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

·        NEW: Green Sanctuary Application

·       Who we are

·       What we do

·       The Green Sanctuary Certification process

·       Resources




Green Sanctuary Application

*R * E * J * O * I * C * E *
In time for Earth Day 2018, we have been approved by the UUA as Candidates for the Green Sanctuary program.  This approval is a big deal, and has come as the culmination of a couple of years of getting an Energy Audit, preparing a Congregational Assessment, taking the Personal Assessment surveys, and developing our list of 19 Green Projects.
[For the detail-oriented, click here for our application.]
We got our application approved with no modifications or review cycles, which is a satisfying accomplishment.  What’s next?  Work on the 19 projects!  And what are the projects? Based on input and suggestion by you, O NSUU members (in our various surveys and discussion sessions), they are:



Interfaith Environmental Action Partnership Group – EJ 1

·           Collaborate on advocating our values and concerns, together with other faith groups

·           Coordinator: Bob Gamer

·           Status: ongoing; begun in August 2017


Earth Day Services – WC 1

·           Inter-generational services of music and readings celebrating the Earth and its beauty.

·           Coordinator: Green Sanctuary Team and RE Director

·           Status: annual; begun in 2014


Winter Solstice Services – WC 2

·           A celebration of the darkness and the lights with songs and stories

·           Coordinator: Music Director and Religious Services Committee

·           Status: annual, near the Winter Solstice; a NSUU tradition for many years


Environment-Focused Services – WC 3

·           Services to inform and to inspire action, often with guest speakers, in addition to the Earth Day Services

·           Coordinator:  Green Sanctuary Team and Religious Services Committee

·           Status: at least annual; begun in 2017


Memorial Garden – WC 4

·           A hallowed garden in memory of beloved members.

·         Creating a peaceful sacred space in nature with local plants to attract pollinators

·           Coordinator: Memorial Garden Committee

·         Timeline: proposed start and completion in 2018; Funds are allocated and design consultants are engaged


Ethical Eating – RE 1

·           A 6-session UU curriculum (“DOVE”) on the impacts of our food choices.

·           Coordinator: Tom Gale

·           Status: periodic; two offerings completed so far, in 2016 and 2017


Cosmic Experience – RE 2

·         A quiet spiritual reflection during simultaneous sunset and moonrise over the sea, held at Halibut Point State Park, Rockport

·           Coordinator: Karin Peterson

·           Status: annual; begun 2016


100-Mile Picnic – RE 3

·           A potluck with the ingredients coming from within a 100-mile radius.

·           Coordinator: Karin Peterson

·           Status: annual; begun 2016


Environmental Booth – RE 4

·         Community Educational Booth at Endicott Park Day, and NSUU Harvest Festival

·         With different environmental topics each year, including Topical brochures, giveaways, and kids’ program

·           Coordinator: Iain Goddard

·           Status: annual; begun June 2015


NWF Habitat Certification – RE 5

·           National Wildlife Federation Certified Garden program

·           RE children and youth survey our property to insure sources of food, water, shelter, nesting for wildlife

·           Coordinator: RE program

·           Timeline: perhaps to begin spring 2018; certification completed by the following Earth Day


“Our Place in the Web of Life” – RE 6

·           A 5-session UU Ministry for Earth curriculum on Environmental Justice

·           Coordinators: Karin Peterson and Iain Goddard

·           Status: Completed; followup session scheduled April 2018


Pepperweed Pull – RE 7

·           Work with Mass. Audubon and other groups to remove the invasive Pepperweed from a section of The Great Marsh

·           Coordinator: Karin Peterson

·           Status: annual; begun 2016


Recycling – SL 1

·           Recycle all appropriate materials using weekly Danvers town recycling program

·           Coordinator: Loring Bradlee

·           Status: ongoing; begun May 2016


Reusable Kitchenware – SL 2

·           Eliminate disposable cups and plates at church functions, using both dishwashers

·           Coordinator: Marcella Guerriero

·           Status: ongoing; begun January 2017


Window Replacement – SL 3

·           Replace the leaky old windows in the RE wing to improve comfort and security, and reduce heating bills and carbon footprint

·           Coordinator: Building & Grounds Committee

·           Timeline: now in planning and bid solicitation; expected installation spring/summer 2018


Solar Panel Investigation – SL 4

·           What would it take to install solar panels? What would it take to use all our energy from renewable sources?

·           Coordinator: TBD

·           Timeline: Feasibility report by Sept. 2018; implementation plan by Sept. 2019


Heat Pump Investigation – SL 5

·           Can we replace our baseboard electric heaters by split-head heat pumps?

·           Coordinator: TBD

·           Timeline: Feasibility report by Sept. 2018; implementation plan by Sept. 2019


Composting – SL 6

·           Collect food scraps from church functions and convert to compost

·           Coordinator: TBD

·         Timeline: Pilot program in place April 2018; full program implemented April 2019


Community Gardening – SL 7

·           Workg together to grow food crops and sharing them with food pantries.

·         Get access to multiple public or private garden plots, determine best crops to grow, share the workload

·           Coordinator: TBD

·           Timeline: have some garden plots in production for summer 2018; increase production in future seasons


Please note that many (most?) of the projects have already been implemented or at least been begun.  Also, note that several projects still need a coordinator!  This could be you!  Please contact Iain Goddard or Bob Gamer to get involved.

And if your favorite project isn’t listed, fear not. This marks our first steps on a Green path for our next 200 years. We will always want new green projects to undertake.  So, dear friends, “Onward and upward!



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.”