save nearly $4000 annually with return on investment in 20 months.
- Weatherize doors and windows – weather stripping and ongoing window replacement will save up to 5% on church heating costs.