Earth Day 2008 - Celebrate & Advocate!
The Unitarian Universalist Association, the UU Service Committee, UU Ministry for Earth, and the network of Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministries and State Advocacy Networks are joining together to celebrate Earth Day Sunday - April 20th - in our congregations and to advocate with one voice for national environmental legislation that will be effective in reducing our nation's carbon footprint on the planet without benefiting corporations at the expense of low-income families and communities of color.
Below you will find:
Our gratitude for our earth is heightened by our anxiety for its health as we confront global warming and the perilous changes it brings. This spring as we Unitarian Universalists, descendants of Emerson and Thoreau, celebrate Earth Day, let us work together to ensure the continued seasons of rebirth and renewal we hold dear. Please make this Earth Day Sunday advocacy campaign part of your services and coffee hour. Let Kat Liu, Assistant Director of the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy, know that your congregation participated!
--UUA, UUSC, UU Ministry for Earth, UU Legislative Ministries & State Advocacy Networks
UU Ministry for Earth presents a celebratory Earth Day resource that invites UUs to honor the "eco-heroes" within their congregations and inaugurates the first annual UU Ministry for Earth Guardians of the Future Award. Congregations are encouraged to make Earth Day an opportunity to educate their members about UU Ministry for Earth and to support this vital UUA Affiliate organization through congregational and individual memberships and special offerings. Take part in the UUMFE Membership Challenge and perhaps your congregation will win a full-day workshop on "Growing Awareness into Action"!
Visit www.uuministryforearth.org to learn more and to download these resources:
- Cover for Earth Day Sunday Order of Service
- Certificate of recognition for congregational honoree
- 3 beautiful posters to print and display
- Templates for UUMFE membership form and brochure
- Information on the UUMFE Membership Challenge and prize from Gaia Workshops
- Nomination form for UU Ministry for Earth Guardians of the Future Award
Support Effective Climate Change Legislation - S.309/H.R.1590
Global climate change is already creating water shortages and forcing large-scale human migrations. Unless we take urgent action, it's only going to get worse, causing widespread international conflict. The scientific community tells us that we must reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 2000 levels by the year 2050. Only the Sanders-Boxer (S. 309) and Waxman (H.R. 1590) bills require the sufficient reductions. Moreover, the competing bill benefits corporations at the expense of low-income families. (For more information on why the UUA endorses Sanders-Boxer (S.309) over Lieberman-Warner, click here.)
On this Earth Day, organize a letter writing campaign in your congregation. Tell your Senators and Representatives: Do not settle for legislation that is ineffective and unjust. Support S. 309 and/or H.R. 1590.
Please announce this advocacy campaign in your Sunday service and have a letter-writing table in the sanctuary or parish hall following the service.
You can use this sample letter as a template, or write your own. For tips on how to host a letter-writing table, click here. To find your elected representative, click here.
Alternatively, you can send an email to all of your elected representatives through our online action page.
Please let Kat Liu, Assistant Director of the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy, know that your congregation participated!
Suggestions for including Youth
Youth groups can add messages to letters being send to representatives in Congress.
Ask youth to draw pictures of the earth with a message to their elected leaders asking them to protect our planet and do our part as members of the world community. Include note with letter to members of Congress that messages from youth in the congregation's religious education classes are included.
Visit the Global Warming Kids Site.
New UU Ministry for Earth Children's Religious Education Curriculum!
We Are All Connected: 7th Principle Butterfly and Creepy Crawlies RE Lessons by Stefani Scott. It is a wonderful series of 10 lessons available in either CD format for $20 or in paper for $25. Each lesson has step-by-step instructions on preparation, materials needed, and how to conduct the lesson with chalice lighting, opening words, closing thoughts and resources to develop each lesson further. The lessons engage children with stories, fun crafts, music or other hands-on activities. Illustrations in the booklet were designed so that children could be creative and color in their own creepy crawlies.
Children will learn how to feed butterflies, where dragonfly babies live, and how to race hermit crabs. They will learn to love creepy crawlies and grow in understanding of how important each creature is to the fragile web of life. The resource may be ordered online or by mail using the downloadable order form.
UU Legislative Ministry of California Low Carbon Challenge
The UULM Low Carbon Challenge is a congregational action program to respond to climate change at a house-hold level. Our goal is for Unitarian Universalists in California to collectively lose one million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions by Earth Day 2009.
How do we meet the goal?
We meet the goal by forming "Carbon Rings" in 50 of our California congregations - each comprised of 5 to 8 UU households (non-UU friends welcome). Together Carbon Rings meet for eight sessions to share in guided discussion about global warming, and then to go on the "Low Carbon Diet," a program to loose 5,000 pounds of carbon emissions per household in 60 days.
How does my congregation get involved?
You can find in depth information on this page about the steps to start a Carbon Ring, how to facilitate the sessions, where to get the workbooks and more. A great place to start is by reading the Introduction to the UULM Low Carbon Challenge. You can also phone the UULM-CA office at (916) 441-0018 and chat with a staff member.
UUs in all 50 states are encouraged to adopt this model!
UUSC Right to Water Campaign--El Movimiento Mi Cometa-coming to UU congregations!
The spirit of Earth Day - to care for the earth and create conditions for meaningful existence for the web of creation - means equitable access to the basic necessities for life for all. One of the most important is access to safe, affordable water for daily human needs. This Earth Day week, El Movimiento Mi Cometa, a youth movement from Ecuador, will visit UU congregations and communities in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. To Hear from Mi Cometa about their inspiring work to implement the human right to water and stop raw sewerage from polluting the Guayas River, contact email@example.com.
For more on climate change and water problems and solutions, check out Plan B 3.0, by Lester Brown, of the Earth Policy Institute, available for free.
Earth Day Program and Resources including Earth Day Sunday Materials