Congregational Stories

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Stories from Earth Day 2013

Congregations across the country are registering their Earth Day activities with UU Ministry for Earth. Click the Earth Day 2013 Registration link on the left to include your congregation! Check out what others are doing on this table of Earth Day events (updated April 25).

Here are this year's congregational Eco-Heros and/or Guardians of the Future 2013 nominations (in order of receipt; updated April 21):

Rev. Darcey Laine and President Katie Replogle
"Raise the consciousness of the congregation on ethical eating and healthy planet practices."
Chris Eng, Worship Team Chair, UU Church of Athens and Sheshequin, PA

Idaho Lorax
“Fought to remove the radio slag from the phosphorus ore tailings previously used for paving material.”
Robert Gehrke, Worship Committee Co-chair, Pocatello UU Fellowship, ID

Don Ehat
“He has made our trails accessible and rid us of invasive exotics. He's also our president.”
Marge Gonzalez, Interim DRE, UU Church of Fort Myers, FL

Billie Wachter
“Brought to us The Rights of Nature Movement. We voted on it on March 24.”
Geoffrey Rimositis, Associate Minister, First Unitarian Church, San Jose, CA

Robért Demarais Sullivan
“Organized many public events of witness & testimony about the Gulf Oil Spill & effects on our area.”
Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger, Minister, First UU, New Orleans and North Shore UU, Lacombe, LA

Dave Staudt
“Got compost bins built here at church!”
Barbara Prose, Assistant Minister, All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK

Mark Causey
“Mark brings his passion for ethical eating and sustainable living into worship & congregational life.”
Jan Taddeo, Minister, UU Congregation of Gwinnett, Lawrenceville, GA

Scott Prinzing
“Continual work promoting organic gardening, eco-awareness and sustainable living – often through music.”
Charlyn Scheffelman, Office Administrator and member, Billings UU Fellowship, MT

Dr. Wangari Maathai
“In honor of Dr. Wangari Maathai, we planted a tree as part of NWF's "Trees for the 21st Century."
Lisa Lawrence, Director of Religious Education, UU Church of Surprise, AZ

The Whole Congregation
“The entire congregation was celebrated in Spring 2012 for its leading role on cimate change/ faith-based groups,”
Pam Kelly, Social Justice co-chair, All Souls UU, Greenfield, MA

Anne Perkins
"For her leadership in many areas, including advocating against Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, against the Tar Sands XL pipeline, and for divestment from fossil fuel companies. She has also advocated for maximum energy efficiency in the about-to-be-constructed new addition to our meetinghouse."
Mary Wyse, Green Sanctuary Committee member, UU Society of Amherst, MA

Toni Bandrowicz
“Toni's generous spirit and leadership has guided and engaged us and made us a better community.”
Clare Campbell, Green Sanctuary Ministry Team member, UU Church of Greater Lynn, Swampscott, MA

Beth Brownlie-Oakes
“Beth helped to organize documentary showings and vegan potlucks to educate our community.”
Jessica Clay, congregant and seminarian, UU Community Church of Santa Monica, CA

Pat Clancy
“Pat is our Grounds Chair and active in multiple environmental activities.”
Susan Camasta, Green Sanctuary Chairperson, DuPage UU Church, Naperville, IL

Amy Hoffman-Shehan
“Amy leads a small team of volunteers that coordinates a free community festival.”
Doug Strong, Lay member (retired UU clergy), Red River UU Church, Denison TX

Raffy Ellias
“She leads the choir, along with her husband. She leads several services, she speaks about peace.”
Lisa Riener, worker, UU Congregation of Lakeland, FL

Rev. Lisa McDaniel-Hutchings
“She directs the Tucson Interfaith Power and Light ministry and was just ordained on April 7, 2013.”
Christine Heyde, Intern Minister, UU Church of Tucson, AZ

Dr. Rich Mattas
“He serves on our church’s Green Committee and has been instrumental in prairie conservation in our area.
Rev. Erik Carlson, Minister, UU Church of Stockton, IL

January Nordman
“She is one of the principals for creating the volunteer-supported 'Throop Learning Garden.'
George Yenoki, Throop Memorial UU Church, Pasadena, CA

Chad Tolman and Donna Gonzalez
“Donna lead Green Sanctuary Accreditation/Chad -climate blog, sea level advisory committee/speaker.”
Elizabeth Siftar, Green Sanctuary Co-Chair, First UU Wilmington, DE

Lisa Bilello
“She was responsible for the composting, planting and grounds beautification for the congregation.”
David Silver, Director of Religious Education, South Nassau UU Congregation, Freeport, NY

Karen Lynch
“Continues as a committee of one to nudge and invite the congregation to become educated and act.”
Joanne Giannino, Interim Minister, First Parish of Malden, MA

Dr. Frans Vergahen, Sociologist and Climatologist
“Consultant/Mentor, legacy as Sustainability Specialist, has new book on Climate Change for future.”
Dr. Fay Bennett Lord, UN & Global Affairs Committee Programs, Community Church of New York-UU

John & Carol Doscher
“Tireless members of our Green Sanctuary Team – John's passion is localization and Carol's is re-use.”
Darcey Lane, Minister, UU Church of Athens and Sheshequin, PA

David Uguccioni
“David, organic/sustainable gardener, planted our Earth Day vegetable garden on the church grounds.”
Mary Gelezunas, Congregation President, UU Parish of Monson, MA

Hal and Donna Estry
“They are members of our Mindful Eating group, and staff the table most Sundays with food and ideas.”
Debra Golden, Spritual Growth & Development Program Assistant, First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI