The Green Sanctuary Committee recommends that People’s Church join the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition (KCCC) to affirm our commitment to work actively toward alleviating and remediating Climate Change. Part of the business at the People’s Church annual meeting on May 17 will be to consider and vote on this proposal. This aligns well with much of the work we already are doing and would put us on record in the community as being concerned about climate change and committed to taking action to minimize our carbon footprint. To find out more about KCCC, see their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kalamazoocrisis/. A list of current KCCC members can be found HERE. Let us know if you need a paper copy, and we’ll get one to you.
The KCCC Principles of Affiliation state that “coalition goals are to establish an affiliation of local groups interested in climate action in order to share resources and information and sustain high levels of citizen mobilization to address the climate crisis.” That document outlines the responsibilities of coalition members and describes how the member groups will work together. It states that KCCC will work to direct “collective efforts to build campaigns, educate the public and influence governments, businesses, community groups, educational and other institutions to take urgent action.”
When considering whether People’s should join KCCC, Green Sanctuary recognized
- That global climate change presents an existential crisis to the entire global community and all beings;
- That the climate crisis has been, in large part, brought about by human activities and excesses;
- That we, as full participants in the overuse and exploitation of the planet’s resources, bear a share of the responsibility for the current crisis;
- That we have a desire and responsibility to work to correct the conditions that have brought about this crisis in order to preserve a habitable world for our children and future generations; and
- That by joining KCCC and having a seat at that table, we commit ourselves to doing this work in community, rather than as a separate entity.
We already have begun to develop a Net Zero Carbon Plan designed to reduce the church’s carbon footprint to net zero by the year 2030. We also have been providing practical information to church members and friends through newsletter articles and programs about how we all can reduce our personal and household carbon footprints. In addition, we believe it is important for our church to exercise leadership in the faith community as we collaborate with the broader community toward reducing emission of greenhouse gases. This work is in accord with the 7th Principle of Unitarian Universalism, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” This commitment has been underlined through action at General Assembly, starting with the 2006 Statement of Conscience, which declared that, “We as Unitarian Universalists are called to join with others to halt practices that fuel global warming/climate change, to instigate sustainable alternatives, and to mitigate the impending effects of global warming/climate change with just and ethical responses.
The Church has policies about taking public stands on issues, although this situation isn’t a perfect fit with any of them. If we want to take a position on a specific issue, we need approval by 80% of those voting at a Congregational Meeting. Joining a coalition is a bit different from this, but the process of taking a vote will help us all understand what’s involved and what our personal roles might be.
Green Sanctuary will host two town meetings (online, unless we’re able to meet in person by then) where you can learn more about this proposal and its implications. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask questions and express your opinions. These meetings will be
- Sunday, April 26, 12:30 pm (https://uuma.zoom.us/j/461687441)
- Wednesday, May 6, 7 pm (https://uuma.zoom.us/j/791755825)
We hope you will join us there. We also are available by telephone (see below or People’s directory for our phone numbers) if you’d rather have a one-on-one conversation.
The Green Sanctuary Committee: Connie Ferguson (269-375-0954), Tom Hackley (269-757-3746), Gary Heckman, Allan Hunt, Marj Lightner, Sue Salvat, Cybelle Shattuck, Bob Swicker