Worship and Celebration Focus Area for the Green Sanctuary Program
- What about the Unitarian Universalist (UU) faith calls us to respond to environmental crisis?
- How can UU worship and celebration ground and sustain UUs in this ministry?
- How can our UU practices build our capacity to be good partners in a diverse world?
Worship is central to congregational life. If we bring environmental awareness and justice into the kitchen, the Boardroom, thermostats and parking lot, but leave it out of the sanctuary, we will have missed an opportunity to broaden and deepen our spiritual practice and ground our work for the long haul. Likewise, long-term commitment to this ministry is both rewarding and painful as it honestly engages institutionalized violence that hurts the most vulnerable and least valued beings. Worship and celebration can ground the work, as well as deepen our relationships with each other, with those beyond our congregational boundaries, and with All Earth.
Those who are hearing about the Green Sanctuary program for the first time often assume that it’s all about increasing energy efficiency, recycling bottles and cans, and reducing carbon emissions. Many are surprised to learn that the first focus area is worship and celebration. Yet why not begin there? Worship, after all, is central to congregational life. If we bring environmental awareness to the kitchen, meeting rooms, thermostats, and parking lot, but leave it out of the sanctuary, we will have missed an opportunity to broaden and deepen our spiritual practice.
Participants in the Green Sanctuary program create new or expanded ways to integrate Earth-oriented spirituality into congregational worship and communal gatherings. As they do, they find that worship and celebration help to ground their work in other areas of the program, as well as deepen their relationships with each other and with Earth.