The move to our new building is closer than ever! We have begun to pack our boxes and put the final touches on our new space. We expect to move May 16-May 18.
Throughout this process, Jean Carroon, our principal architect, has been a steady and purposeful guiding hand in our efforts to create a sustainable, healthy workplace. Jean has an outstanding record in green architecture (she actually wrote the book: Sustainable Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings) and her efforts on our behalf are leading us to seek a strong LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. As Jean says, “It is typical of what the UUA is, that you are part of what will change the world.” The LEED certification will be an acknowledgement of the importance we placed on creating a green workplace, and we hope that our efforts will be a model that other organizations and architects will follow.
As Unitarian Universalists, environmental justice is of primary importance to us. I’ve asked the Rev. Sarah Lammert, our Director of Ministries and Faith Development, to share her thoughts on the connection between sustainability and our UU faith.
Thank you for joining us on this journey to our new faith home. I look forward to sharing pictures and additional updates with you in the coming weeks as we move to our newly-renovated green building.
Back in 1992 I attended my first General Assembly in Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. I was a twenty-eight year old seminarian, and I was invited to join the board of the 7th Principle Project, the precursor to today’s UU Ministry for Earth. That small, dedicated band came up with the Green Sanctuary program, which is our Unitarian Universalist version of LEED for congregations, as well as many environmental justice resolutions. It was my first taste of denominational leadership. More importantly, it helped form me as a minister because it provided a bridge between justice advocacy and spirituality.
As Unitarian Universalists, we know that the life of the spirit cannot be separated from our physical existence here on earth. Our UU faith is bookended by two principles, the first declaring the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the seventh declaring that we are interdependent with all life.
What this means is that we hold an expanded definition of the self, one that values the preciousness of every unique person while also recognizing that none of us is a self alone.
Our UUA has a proud history of leadership in environmental justice. Over and over again, I have seen us affirm sustainable, healthy ways of living with our Earth. And today, I would like to challenge every one of us to consider the ways we can live out our commitment to our world in our homes, our offices, and our congregations.
May we live knowing our fundamental relatedness to all beings. May our new building be a beacon as we take up the mantle of the leadership for a greener, more just, more sustainable way of living as people of faith.