Environmental Justice

After Rev Ana’s December 2nd sermon, The Second Best Time to Plant a Tree, many congregants expressed that they felt moved to take action to transform our society and heal our earth. Here are some concrete suggestions for action steps, some with a political/ economic focus, some with a spiritual/ cultural focus: 

Political and Economic Activism

Help build the movement to halt all violence against our ecosystems and fight for renewable energy. This approach is politically and economically focused – activism, lobbying, corporate boycotts, nonviolent direct action, and civil disobedience. Ways to get involved:

  • Join Extinction Rebellion – or Greenpeace and take bold action.
  • Commit to making a phone call, writing a letter, or participating in an action every week. 
  • Make a financial gift to an environmental advocacy organization like the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, or the Environmental Defense Fund. 

Spiritual and Cultural Activism

Help build the movement to “live the change.” This approach is spiritually and culturally focused – cultivating life-sustaining systems and practices; helping promote a shift in consciousness, perception, thinking and values. Ways to get involved:

  • Take Greenfaith’s three-fold pledge: Significantly lessen your home energy use; dramatically reduce your meat and dairy consumption; conscientiously minimize your car and air travel.
  • Speak up on the spiritual and ethical dimensions of our consumer practices, changing our relationship with the earth and one another.
  • Begin a small-scale sustainability project in your local community – could your building begin collecting compost? Could you start or support a community garden? A CSA?
  • Start a book group on ecological-political consciousness. Suggestions: Active Hope by Joanna Macy, This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, Laudato Si (the second encyclical of Pope Francis), No Other Gods by Ana Levy-Lyons.
  • Make a financial gift to an organization promoting culture change and environment as a religious concern, such as Greenfaith, The Center for Earth Ethics, Climate Reality Project, or First U Brooklyn

First U Green Team / Climate Action
The Green Team was established last year and, by congregational vote at the 2019 Annual Meeting, tasked with working towards UUA certification of our congregation as a Green Sanctuary, in keeping with the 7th Principle: “Respect for the Interconnected Web of which we are a part.” 

To be certified, congregations are required to complete projects in 4 areas: sustainable living, religious education, worship, and environmental justice. Our congregation has already been doing this work for many years. In compiling our application, we are showcasing the earth-centered events and activities of other committees — such as public actions, film screenings, and forums that raise awareness about environmental justice and climate change.  

Some activities of the past year: 

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