Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church (A2U2) in Portland, Maine became an accredited Green Sanctuary on May 7, 2003. But their commitment towards environmental stewardship didn’t stop there! On April 28, 2010 their application for re-accreditation candidacy was accepted by a Green Sanctuary review team.
A2U2 has an established, active and committed Green Earth Committee who have been busy over the past several years. Members worked tirelessly to help bring Interfaith Power and Light into existence in the state of Maine, and then worked to encourage other churches as well as their own to actually sign up to use green power – this was a 3 year effort. In addition to using green power, they have completed many of the suggestions from their energy audit including installing automatic thermostats, replacing lighting, major exterior caulking, and installation of low-flow toilets.
Partnering with Project FEED, a Portland Food Pantry, and Hannaford’s grocery store, A2U2 donated cloth bags for the food pantry for clients to bring back with them in order to reduce the number of paper and plastic bags used. Clients were rewarded for bringing back cloth bags with “bonus items” (such as CFLs, etc) which have disappeared from the shelves and they’ve noticed that some of the clients are beginning to other cloth bags with them.
Rev. Myke Johnson has been a driving force for environmental stewardship by preaching a number of sermons on environmental topics from 2006-2009. On an Earth Day Sunday, members of the Green Earth Committee participated in the service including a reading The Cauliflower that was so popular that it was requested by members of other churches.
A2U2 also established a new mission statement: “At Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, we are a growing community that transforms lives through the power of love. We celebrate diversity, encourage spiritual growth, and promote social responsibility, as we walk with care on this Earth. We empower our members to share their gifts to build a world of compassion, equality, and freedom.” And that’s just a tiny sampling of the things A2U2 has been up to recently. Now, A2U2 has a new Action Plan with new projects that they plan to complete by July 2011 when they will apply for Re-Accreditation.
We are excited that A2U2 has decided to engage in the Green Sanctuary Re-Accreditation process and we look forward to hearing about their progress.