Earth is in our hands

Promoting the seventh Principle of Unitarian Universalism:
to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Our mission is to educate ourselves and others about environmental issues; advocate public policies to protect the global environment; act locally in our homes, church and city; and connect spiritually with the web-of-all-existence. We work towards that mission by organizing educational, community-building action and service projects. Emerson is an accredited Green Sanctuary Congregation. We typically meet on the 4th Sunday of the month. Currently we are meeting virtually. Check the weekly e-blast for updates or send us an email ministryforearth@emersonhouston.org

Current events

Monday, October 18th at 6 Central Time – Join Side With Love’s virtual, national action rally  “UUs 4 Climate Justice”  

Join this online #Faiths4ClimateJustice offering for all UUs! UUs around the country will gather to celebrate today’s actions around the world, witness, and take action ourselves. Featuring Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise of GreenFaith, Rev. Ranwa Hammamy of Side with Love, and more. RSVP for this national climate action!

Amplify the voices of Indigenous peoples in the struggle for sovereignty and climate justice. Between now and November 30th, Emerson will host a community viewing and discussion of The Condor & The Eagle, a powerful and award-winning documentary that offers a glimpse into a developing spiritual renaissance as the film’s protagonists learn from each other’s long legacy of resistance to colonialism and its extractive economy. 

Willow Waterhole Greenspace Workday – Get your hands dirty!

Sunday, October 17, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Meet at the Swartz Gazebo in the park to sign in. Willow Waterhole Greenspace,  5300 Dryad Dr., Houston, TX 77035

 Calling all to care for our shared environment in partnership with the Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve. Activities for all ages and skill levels will use appropriate precautions to prevent spread of the Coronavirus.  Tools, supplies will be provided.  The conservancy requires signing of a waiver to participate. Please register for planning purposes on www.eventbrite.com at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fall-2021-interfaith-environmental-stewardship-event-tickets-167926198781.  Contact Lisa Brenskelle at gcs.lrc@gmail.com for more information. This event is organized by Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston, in partnership with the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy. 

Strike while the world is hot: Take Action for the climate!

Call your state senator and representative urging them to support Texas environmental and economic policies. To find out who represents you, see https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home Find out more about specific actions at Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Get access to expert advice on solar policy and technology at Solar 101

Here is the link to the Solar 101 – you can skip over the intro section… most recent webinar. This 30-minute video provides a quick rundown of the co-op process, solar technology, and finances. Thanks for being interested in roof-top solar! I’m happy to answer any questions you have along the way. –Dori

Dori Wolfe (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Houston Area Co-op Coordinator, 802-272-2328
 

What is GreenFaith?

Because the Earth and all people are sacred and at risk, GreenFaith is building a worldwide, multi-faith climate and environmental movement. Together our members create communities to transform ourselves, our spiritual institutions, and society to protect the planet and create a compassionate, loving and just world. 

The Vision of GreenFaith:  We envision a world transformed, in which humanity in all its diversity has developed a shared reverence for life on Earth. Religious and spiritual communities everywhere generate a moral awakening to the sacredness of Earth and the dignity of all people. Together, we are building resilient, caring communities and economies that meet everyone’s needs and protect the planet. The era of conquest, extraction, and exploitation has given way to cooperation and community.  The good life is one of connectedness—with each other and all of nature. It is a world of flourishing life that replaces despair with joy, scarcity with shared abundance, and privilege with justly distributed power.

Challenge yourself to help draw down the current level of CO2

Get new ideas and try changing your habits. Join the UU team! Sign up here . Organization Name = UU DD 2021, Team Name = UU DD 2021, Password = UU.

Environmental Justice (online)

Climate Effects on Indigenous Peoples


logo Carrizo-Comocrudo Tribe
Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM), along with the UU Service Committee (UUSC) and UU Ministry For Earth (UUMFE), is forging a new relationship with the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas. The Esto’k Gna have been leading environmental justice efforts along the so called Mexican-American border: protecting indigenous sacred sites, resisting construction of LNG (fracked gas) terminals and accompanying pipelines, and educating people about the environmental devastation the Border Wall will cause. Join this series of online conversations with the Tribe. The first two conversations explored native identity and lifeways and the pandemic of racism.

The Condor & the EagleCondor_Eagle_PosterWATCH THE TRAILER — won 8 awards including Best Environmental Documentary at the 2019 Red Nation Film Festival.

 

 

Acting on Climate Change

Going Renewable at Houses of Worship!

Dori Wolfe spoke Sept. 12th on Going Renewable at Houses of Worship! …and homes and businesses. Learn about attractive options, from solar panels to your property to those that have no impact on your property at all, such as solar co-ops, pricing discounts, and renewable power plans. Many of these options save you money while you care for the earth. IENOH presentation.

  • Renewable Congregations CampaignEmerson challenges other congregations to shift to 100% renewable energy. Book discussions included
  • In Jan. 2020, the congregation endorsed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763). We support the “fee and dividend” legislation to drive down America’s carbon pollution. Importantly, it provides monthly dividends to households. Learn More: Frequently Asked Questions(1 page handout) and Slides from Educational sessions.

Eating for a Healthy Planet

Ethical Eating and Environmental Justice

We support a transition to a plant-based diet. From the HoustonChronicle.com: Here are 35 places that exclusively serve vegan food in Houston

Plant-it-Forward Farms

One way to help them is to purchase their produce, Either purchase a share or buy at a weekly Farmers Market.

 

Consumption and Sustainability

We encourage members to refuse, reduce and reuse as well as recycle. We encourage members to use china, glassware, and cutlery instead of disposables for all events that provide food and drink. We encourage members to support urban farmers, such as Plant-it-Forward Farms, by signing up for community supported agriculture (CSA) shares and by purchasing at local Farmers Markets.

Recycling & Composting at Emerson

We had to remove the Republic Services recycling bin in the parking lot. While the church is not meeting in the building, we are seeking another company to pick up recycling at Emerson. Meanwhile, volunteers are again taking the recyclable material to a city collection location.

Composting continues. Please bury any compostable material you leave in the bin in the fenced area.

Resources

Houston Green Film Series(link to Facebook page) at Rice University

The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology is an international multireligious project contributing to an engaged moral force of religious environmentalism. Their website features the Forum’s new partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Faith for Earth Initiative, which highlights the moral and spiritual contributions of the world’s religions to our growing environmental challenges. It also has a section linking to their multimedia project and Emmy Award-winning film, Journey of the Universe.

Partner Organizations

UU Ministry for Earth – A national program of the UUA and the inspiration for our environmental work at Emerson. In 2011, the Emerson Green Sanctuary group took took the name Ministry for Earth. More info here https://www.uumfe.org/resources/world-water-day/

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is the leading organization in the nation advocating for climate change and its practical solutions. CCL works with all levels of legislative bodies and educates the general public on the “Carbon Fee & Dividend” program that is CCL’s central focus.

Did you know that Unitarian Universalists are some of the most active people in Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL)? UUs make up the largest faith-based action team within CCL, which rallies for federal legislation that would put a fee on carbon emissions and redistribute the funds. UUs see direct parallels between CCL’s values and UU principles: CCL’s bipartisanship nourishes democracy, and CCL groups see that by charging fossil fuel polluters, the economy will shift in favor of renewable energy sources, creating jobs and equity along the way. CCL has been endorsed by the UUA. Find a way to get involved!

Citizen’s Environmental Coalition (CEC) – The CEC is an alliance of over 130 diverse nonprofit, governmental, professional, conservation, advocacy, and educational organizations to foster education, dialogue, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston/Gulf Coast region. The weekly Houston Environmental News Update publicizes opportunities to become involved, take action, and make a difference.

Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston (IENOH) – Emerson UU Church is a founding member of the new Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston, an affiliate of Texas Interfaith Power and Light. The purpose of the new organization is to empower the faith community in Houston to advocate and act collectively as stewards of the environment. The organization is open to staff of local environmental non-profits, so that a strong connection between them and the faith community can be nurtured.

Texas Impact, an Austin-based interfaith justice advocacy organization, is the Texas chapter of Interfaith Power and Light, with both educational 501(d)3 and Advocacy 501c)4 activities.

Sunrise MovementFront yard climate strike posters

We participated in Stay-at-Home Climate Strike, April 24, 2020 from our yards with posters and banners.

t.e.j.a.s. is a front-line community organization that works in the Manchester area of Houston, near the ship channel. See the extensive Houston Chronicle article on March 15th about Bryan, one of the founders, at https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Environmental-justice-documentary-puts-spotlight-15126835.php#

Past Activities with Local Conservation and Animal Welfare Organizations

    • Supporting Corridor Rescue Coalition and Pet Adoption
    • Planting trees with Trees for Houston
    • Cleaning up the beaches and bayous (Adopt-a-Beach and Trash Bash)
    • Planting sea grass at the annual Marsh Mania with the Galveston Bay Foundation
    • Volunteering at Earth Day Houston

Certifications

Green Sanctuary Certification (2003)

Emerson was certified as a Green Sanctuary in 2003 through the process now administered by the UUA. Certification recognizes our work to expand eco-awareness to religious education, service, worship and sustainability of our church’s physical facilities.


LEED Certification of Delaney Hall (2006)

IMG_0852-LEED2-cropped

When Emerson began planning for Delaney Hall, the Green Sanctuary committee urged the architects to consider green building design and gave them a “Lean and Green Challenge” – to go as “green” as possible without adding cost to the building budget! The architects did such a good job of this that they themselves submitted the building for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). After the architects provided extensive documentation on demolition, materials and handling, and recycling and construction procedures, we received 29 points. Delaney Hall is the first church building in the U.S. to be LEED certified, and the third building (of any kind) in Houston to achieve this certification. The building features sustainable design and construction methods, energy conservation, use of recycled materials, and pollution prevention techniques (air, water, light). The grounds were landscaped with native or highly adapted plants. We use integrated pest management and avoid pesticides. We encourage the use of recycled and/or reusable products for meals and parties.