We covenant to affirm and promote … Respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part.
Our name comes directly from the Green Sanctuary accreditation program of the Unitarian Universalist Association. In keeping with the UUA program, our focus is to help integrate the seventh principle into our daily congregational life, specifically into celebration, education, sustainability, and environmental justice.
To be certified as a Green Sanctuary congregation, we complete the projects outlined in our application that was submitted and approved in February 2014. This process usually takes several years.
The Green Sanctuary Committee was chartered by Ray and Mary Schinhofen in 2007 and has been through many changes since, including our designation as a Team. Approximately 100 congregants and friends have rotated through our team, all working as volunteers.
Covenant Group Guides for Sustainable Living
As one of our certification projects, discussion guides regarding sustainable living practices were created and approved to help facilitate introspection, discussion, and action. Learn more about our guides.
Green Sanctuary Program
The Green Sanctuary program is a collective effort, not just a personal project for a few of the most committed environmentalists in a congregation. It is about all of us, according to our talents and capacities, coming together to create the Earth Community we have envisioned. The program encourages individual actions that reduce our impact on this planet, but primarily it is a program of congregational action. It is about working together to strengthen our ability to create change.
The Green Sanctuary program encompasses the whole of spectrum of congregational life - worship, religious education, facilities management, social gatherings, justice programming, and more. Each of these areas expands to incorporate increased environmental awareness. Everyone in the congregation is encouraged to participate in activities that will make a difference locally and globally. From meditation to political action to celebration, the whole life of the congregation will increasingly consider the environment much more intentionally." ~ 2009 Green Sanctuary Program Manual
Several of our members are active in the local community environmental efforts and groups.
- Kirsi Jansa presents her film series Sustainability Pioneers around the community. Look for screenings at Pittsburgh Filmmakers venues, our church, and Gemini Theatre (East End Food Coop) among other locations. See her previous film series Gas Rush Stories.
- Bob Mitchell is one of the co-founders of the Pittsburgh 350 and is a strong supporter of Citizens' Climate Lobby. He has written and presented on the climate crisis here at the Forum, in an Adult Faith Development course, and in the RE program. He has also presented at Summer Institute 2014, in several Greater Pittsburgh cluster of Unitarian Universalist Churches, and at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
- Ray Roberts is one of the co-founders of the Pittsburgh 350 and is currently the Pittsburgh chapter contact for Citizens' Climate Lobby. He is an active advocate for many issues, including healthcare.
- Becky Studer started and coordinates our participation in the Urban EcoStewards project, a program of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association.
- Barbara Litt is a Climate Reality Leader with Climate Reality: Pittsburgh & SWPA Chapter, and a co-founding member of the Pittsburgh chapter of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light.
Our current team members are Robert Baron, Hannah Bowie, Mary Alice Drusbasky, Margaret Fuhrman, Jennifer Gilley, Kirsi Jansa, Charley Kakel, Eileen Kraus-Dobratz, Barbara Litt (co-chair), Chris Milcarek, Bob Mitchell, Brian Ramsey, Ray Roberts, Peg Schmidt (co-chair), Becky Studer.
You can email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.