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 meetings or contact us at

Stories of Hope Amid Ecological Crisis – online, Tuesdays at 6 PM.  Five sessions; begins August 15

Check out this great virtual lecture series with the registration link:

 Eating Plant-Based for Our Climate and Health.  Your Faith Community Can, Too!
Sunday, October 8, 3 p.m. central, online

A healthy, plant-based meal on a plate A year ago, our ministers directed church staff to change the Sunday lunch menu to plant-based food. What inspired them to act? For a year, our church’s Climate Action Team has hosted monthly plant-based potlucks. The potlucks turn out five times as many participants as the monthly lectures that we used to hold. That’s inspiration! 

Eating plant-based for our climate will help as much as solar, reports Project Drawdown. Plus, health experts are encouraging us all to eat more plant-based foods. Eating more plant-based foods makes it easy for everyone to help the planet and their own health. Nan Hildreth, leader of the Climate Action Team at First Unitarian Universalist Church, and team member Karoline Mueller, Ph.D., will tell the story of their church's journey toward plant-based eating, but they’d also like to hear from the audience about their experiences at their faith communities. Register for this event on at Contact Lisa Brenskelle at for more information.

Save Green with rebates and tax credits!

The Inflation Reduction Act contains both rebates (for low and moderate income households) and tax credits (broadly available) for energy efficiency upgrades and use of renewables, available through 2032.  Check out the benefits you qualify for at:

How the Inflation Reduction Act helps you and your community go solar

This site explains it all, including benefits for non-profit organizations like faith communities; benefits for electric vehicles; more efficient home electrical systems.  Check it out:


Green Sanctuary Certification (2003)

Emerson was certified as a Green Sanctuary in 2003, recognizing 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)

When Emerson began planning for Delaney Hall, the Green Sanctuary committee issued a “Lean and Green Challenge” to the architects: go as “green” as possible without adding cost to the building budget! The architects did such a good job that they themselves proposed the building for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The architects provided extensive documentation on demolition, material selection and handling, and construction procedures. Delaney Hall is the first church building in the U.S. to be LEED certified (29 points) 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 that do not need irrigation. Church policies call for integrated pest management,  avoiding pesticides, use of recycled and/or reusable products for meals and parties.

Heat in Houston: Justice Implications, Solutions, & How People of Faith Can Engage

Heat is the greatest weather-related disaster in the U.S., killing more people than any other kind of natural disaster. And, Texas is one of three states with the highest heat-related deaths. Houston’s urban heat issues are already serious and are forecasted to get much worse with the Climate Crisis. Urban heat negatively affects human and biodiversity health throughout the region, exacts a financial toll, leads to higher ozone levels, and reduces quality of life. Heat mapping in Houston has shown that high heat is more concentrated in underinvested communities and/or Communities of Color, thereby widening historic inequalities. Fortunately, there are solutions that can be brought to bear to reduce urban heat. Join Jaime Gonzalez of The Nature Conservancy, who led heat mapping efforts in Houston, for a discussion on the findings, their justice implications, solutions, and how houses of worship/people of faith can engage. *Emerson’s Ministry for Earth is represented on the planning committee by Ann May.


“The world is never going to be, in human time, more intact than it is at this moment. Therefore it falls to those of us alive now to watch and record its flora, its fauna, its rains, its snow, its ice, its peoples. To document the buzzing, glorious, cruel, mysterious planet we were born onto, before in our carelessness we leave it far less sweet.”   Bill McKibben

A Climate Action Plan for Emerson?

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

Because we care about our planet, we witnessed our hope for the success of COP26, the international conference on climate change, in November 2021.

Environmental Justice Efforts along the Border

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.

Make your Opinions Known

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

In Jan. 2020, the Emerson congregation voted to endorse the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763). Emerson supports the “fee and dividend” legislation to drive down America’s carbon pollution and provides monthly dividends to households. Learn More: Frequently Asked Questions(1 page handout) and Slides from Educational sessions.

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

Eating for a Healthy Planet; Your Food Choices Matter

Consider why the food we eat matters not just for our health, but for the health of all people and the planet.

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.

Partner Organizations

  • Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston (IENOH)an affiliate of Texas Interfaith Power and Light & Texas Impact. The purpose of IENOH is to empower the faith community in Houston to advocate and act collectively as stewards of the environment.
  • 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) – an affiliate of Texas Interfaith Power and Light & Texas Impact. The purpose of IENOH is to empower the faith community in Houston to advocate and act collectively as stewards of the environment.
  • Renewable Congregations Campaign – Emerson challenges other congregations to shift to 100% renewable energy. In Jan. 2020, the Emerson congregation endorsed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763). Emerson supports the “fee and dividend” legislation to drive down America’s carbon pollution. Importantly, it provides monthly dividends to households.
  • 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 501(c)4 activities.

  • t.e.j.a.s. is a front-line community organization that works in the Manchester area of Houston, near the ship channel. Story about Bryan, one of the founders, at
  • Sunrise Movement Stay-at-Home Climate Strike, April 24, 2020