GreenFaith Contact:
Rev. Fletcher Harper
revfharper at greenfaith dot org | 201-390-0094
Unitarian Universalist Association Contact:
Robin Nelson
RNelson at uua  dot org | 617-948-4251

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, GreenFaith
Announce Environmental Collaboration
UU Leaders to Enter GreenFaith Fellowship Program

BOSTON, MA and HIGHLAND PARK, NJ — On March 30, the UUA and GreenFaith announced a collaboration to enroll UU leaders from around the US in the GreenFaith Fellowship Program.  This unique program helps leaders from diverse religious communities become effective religious-environmental leaders through an 18-month education and training experience.

Tuition Subsidies for Lay and Ordained UU Leaders
To support the collaboration, GreenFaith will underwrite 50% of the tuition of 4 UU Fellows annually during 2011, 2012 and 2013.  “The UU community has been at the forefront of religiously-based environmental leadership for many years,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director.  “We look forward to helping the next generation of UU leaders reach their potential as religious-environmental leaders.”  Application materials are now available.

Resources to Support UU Leaders
This new offering represents an addition to the substantial existing environmental resources offered by the UUA.  In July 2008 at the UUA’s General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, the UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) symbolically handed off the Green Sanctuary banner to UUA leadership to represent the shift of the Green Sanctuary Program to the UUA.
In the three years that the UUA has been managing the Green Sanctuary program, congregational participation has grown by 50% (currently 270 or 1 in 4 UU congregations).  The UUA published an updated, free, online edition of the Green Sanctuary Manual and launched a Green Sanctuary blog which seeks to highlight the work of Unitarian Universalist congregations that are engaging in the Green Sanctuary program, provide resources and ideas to congregations, and share information about what’s going on with the Green Sanctuary program.

The UUMFE continues its vision of connecting and inspiring an active community of UUs for environmental justice, spiritual renewal, and shared reverence for our Earth home.

“Through the GreenFaith Fellowship Program, UU ministers and lay leaders can engage in ‘continuing education’ on environmental justice and we’re excited to be in partnership with GreenFaith to provide this opportunity” said Robin Nelson, the UUA’s Green Sanctuary Program Manger.  “This program will further enhance a congregation’s leadership as an environmental justice ally.  This allows our congregations to become a true Green Sanctuary.”

Free Webinars for Interested Leaders
GreenFaith will offer free webinars so that interested UU clergy and lay leaders can learn more about the Fellowship Program and the tuition scholarship opportunity.  The hour-long webinars will be on:

  • Thursday, April 14, 8:00 pm ET
  • Monday, April 18, 8:00 pm ET

Recordings of the webinars will be available on-line for those unable to join the live webinars.  To register for a webinar, contact Fletcher Harper, at revfharper at greenfaith dot org.

Cutting-Edge Education & Training
The Fellowship Program is the first comprehensive education and training program in the US to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse traditions for religious-environmental leadership.  Over 40 lay and ordained leaders – including 4 UU Fellows – have graduated from the program and are offering leadership in communities nationwide.

The program consists of three three-day retreats focused on religious-environmental education and worship; “green” consumption and facility management; and environmental justice. Fellows participate in monthly webinars where they present their work to peers and take part in ongoing training and education.  Fellows read classic writings on religious-environmentalism from a range of traditions and perspectives, write their own eco-autobiography and eco-theological statement, and carry out religious-environmental leadership projects in their own community.  The program is designed as a creative, challenging curriculum that helps participants reach their potential as religious-environmental leaders.

UU Participants Find Program Valuable
Two UU Fellows have already graduated from the program – the Rev. Peggy Clarke and the Rev. Wendy L. Bell. Two UU Fellows are in the program’s current class – Dr Robin van Tine and the Rev. Amy Brooks.

“GreenFaith provided precisely what I needed to ground my eco-theological impulses in scholarship.  The Fellowship program is designed to be practical and to use our time effectively, allowing us the opportunity to walk away with both a broad academic understanding of religious environmentalism and the concrete tools to make that information relevant and applicable in my ministry.  The inter-faith approach was refreshing, although I was equally thrilled to embark on this program with other UUs with whom I have built important relationships as a result of GreenFaith.” – The Rev. Peggy Clarke, Consulting Minister at 4th Unitarian Society of Westchester, NY

“My participation in the GreenFaith Fellowship Program has served me well in so many ways. It has helped to reignite my passion for environmental justice work. It has equipped me to bring that passion effectively into my role as a congregational leader. And it has empowered me to add my own voice as a religious leader to the larger societal conversation about climate change and environmental degradation where religious voices are so urgently needed today. I know that the ongoing support of GreenFaith and the other Fellows will be invaluable as I continue in this work.”  – The Rev. Wendy L. Bell, Minister, Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, Harvard, MA

June 15 Application Deadline
GreenFaith has created a special June 15 application deadline for UU candidates. Further information about the program and application materials are available.   Interested candidates may also contact Fletcher Harper at revfharper at greenfaith dot org.


Grounded in our covenantal tradition, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association inspires people to lead lives of humility and purpose, connection and service, thereby transforming themselves and the world.

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership.

About the Author
Robin Nelson

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