Green Sanctuary




Our mission

To lead the Congregation and the Community in living our Seventh Principle-

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

What’s Here

  • What’s coming up?

  • NEW: Environmental Justice Workshop

  •  NEW: List of our Projects

  • Who we are

  • What we do

  • The Green Sanctuary Csertification process

  • Resources

 What’s coming up?

  • October 29, Sun.                                   Green Sanctuary Service
  • 10:30                                      A celebration for Mother Earth. Environmental activist Linda Weltner, of Marblehead, will be our guest speaker. And don’t miss the unveiling of the NSUU Green Sanctuary Certification Projects list. These are the projects we determine to pursue over the next few years to gain our church’s Certification. Luncheon and discussion of the projects to follow the service.
  • Wednesdays starting November 1    Environmental Justice Workshop
  • 6:30-8:30, at NSUU          A 5-session UU curriculum on the meaning of Environmental Justice and how we can work for justice through our collaborations with others. See the details below.

Discover What Environmental Justice Means to Your Congregation and Community

This fall, the Green Sanctuary Team will be conducting a 5-session workshop based on the UU Ministry for Earth curriculum, “Our Place In The Web Of Life.” We will hold the sessions at NSUU from 6:30 to 8:30 on Wednesday nights, November 1, 8, 15, 29, and December 6 (but NOT Nov. 22). Register on the sign-up sheet in the Fellowship Hall, or email . There are a few spots still open, so sign up now.

“This highly-engaging, five-session class invites participants to look deeply at the consequences of their actions on people and the environment–close at home and then further away in communities across the nation and world. Through film, music, participatory research, visual mapping, ethical reflection, meditation and ritual, participants wrestle with what it means to be faithfully and justly part of an inter-connected community of life.”

Come early, if you wish, for a light supper at 6:00. There is no fee for this course, but donations will be gratefully accepted to cover the cost of materials and suppers.

A Sneak Peek at the Projects for our Green Sanctuary Certification

Be sure to attend the discussion following the October 29 service for descriptions and details of these projects.

Environmental Justice

  1. Environmental Action Inter-faith Coordination

Worship and Celebration

  1. Earth Day Service
  2. Winter Solstice Service
  3. Special Services and Programs Emphasizing Call to Action
  4. Memorial Garden

Religious Education

  1. Ethical Eating
  2. Cosmic Experience
  3. 100-mile Picnic
  4. Environmental Booth
  5. National Wildlife Federation’s Garden Certifcation
  6. “Our Place in the Web of Life”
  7. Pepperweed Pull

Sustainable Living

  1. Recycling of Paper, Plastic, Glass, and Metal
  2. Reusable Kitchenware
  3. Window Replacement
  4. Solar Panel Investigation
  5. Heat Pump Investigation
  6. Composting of Food Scraps
  7. Community Gardening



Big Mama’s Kitchen (video) Pepperweed Pull 2016 (video) Solstice Service 2016 (audio) Green Sanctuary Learn at Lunch (audio and slides)
Sing for the Climate


Who we are:

The Green Sanctuary Team essentially is composed of the entire congregation. A small group of “Stalwarts”, chaired by Iain Goddard, attends regular monthly meetings and does much of the coordination work for events and projects. “Friends” are anyone who wants to be on the email list for Team discussions and notices. “Everybody” includes all the congregation: minister, staff, members, and friends of the church.

What we do:

As stated in our Mission Statement (see above) we have a leadership and coordination function for NSUU activities and practices that put us more in harmony with the environment, Nature, and Mother Earth. We see this as an effort that will go on for our forthcoming centuries. As an initial milestone, we are undertaking the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Green Sanctuary Certification process (see below).

In addition, we feel we have a responsibility to our community – Danvers and the North Shore – to participate in common actions of environmental defense and climate justice. We monitor several organizations that are active in these fields and help publicize their activities to the congregation.

Examples of activities led by the Green Sanctuary Team include:

1. New Peace Pole at path to church from Danvers Rail Trail. July 2017


2 – Sunset from Halibut Point, Rockport; the climax of our Cosmic Experience. July 2017


3 – Endicott Park Day 2017 booth; we shared information about pollinators, and had a great beanbag game and face painting as well. June 2017



4- In conjunction with Mass. Audubon, several NSUU
members went to the Ipswich marshes to pull out
invasive Pepperweed. June 2017


5 – At the Rockport Climate March. April 2017


6 – Pollinators rule at the Earth Day Service. April 2017




7. Friends gather at NSUU for the 100-mile potluck picnic, using local ingredients. September 2017



f.Ethical Eating in kitchen

8 – Members of our Ethical Eating study group hard at work in the NSUU kitchen, preparing a healthy and earth-friendly meal. July 2016



















The Green Sanctuary Certification process:

The first step of the Green Sanctuary Certification process (see below) is an Energy Audit, which we completed last year. We have now completed the second step, a Congregational Assessment. This is a snapshot of our current practices in several areas of celebration, environmental justice, sustainability, and religious education.

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Green Sanctuary Program is a certification program that recognizes a congregation’s ongoing commitment to the environment. The process of gaining this certification has several components, and often takes three to five years to accomplish. Essentially, though, the certification serves as a starting point for continual improvement. As the UUA website describes the program:

“Now in its sixth edition, the Green Sanctuary Program provides a path for congregational study, reflection, and action for today’s environmental challenges – including climate change and environmental justice. Successful completion results in Green Sanctuary accreditation: a formal recognition of a congregation’s service and dedication to the Earth.

Congregations begin by examining their current environmental impact, then move towards developing sustainable practices grounded in Unitarian Universalism. There are four focus areas: Environmental Justice, Worship and Celebration, Religious Education, and Sustainable Living.”