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 ministryforearth@emersonhouston.org

Innovative Energy Fest

Sunday, June 19th
3 to 5 PM
Emerson UU Church
1900 Bering Drive, North side of Campus
 (park on south side of sanctuary) 
The Innovative Energy Fest is a family-friendly outing where participants can team up to build and race solar-powered model cars and play fun, educational games about our new energy future. The event features a
“passport” book to get stamped from each activity station allowing the
attendees to win a prize. More at https://emersonhouston.org/event/energy-fest/

Let us know you’re coming;  Please register here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/351329525067

Build Back Fossil Free  people pushing back against pipelines and drilling, asking Biden to take action on climate

In February, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church signed onto our coalition letter, along with over 1,100 other organizations, demanding President Biden stop approving fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency.   

Check out which businesses are good for the environment!

Texas Energy Policy Simulator

Use the Texas Energy Policy Simulator to test how various policy initiatives would measure up.  Check it out at: https://texas.energypolicy.solutions/docs/?emci=b789a1b4-51d4-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&emdi=60b67d4a-84d4-ec11-b656-281878b8c32f&ceid=532783

Shop Socially & Environmentally Responsible Businesses

Vote with your money and shop at sustainable businesses! Check out this list:  https://www.greenamerica.org/green-businesses-products-services 

Cool Congregations Challenge: Winners and 3 UU Runners-up

Get inspired by the winners of the Cool Congregations Challenge! THREE UU congregations made the runners-up list. Check out how these congregations have cared for the earth we all share: https://www.coolcongregations.org/2022-cool…/ and consider what Emerson could do!

Pledge to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter

Join people of all faiths in pledging to care for every living creature and community suffering the impacts of a changing climate – from extreme heat, to wildfires, to devastating droughts, to flooding, to more frequent and supercharged storms. Pledge to be a consistent voter and to vote with climate justice in mind, see: https://interfaithpowerandlight.salsalabs.org/faithvoterpledge2022fcaw/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=c5f79745-a00e-4a72-bda1-9d634941cd43.

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 http://greenhoustontx.gov/climateactionplan/

 

Earth Church many people with banner reading Many Faiths, One Planet

Jim Blackburn and artist Isabelle Scurry Chapman.  At the center of Earth-based spirituality is the Earth itself, that wonderful planet without which we would not be. A recording will be available soon.

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

 

 

 

Environmental Justice Efforts along the Border

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 you 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

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

Urge Toyota & GM to Accelerate Electric Vehicles

Transportation is the number one source of climate pollution in the United States. Urge Toyota & GM to make light duty vehicles 100% electric by 2035 at https://interfaithpowerandlight.salsalabs.org/goev/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=e2f81a87-9f60-43e0-be89-38453924ff9c

Expert advice on solar policy and technology at Solar 101

This 30-minute video provides a quick rundown of the co-op process, roof-top solar technology, and finances. Or contact Dori Wolfe (She/Her/), Houston Area Co-op Coordinator, 802-272-2328.

A free solar co-op makes it easy to save money with a bulk discount by going solar in a group. See Solar United Neighbors

Challenge yourself to help draw down the current level of CO2

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.

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.

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!

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. Learn More: Frequently Asked Questions(1 page handout) and Slides from Educational sessions.

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 Campaign – Emerson 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#

Certifications

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)

IMG_0852-LEED2-cropped

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.