We have made a congregational commitment to be an Earth-friendly, green church, and continue to learn and explore what this means for us, individually and collectively.
We have received two awards from the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC for our actions on behalf of caring for God’s creation and implementing sustainable practices.
The Earth Ministry Team meets regularly to continue our learning, support each other, and plan how to help the congregation engage with facing the climate emergency as stewards of God’s creation.
The most recent worship service led by the Earth Ministry Team focused on some key questions:
- What do you love about the natural world?
- How do you keep from despairing and/or get energized to take action against climate change?
- What kind of mass movement of people on behalf of the planet would you like to be a part of?
(You can listen to an audio recording of the sermon, “Some Questions”, from a worship service led by the Earth Ministry Team.)
Some recent actions in our Earth Ministry
* The Congregation made a united decision to divest church investments from fossil fuels
* The Earth Ministry team continues to provide a way for congregation members to recycle Styrofoam.
* Members of Earth Ministry Team participated in public hearings about Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline, visited their state reps to support carbon tax and rebate bill, and participate in local Climate Action Now
* We participated in Interfaith eco-actions such as a watch party to see Pope Francis’s address to congress, and a service focusing on Pope’s encyclical on climate change.
* We led a Transformative Learning session “The Tide is Rising and So Are We” after worship one Sunday, where we explored our responses to the climate crisis including obstacles we encounter and actions we can take.
* We joined the UCC and other groups in a 350.org-sponsored day of action in Albany to stop government subsidies for the fossil fuel industry
* One of our members was blessed and commissioned during worship on November 22 in preparation for his trip to Paris to participate in actions at the UN Climate Conference.
* We co-sponsored Global Climate March gathering on the Amherst Common on the eve of the UN Paris Climate talks, and a group of us marched from the church to join the rally with our banner, and rang our church bells afterwards.
* In 2016 we have continued to participate in meetings and events of our local climate action group.
* Four of us have already had Non-violence training for direct actions. At least two more are planning to undergo such trainings.
* Seven adults and two children from our congregation participated in parts of the “Taking Steps to a Renewable Future” walk in Franklin Count, buoyed by prayers from the congregation.
- Installed programmable thermostats.
- Installed low energy LED exit and emergency lighting/signs
- Installed energy efficient fluorescent lights/ballasts
- Use organic lawn/landscape care (i.e. we do nothing but mow and prune.)
- Use blinds to help regulate temperature
- Become a member of Mass Interfaith Power and Light Purchased clean electric energy for church via Viridian (at least 50% “green”)
*And we have partially:
- Replaced incandescent bulbs with CFLS or LEDs
- Insulated/weather-stripped church: especially pipes, ceilings, and doors
- Shifted church communications from paper to electronic media
- Shifted to environmentally sensitive cleaning products
Contact Person: Betsy Krogh