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Getting Started in the Green Sanctuary Program

In any project, a good beginning helps lead to a successful outcome. So it is with the Green Sanctuary program. By setting up a strong leadership team, introducing the program to the congregation in a creative way, and planning how to buoy motivation in the face of challenges, you can embark on this journey with confidence.

Planting the Seeds

The idea of becoming a Green Sanctuary may emerge from within your congregation in a variety of ways. Perhaps a committed environmental activist discovered the program in a late night Web search. Or maybe a delegate to the General Assembly saw the recognition ceremony for newly accredited Green Sanctuaries and wondered why your congregation isn’t one of them. The possibility may have been suggested by a new member who just moved from another congregation that was already a Green Sanctuary. A discussion circle or a book group might serve as an incubator for the notion that something has to be done about environmental concerns. Often the motivation for becoming a Green Sanctuary begins with an existing committee, such as land stewardship or social justice.

However the idea originates, usually a small group of congregants immediately see the connection between the program and the core values of the Unitarian Universalist faith. They find out how the program works and start getting organized.

One of the first tasks is to develop interest and support for the program among the congregation’s leaders. Typically, the initial organizers make a presentation to the congregation’s board of trustees (or other governing body), explaining what the Green Sanctuary program is and why they think the congregation would benefit from it. If the board members agree that the idea has merit, they authorize the group to start a Green Sanctuary program.

Once your leaders are on board, the next step is to establish your Green Sanctuary Team.

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