The Earth Justice Ministry’s purpose is to promote environmentally sustainable practices, educate about and advocate for environmental justice, and help with environmental projects, especially in conjunction with our local partner organizations.

A Little History, Background, and Connections for
Green Sanctuary/Earth Justice Ministry 

People from UUCP formed a committee in 2007 called Green Sanctuary, and worked to accomplish a variety of tasks in the areas of public service, education, worship, and service to the congregation. Once these were completed (about 2010), a Certificate was awarded naming our congregation a Green Sanctuary Congregation. Click here to view the Accreditation Letter.   Click here to view the Application

In 2016, Green Sanctuary was revived, and a formal application was submitted to be considered as a justice ministry. Our main goals are to educate about, advocate for and promote environmentally sustainable practices locally, nationally and globally. Although we cannot endorse/promote or back any particular candidate, we can educate about legislation and issues. We do this in conjunction with a number of “partners” and “affiliates.” We may lend financial support to one or more of these partners, but we work with them primarily to accomplish mutual goals and projects. These partner organizations are described below.  Contact Laurel Hardin at earthjustice@phoenixuu.org for more information.


1. UUMFE Unitarian Universalist Ministries for the Earth https://www.uumfe.org/ is led by Aly Tharp, who presides over webinars and sends out UUMFE news. This used to be an office within the UUA. At some point, it became defunded. It then became its own nonprofit, which still connects to the UUA through Reverend Karen Bramer, https://www.uua.org/environment/sanctuary . She works for the UUA and deals with Green Sanctuary issues. She also moderates webinars and recommends readings and discussion groups on environmental justice issues. We monitor their publications and messages and notify our members of their activities and concerns.

2. AFN-Social Justice Commission https://www.arizonafaithnetwork.org/social-justice (which now includes the Earth Care Commission, previously an environmental arm of Arizona Faith Network). The Arizona Faith Network is a group of approximately 45 churches representing a myriad of denominations in the Valley. The Social Justice Commission deals with poverty, racism, criminal justice, prison reform, and environmental justice issues (access to electricity, education, good health/clean air, water, food, medical care).

3. UUJAZ Unitarian Universalist Justice AZ https://www.uujaz.org/ . This separate nonprofit has teams to work on different justice issues in AZ. One of our members has participated in a number of the monthly Zoom meetings of the Water Team. It has primarily advocated for the addition of ecological water definition to water conservation legislation, to help keep rivers flowing in AZ. It is also looking at pricing.

4. CHISPA https://chispaaz.org/ is an Hispanic arm of the League of Conservation Voters whose main goal is to develop local, Hispanic, grass-roots leaders for many issues, primarily environmental. They researched the incidence of asthma and respiratory diseases in inner city school districts (14%-45% in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods, compared with 8% citywide).

They are still advocating for the VW Settlement money given to AZ ($57 Mil. reduced to $53 Mil. after management expenses) to be used in high pollution districts (Roosevelt, Cartwright and Phoenix Union) to purchase clean, electric school buses (which cost 1 ½-2 times more than a diesel bus) in those districts. The money has been allocated to those school districts, but some districts have not applied for it. CHISPA advocates for other environmental causes and is currently developing a partnership with AZIPL.


5. AZIPL Arizona Interfaith Power and Light http://www.azipl.org/contact/. Doug Bland leads this Arizona chapter of the national Interfaith Power and Light Organization or IPL. IPL was formed to address environmental problems and to help churches get energy efficient-appliances and practices. It still gives out money awards to 5 Cool Congregations per year. AZIPL participates in many environmental events and conducts a yearly week of Environmental awareness culminating in a Preach-Off. Sally Bingham, past president of AZIPL and our UUCP liaison, is also still a leader and very active. AZIPL is actively partnering with CHISPA.

6. Sierra Club https://www.sierraclub.org/arizona is a valuable local resource for information about legislation, films, talks, rallies, demonstrations, and all issues environmental. They hold an annual Environmental Day at the Legislature, put out a newsletter during the time the AZ Legislature meets, and have speakers about environmental topics. They mobilize youth groups for Climate Change jobs. We monitor their publications to notify our membership of their activities and concerns.

Our Goals for the next 12 months: 
  • To establish a list of resources (books, films, webinars) on environmental topics which can be used by individuals, alone or in groups, to educate themselves.
  • To bring in films or speakers on environmental topics at least once a quarter.
  • To apprise people of ways they can influence environmental legislation or policy in a timely manner.
  • To awaken or promote a reverence for the natural world.
  • To continue or expand our sharing of produce, free or for a donation.
Our longer-term Goals:
  • To grow our membership.
  • To explore putting solar panels on our buildings for energy/power needs.
  • To explore harvesting rainwater for plant irrigation.
  • To research/install waterless urinals.
  • To strengthen relations with partner organizations.
  • To create a sustainability policy for UUCP.
  • To highlight at least one “Green Hero” per month.

Contact Laurel Hardin at earthjustice@phoenixuu.org for more information.

“Reaping Goodness” Capturing and Cleaning Water, Building Edible Forests and More – Carol Manetta

Green Heroes Articles

The Earth Justice Ministry is inaugurating a series of “Green Hero” articles in which we will be highlighting the contributions of individuals at UUCP in their efforts to make the world a more sustainable place. To start out, we will focus on UUCP itself.