The mission and ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia (UUCC) Green Sanctuary (GS) Committee is to affirm and promote their seventh principle - to respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part – by evaluating and adapting their building and practices, and by educating and guiding the congregation and building tenants to make more environmentally responsible choices. This includes acting for environmental and climate justice.
UUCC minister(s) and worship leaders deliberately look to their UU covenant – principles and sources – when planning worship, and they strive to incorporate them all regularly in services. In recent years, the Climate Action team has organized annual worship services focusing on Climate Change / Climate Chaos / Climate Justice. UUCC is housed in the Owen Brown Interfaith Center (OBIC) where they have built four rain gardens and a nourishing garden, and planted many native shrubs, trees and perennials. UUCC has been involved with numerous clean-up efforts and individual members have led many educational walks around OBIC. They lobbied for a watershed management plan and a watershed manager - both of which happened. They lobbied for a Sustainability and Climate Change advisory committee at Columbia Association which will have a positive impact on this area as well. They helped to create the Ready Program (now Howard Ecoworks) which has built numerous rain gardens and biofiltration ponds in their area. They were part of an effort to get BGE to do a pilot study on a mile of their power line property that touches Lake Elkhorn (located across the street from OBIC) that led to the development of very successful "Integrated Vegetative Management" where invasive plants are eliminated, mowing is stopped, and native plants are allowed to dominate. They also led Lake Elkhorn trash pickups for years.
The UUCC Action Plan, completed for Stage 3 in the Unitarian Universalist Association GS accreditation process, includes projects that address the three GS Campaigns (goals) of carbon mitigation, adaptation/resilience, and justice and includes civic action/activism for each of these. The below photo shows projects in process (in bold) or planned and their interaction across the three campaigns.
You can learn more about the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia here!
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