A Green Sanctuary
About Environmental Leadership Team/Green Sanctuary
We are an accredited Green Sanctuary congregation. But our work has just begun.
The Seventh Principle of our UU faith affirms our “respect for the interdependent web of existence, of which we are a part.” The Environmental Leadership Team (“ELT”) is committed to providing leadership for this congregation in translating this principle into individual and community action.
We ‘honor all beings” and work for a greater understanding and appreciation of how we are interconnected with the natural world. We believe that how and where we live, work, play, and pray impact that world and all of its inhabitants, now and for future generations of all beings.
The First Parish in Concord Religious Education program also fosters a tradition of environmental activism.
ELT members: Peter Lowitt and Chris Randall (Co-Chairs), Bob Andrews, Berni Jenkins, Mike Jacobs, Bob Van Dyke, Topher Buck and Debbie Barr.
Did you hear?! The First Parish community donated about $60,000 in 2014 toward the cost of 50 solar panels, now fully installed.
We will all benefit for the next 20+ years with lowered electricity costs.
On June 14, 2009 the congregation of this church formally voted to act as aUUA Green Sanctuary and adopted the following statement:
“First Parish in Concord pledges our personal and congregational commitment to live and act as a Green Sanctuary: 1) to incorporate the Seventh Principle values and practices into our worship services, celebrations, religious education programs, church operations, and personal lives; 2) to live lightly on the Earth and strive to continually improve our environmental impact; 3) to affirm and promote programs to raise awareness of human behaviors that affect the health and sustainability of the living Earth.”
Shortly after this statement was adopted, First Parish was accredited by the UUA as Green Sanctuary.
The Environmental Leadership Team (ELT) of First Parish is beginning the UUA’s Green Sanctuary re-accreditation process, which is required every four to five years. As part of this process, the ELT team will work with the First Parish staff and congregation to assess how and how well we have met the goals of our Green Sanctuary program. We will then focus on developing a new action plan to build upon, and perhaps go beyond, our previous achievements. This requires concrete plans for the following areas:
- Sustainable living (two projects): How do we, as a congregation, consider our impact on the environment and all living beings, current and future, in all of our congregational activities?
- Worship and Celebration: Are environmental topics and themes consistently and repeatedly incorporated into our Sunday morning services?
- Religious Education: What are our children learning about how to value, protect, and preserve the natural environment?
- Environmental Justice: How do we reach out into the world to advocate for a fair and equitable approach to protecting the environment?
The UUA reaccreditation process calls for the ELT to seek input from the congregation to generate these projects; solicit feedback on them from UUA’s Green Sanctuary Review Team; revise the plan based on this input; complete the required on-line forms to get formal re-accreditation status; and then celebrate the occasion with the Congregation.
The ELT seeks to integrate sustainability into all aspects of congregational life. The team is advisory and is available to assist congregants, committees and affiliates of FPC as we all work together to create a more harmonious, nurturing and sustainable First Parish.
You can find out more about the UUA Green Sanctuary Program here.