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 a certified Green Sanctuary Congregation. Check the weekly e-blast for meeting updates or send us an email ministryforearth@emersonhouston.org

Sunday, January 23th, 3:00 PM ONLINE –  Ministry for Earth 

Join us online at https://emersonhouston.org/MFEmeets  to consider a Climate Action Plan for Emerson. Can we do anything to reduce Emerson’s energy use? What options should we consider? 

Developing a Climate Action Plan allows us to develop strategies that will not only help minimize our carbon footprint but can help save money and improve the functionality of our buildings and grounds. 

Learn about Houston’s wide-ranging plan here http://greenhoustontx.gov/climateactionplan/

 

Trash Bash logo shows fish, crab, and bird  Trash Bash 2022 Returns to On-Site Cleanups! 

Saturday, March 26, 2022. Find a location in the Galveston Bay Watershed and sign up. New guidelines for public safety and social distancing will be used.  Most sites run from 8 AM to 12 NOON. Select a site and register to avoid overwhelming any one site.     https://www.trashbash.org/

Earth Day Houston 2022 logo for Earth Day Houston shows sunrise over skyscrapers

Sunday, April 10, 2022 Discovery Green Park,  Noon -5 PM. Free Admission. 

 

Photos from Our Climate Witness at Emerson: A Vigil for Our Planet

Earth vigil, looking south

Sunday, November 7, in the front yard of Emerson. Because we care about our planet, we witnessed our hope for the success of COP26, the international conference on climate change.

Climate-posters-in-front-of-church

 

 

 

Share the Plate Recipient for November 2021

logo Carrizo-Comocrudo TribeTexas 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.

Stay Informed and Make your Opinions Known

Front yard climate strike posters

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

Join CreateClimateJustice.net, the online community organizing hub for climate justice activism among Unitarian Universalists.

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.

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, roof-top solar technology, and finances. I’m happy to answer any questions you have along the way. — Dori Wolfe (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers), Houston Area Co-op Coordinator, 802-272-2328

Challenge yourself to help draw down the current level of CO2

Eating for a Healthy Planet; Your Food Choices Matter

Ethical Eating

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

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.

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.

Volunteer to handle recycling & composting at Emerson

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.

Partner Organizations

UU Ministry for Earth – (UUMFE) A national program of the UUA and the inspiration for our environmental work at Emerson. In 2003 Emerson was certified as a Green Sanctuary Congregation. In 2011, the Emerson Green Sanctuary group took took the name Ministry for Earth to match the parent organization.

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. UUs make up the largest faith-based action team within CCL!

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.

Renewable Congregations CampaignEmerson challenges other congregations to shift to 100% renewable energy.

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#

With Your Help, These Past Activities Can Be Repeated:

    • 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.