A world that is viable and just for humanity and for the whole of the web of life, including present and future generations.
The Green Sanctuary Program provides structure, leadership and support, in broad collaboration, for the UU faith community to engage in an ambitious Environmental Justice and Climate Justice movement that seeks to live fully our seventh principle and achieve our vision of a viable and just world for all.
Our High-Level Goals and Strategies Forming the Mission
- Provide a structure for congregations to engage with environmental and climate issues and to move along the spectrum of awareness and action. Congregations join a website organizing community, createclimatejustice.net, as one way to learn, share and leverage our collective work.
- Help connect UUs together working on the front lines of environmental and climate justice work, thus building movement capacity and collaboration for effective action.
- Act with love and justice to heal the earth, our home.
- Support frontline communities to protect people and the web of life.
- Take courageous action to fight against environmental and climate injustices
Created in 1989, the Green Sanctuary (GS) program historically provided a path for congregational study, reflection, and action in response to environmental challenges, worshiping and acting - grounded in justice and Unitarian Universalist values. 254 (25% of UU congregations) achieved GS accreditation, plus 70 in process (list of Accredited GS Congregations). GS accreditation recognizes a congregation’s service and dedication. A part-time GS Program Manager (part of UUA's Multi-Cultural Growth and Witness Staff Group), and the GS Advisory Board formed in 2014, provide support and guidance.
A New Path
Given the increasingly urgent need for courageous action to fight climate change and the environmental and human injustices that it causes (climate justice), we now require a new level of congregational engagement. We envision Green Sanctuary congregations that are infused with a spirit and passion to join others in life- and planet-saving work. We recognize that our work must be intersectional, as described by the worldwide Sustainable Development Goals that start with the elimination of poverty, and for which climate action is an integral part.
Getting Started or Renewing
- Connect to Green Sanctuary staff and volunteers at createclimatejustice.net, the online organizing community where congregations learn from other congregations, share successes and struggles, and leverage our collective work.
- Steps in Becoming an Accredited Green Sanctuary
- Renewing the Green Sanctuary Accreditation
Each congregation performs a self-assessment, writes a plan, and completes projects across: Environmental Justice / Climate Justice, Worship and Celebration, Religious Education, and Sustainable Living.
Congregations are also encouraged to join other UU initiatives, as well as inter-faith organizations. Createclimatejustice.net is a primary vehicle for collaboration. Examples of UU organizations dedicated to environmental / climate justice are:
UU Ministry for Earth is as primary partner (and the parent group) of Green Sanctuary.
UU Climate Action Teams is a network of UU congregational leaders focused on climate organizing.
Environmental Justice Practitioners Network (EJPN) is a community of practice for Unitarian Universalist environmental and climate justice leaders and community partners.