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?

  • Final Report on the Person Assessment Survey

  •  NEW: Media links

  • NEW: Summary of the Personal Assessment summary

  • Who we are

  • What we do

  • The Green Sanctuary Csertification process

  • Resources

 What’s coming up?

  • May 17, Wed. Ethical Eating

The first meeting of the new Ethical Eating session, at NSUU at 6:00. Contact Tom Gale

  • May 24, Wed. Green Sanctuary Meeting

6:30-8pm      Join us in the NSUU Library for the latest on Green doings at church. Contact Iain Goddard

  • June 10, Sat. Pepperweed Pull

See details below. A morning in the Ipswich marshes eradicating invasive plants. Contact Karin Peterson

  • June 24, Sat. Endicott Park Day

9am – 2pm   Our annual booth at Endicott Park, part of Danvers Family Festival. This year our theme is Pollinators. Contact Iain Goddard to volunteer, or just come visit.

  • July 9, Sun. Halibut Point Cosmic Experience

8:22pm           The Sun sinks slowly in the west and the Moon floats up in the east from a dramatic oceanside promentory.

  • August 7, Mon. (Halibut Point Cosmic Experience rain date)

7:56pm           In case we got murked out on July 9.

  • TBA 100-Mile Picnic

This year it will be a separate event from the Cosmic Experience. Savor potluck dishes made entirely (as much as possible) from Local ingredients. We’re still working on the date and location.

Final Report on the Personal Assessment Survey:

You can find a summary of the report on this webpage, below. But the full report (in two sections) is available by following these links:

For our personal habits:

For our Project suggestions:


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


Summary of the Personal Assessment Survey:

We have received 36 completed personal assessments to date. A final report on all the assessments we have received through January will be available at the Green Sanctuary meeting after the church service on Sunday, February 19. Here is a concise summary of what we have found.

The top green practices that people follow at home are:

  1.   Turn off lights when not in the room (97% of respondents)
  2.   Combine errands (89%)
  3.   Use washable dishes vs. paper (89%)
  4.   Recycle aggressively (86%)
  5.   Use refillable water bottle (81%)

At the Earth Day service in 2016 we invited the congregation to make one or more “green pledges”. One third of the survey respondents indicated that they had made one or more Earth Day pledges. Just under half of these reported that they had been successful in keeping their pledges, and the rest were “sort of” successful.

We got many excellent suggestions of projects and practices that Northshore UU Church could undertake to get greener. Many people requested a menu of possible projects to choose from, and we intend to publish such a list later this year. The top five Green Projects that were suggested in the survey were:

  1.   Better recycling with composting
  2.   Solar Panels: investigate and make happen if possible
  3.   Reduce the amount of paper and plastic we discard
  4.   Establish a garden. There were several variations on this including native plants, herbs or vegetables and a kid-friendly garden.
  5.   Reduce water use through optimized plumbing fixtures, rain barrels, etc.

Of course, we have already begun addressing #1 with the new recycling systems, and #3 with encouragement to use ceramic coffee mugs and other washable dishes. More steps will be taken.

All the projects we do now and in the future will be positive actions to improve our relationship with the environment. Many of the projects will be included in our Green Sanctuary certification efforts, but certification is really just a milestone. We are mindfully committing to our seventh UU principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of existence, of which we are a part.” This will be an ongoing commitment for decades or centuries to come.

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 – At the Rockport Climate March. April 2017


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

b.100-mile potluck

3 – Friends from 3 UU churches gather for the 100-mile potluck picnic in Rockport. August 2016





c.Sunset at Halibut Point

4 – Sunset from Halibut Point, Rockport; the climax of our 100-mile potluck picnic. August 2016

















5 – Endicott Park Day 2016 booth crew; we shared information about healthy and earth-friendly food, and had a great beanbag game and face painting as well. June 2016




6 – In conjunction with Mass. Audubon, several NSUU members went to the Ipswich marshes to pull out invasive Pepperweed. June 2016


f.Ethical Eating in kitchen

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




8 – The Recycling Game at our Endicott Park Day booth in 2015, along with the booth crew. Our theme was, of course, Recycling. June 2015

















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.”