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Green Sanctuary 2020: A Faithful Response to Climate Urgency

Part of Green Sanctuary

This is the 7th iteration of the Green Sanctuary Program since it began in 1989.

Introduction

The climate-change crisis with Global Warming is the existential threat to the human species and the web of life. It is the urgent, overarching survival and justice issue of our time, calling us to impactful action now. In an era in which the call to dismantle racism could not be more clear, and when the COVID 19 pandemic stunningly highlights that systemic racism is inextricably bound to climate degradation and injustice, Unitarian Universalist Faithful Response calls us to bring our individual and collective gifts together to act with bold, inspiring, collaborative, networked, and effective leadership to ensure a livable world for all descendants and create climate justice with those who are systemically oppressed. 

Climate action and climate justice call us to mitigate (reduce) climate change, along with better adaptation (coping) and increasing resilience (ability to adapt) to increasingly disastrous climate impacts. It calls us to balance urgency with open minds and hearts to learn and collaborate with communities most impacted. The result will be a difficult but creative and exciting transition to a clean renewable world with opportunity, survivability and justice for all, now and for future generations. 

The 1991 First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit galvanized people of color who have led work addressing environmental and economic justice and health issues as basic civil and human rights as delineated by the Principles of Environmental Justice. The UN Sustainable Development Goals comprise a general framework, making clear that climate action is intersectional, addressing justice issues including poverty, hunger and inequality.

Many UUs are already leaders in the forefront of climate action. This 2020 edition of UUA Green Sanctuary (GS) calls for a much more widely shared level of UU congregational climate action and climate engagement, infused with spirit and passion to join others in climate action and justice. GS provides a path that offers the gift of transformation to congregations. It begins with spiritually grounded depth and moves the whole congregation through a continuous spiral of awareness and commitment, resulting in transformed congregational life and courageous, ongoing climate action. 

With optimism to move forward, courage to confront obstacles, and persistence to address the present and increasing impacts of climate change, we UU’s can faithfully respond to the urgency of this moment and live our values.

Vision

A world that is sustainable and just for humanity and for the whole of the web of life, including present and future generations.

  • Outcome

A Unitarian Universalist culture that is characterized by bold, collaborative, urgent, effective, action to mitigate the climate crisis, build resilience and adaption to climate change, and secure environmental and climate justice.

Mission

Green Sanctuary provides structure, leadership and support, in broad collaboration, for the UU faith community to engage in an ambitious environmental and climate justice movement that seeks to live fully our seventh and eighth principles and achieve our vision of a sustainable and just world for all. 

  • Outcome

UU congregations have the knowledge, resources, and support to engage in an ambitious climate-action and Environmental Justice /Climate Justice movements that seek to honor the interconnected web of life and achieve our vision of a viable and just world for all.