Community for Earth
The First Unitarian Community for Earth, Social Justice Group is based on the 7th Principle of the Unitarian Faith,“Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”. Our purpose is to inspire, support, and promote changes in ourselves, our congregation and our society. We strive to connect our spiritual community through education, action, and faith in our ability to protect the Earth for future generations and ourselves.
Meetings are at 9:00 every 2nd Sunday in room A303
Everyone is Welcome!
Go to the CFE Website for the information on our next meeting and the work we do.
Community for Earth 2016 – 2017
Our Community for Earth Social Justice Committee worked to find the best ways, during this difficult year, to respond to the climate crisis. Projects and actions included efforts at increasing collaborations within the
congregation, denomination and the community. Our areas of focus were Fossil Fuels, Legislative Action, and Green Sanctuary. We culminated the year by marching with our church and other UU’s as Portland participated in the Worldwide Climate March.
The Fossil Fuel focus area included many actions coordinated with the Climate Action Coalition (CAC) and other community environmental groups. CFE members joined the CAC and Sierra Club resistance to new fossil fuel infrastructure, holding “The Thin Green Line”, to halt advancement of new fossil fuel infrastructure into the Pacific Northwest. Actions included:
- Members participated in demonstrations, resistance and awareness efforts involving the Kalama Methanol Plant, the LNG plants at Jordon Cove, the coal terminals in Vancouver WA and Longview and more.
- Members helped with fundraising for the “Valve Turners“, and offered support to the Standing Rock resistance to the Dakota Pipe Line by raising funds and supplies for Portland’s “Bunk Bus“.
- Members encouraged, supported, and celebrated as City Hall adopted their “No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure” policies.
- We hosted a presentation by Unitarian Don Gayton, “Not Impossible”, which outlined his ideas to address global warming.
Members interested in legislative action found Don Merrick a capable leader. He followed legislation closely and provided members regular updates and information about local climate bills. CFE looked for opportunities to support bills that would help to reduce the effects of global warming. CFE members:
- witnessed, testified and presented comments on the proposal by DEQ titled on “Considerations For Designing A Cap-and Trade Program In Oregon”, initially when they Department of Environmental Quality held community hearing and then when they offered their final report to the Oregon Legislature
- participated in a lobby Day organized by OLCV and lobbied their legislators in support of for climate change legislation.
- testified or submitted written comments in favor of SB 557, a bill that would have cap and invest program for the state.
GREEN SANCTUARY REACCREDITATION:
The Unitarian “Green Sanctuary” program is a nationally accredited program launched by the UU “Ministry for Earth” in 2001. Our Church was one of the first five congregations accredited in 2002. Past projects have been directed toward energy conservation, ethical eating, and religious education. When the Buchan Building was designed, Green Sanctuary advocates successfully encouraged incorporating energy efficiency, recycled materials, and other green elements in the design. CFE has been working toward Green Sanctuary re-accreditation the last few years and we are getting close.
Green Sanctuary 2017:
- Thanks to Linda Craig’s big push this year we are near to getting solar panels installed on the Church roof. This project, several years in the making, will be in partnership with Elemental Energy, the Oregon Clean Power Cooperative, and the Energy Trust of Oregon. Look for photos next year!
- An all-church team was created and 52 First Church members participated in the NWEI Eco Challenge a friendly community competition designed to help individuals commit to earth friendly actions to reduce their carbon Footprint. The First Church team ranked 52nd out of 450 region-wide teams.
Community For Earth Ongoing Activities
Fuller Hall Coffee Hour Table: Community for Earth joins other social justice church groups at First Church in hosting an information table each Sunday,during coffee hour at Fuller Hall. At our table we display timely information about our areas of focus and events that we sponsor or support. At the table you will often find ways to get actively involved and can sign up for our Google Group to get regular group updates. The very popular DVD lending library is here too and a friendly Community for Earth member is present to welcome you and answer any questions you might have.
Environmental Film Library: Community for Earth started its popular Environmental Film Library in the fall of 2012 with only fourteen DVDs. It has now grown to almost eighty titles, with about half of them checked out at any one time! Stop by our table in Fuller Hall after Sunday services and borrow a DVD for up to three weeks, free of charge. Film donations are welcome.”
Chinook Book Sales: Since 2009 the Chinook Book has been our annual fundraiser. The money we earn helps pay for the year’s activities and events. We are happy to work with Chinook Book to sell the coupon book that promotes local, sustainable business, and sells products and services that have a reduced environmental impact. The books are available for purchase at the UU Bookstore from September through the winter holidays.
Community for Earth 2015 – 2016
Community for Earth raised funds through sale of the Chinook Book and thanks to help from Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell and her husband was able to purchase the Stop Global Warming Banner that now hangs on the north end of the Church. The banner helps to demonstrate our congregational commitment and sense of urgency about global warming.
Three committees organized our group’s work in the 2015 to 2016 church year. The committees were Fossil Fuels, Legislative Action, Green Sanctuary and Indigenous Rights.
FOSSIL FUELS AND LEGISLATIVE ACTION
Many of the Fossil Fuel Committee activities have been coordinated with the Climate Action Coalition, a consortium of activist organizations working against Global Warming and working to hold the “Thin Green Line” by blocking new fossil fuel pipelines and facilities in our region. Actions have included convincing FERC not to license the Jordan Cove LNG facility, and legislative work to help pass the coal transitions bill in the Oregon Legislature. The committee is also allied with groups in support of legislation to put a price on carbon pollution and move Oregon and the nation to a sustainable clean fuels future.
GREEN SANCTUARY RECERTIFICATION
This focus group was created to begin work to renew our Portland First Church’s Green Sanctuary Recertification. Efforts towards getting solar panels for First Church began, a church-wide recycling audit and recycling improvement plan was implemented and a Children’s Earth Day Event provided an opportunity for education and fun for the children in the Church.
The work of the Indigenous Rights committee culminated on March 12th with a workshop, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change”, facilitated by Rev. Katherine Jesch and designed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of the indigenous people of North America. A dinner including local and traditional ingredients was shared following the workshop where Paul Lumley talked about the history and significance of indigenous foods. This event was open to the public and offered as a Social Justice event in the “Beyond Violence” series.
OPPOSITION TO PEMBINA PROPANE TERMINAL The Canadian Company, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, had proposed building a propane export terminal at the Port of Portland on the Columbia River by 2018. The pipeline required a zoning code amendment to a sensitive conservation area along the Columbia. Community For Earth was active in opposition to the Portland Pembina Propane Terminal. Our members joined with hundreds of other activist to oppose the project. Reverend Kate Lore and Marilyn Sewell both testified in opposition. On May 7th 2015, Mayor Charlie Hales withdrew support for the terminal!
This focus group was created to begin work to renew our Portland First Church’s Green Sanctuary re-certification. Work was started towards getting solar panels for First Church, a church-wide recycling audit and recycling improvement plan was implemented and a Children’s Earth day Event provided an opportunity for education and fun for the children in the Church.
ARC LOGISTICS OIL TRAIN PROTEST: Community for Earth members and Rev. Kate Lore were among 100 people who gathered to protest oil trail shipments at Arc Logistics on October 9th. “We must stand together and draw a green line between oil exporters and ourselves.” Rev. Lore said. “Let us leave oil in the ground; let us protect the beauty and life of this region; let us say “no” to oil exports.” Click here for more.
Unitarian Universalist Association
UU Ministry for Earth
Climate Action Coalition