UUFNN Social Justice

Green Sanctuary Mission

The mission of the Green Sanctuary committee is to affirm and promote the seventh principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association (respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part) by working toward a more sustainable and environmentally just church and community.

In order to become a certified Green Sanctuary, we must complete 12 action projects. Our selected projects and status updates are detailed below. To become involved in any of these projects, please contact a member of the Green Sanctuary committee!

Jeff Carlton, chair: carlton_jeff@hotmail.com


Worship and Celebration Projects

Earth-based Spiritual Retreat

Project Objective: Incorporate an annual Earth-based spiritual retreat in nature that honors the Earth as sacred.

Status: retreats were held during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 church years.

Green Sanctuary Worship Service

Project Objective:  Provide the congregation with a worship space to consider the spiritual dimensions of the interdependent web and environmental justice.

Status: we have participated in several worship services over the past few years.

Religious Education Projects

Adult Education Course

Project Objective:  Provide a supportive atmosphere for members and friends to explore issues of environmental significance and reflect on the impact in their lives. We plan to offer an annual adult education course with an environmental theme. 

Status: we have offered an environmentally themed adult ed course for each of the last several years.

Religious Education

Project Objective:  provide a children’s worship service focused on Earth-based themes and environmentalism.

Status: we have helped with several KidzWorship events.

Environmental Justice

Park and River Clean Up

Project Objective: Assist in cleaning and maintaining high quality parks and green spaces in disadvantaged communities.  We plan to collaborate with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, a local organization that leads park, river, and green space cleanups. 

Status: we participated in the spring 2012 Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful Community Clean Up Day.

Sustainable Use and Just Allocation of Water in the Great Basin

Project Objective: Collaborate with other organizations to promote the long-term, sustainable and just allocation of scarce water resources in our wider community.  We plan to work with the Great Basin Water Network and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada to promote policies and practices that encourage water conservation and efficiency, encourage water rate structures that are fair and equitable, support sustainable plans for urban development, and oppose water transfer projects that threaten livelihoods and wildlife habitat. Toward these ends we will host educational forums, letter writing and petitions, promote or oppose legislation, and initiate water conservation projects on our campus.  We will encourage membership in GBWN and work with them on an organizational level.  We will invite other faith communities to join in these actions.

Status: ongoing

Sustainable Living

Implement Energy Audit findings

Project Objective:  Make improvements to our buildings, as recommended in the energy audit, to reduce our energy consumption.

Status: we added insulation and air sealed both buildings, replaced lights with energy efficient models, and replaced the refrigerator.  We sincerely thank everyone who donated to the Green Sanctuary fund to pay for this work.

Solar Church

Project Objective:  Lay the groundwork for a transition to on-campus renewable energy.

The long term goal is to develop renewable power on the UUFNN campus by producing sufficient photovoltaic and solar thermal energy to completely offset our fossil fuel consumption. 

Status: we created a Net Zero Energy task force to explore the idea with church members and leaders, researched system options, and investigated ways to minimize the energy use from our current system.

Fellowship Carpool

Project Objective:  Encourage efficient transportation to Fellowship to reduce our carbon footprint.

We plan to connect congregants who want to carpool with others in their neighborhood.  We will publicize the initiative and encourage everyone to consider carpooling to Sunday services or weeknight meetings.  We might consider neighborhood competitions, and involve our middle and high-school youth. 

Status: ongoing

Clothespin Club

Project Objective:  Inspire and encourage UUFNN members and friends to reduce their carbon consumption.  We will choose monthly themes to focus on during the church year, based on an easy step everyone can take to reduce their energy consumption or impact on the Earth.  Each monthly program will include some basic information about the theme and the opportunity for congregants to take a pledge to reduce their ecological footprint that month by changing one simple behavior (join the “Clothespin Club”). 

Status: the Clothespin Club was launched in 2011 and we had congregants pledge on nine themes over the church year.


Films with an Environmental Focus

Project Objective: To raise awareness for the environment and promote environmental stewardship/sustainable living by hosting eco-focused films during the year. We will choose environmentally focused film(s) and conduct movie nights at the church to raise awareness within our UU community for the environment/sustainable living. 

Status: the Film series was launched in the spring of 2011 and films have been shown monthly.


Earth Day

Project Objective:  Celebrate Earth Day with the congregation and the wider community.

We plan to continue our recent presence at the Reno city-wide Earth Day celebration with a booth that demonstrates UUFNN’s environmental initiatives to the wider community and invites community members to join us in worship and in environmental action. 

Status: we participated in Earth Day each year that the festival was held.