At Community United Church of Christ, acting with justice in the climate crisis means finding solutions which include those with the fewest resources.
On May 20, 2007, Community UCC voted to embark on a congregation-wide initiative to seek to address the challenges of global climate change and its impact on those least able to prepare. With a history of advocacy for justice for people with the fewest material resources, we hope to encourage the environmental justice perspective in the network of faith and community groups engaged with the climate crisis. We are keenly aware that people of color are disproportionately at risk and often have the fewest resources to adapt to changes or to take advantage of the opportunities that will come with the green economy. We commit to lead by learning and acting: our practice is to educate ourselves; change our practices; and provide an interfaith religious focal point and leadership on climate change and advocacy.
CUCC Climate Communication Google Group – Exchange details about climate science, upcoming events for action and learning, and best practices for steps to take at home. Request an invitation at email@example.com
Projects in development
Black Farmers to Churches CSA – Wake County
CUCC is joining other Wake County congregations in a CSA with black farmers. Through twice monthly Zoom conversations, prayer for one another, and occasional joyful days of work on the farm, we are building relationships with the farmers and learning about farming. The shares, sold seasonally, provide the farmers with a reliable source of income and us with fresh food grown using sustainable practices. To learn more about the CSA, read here.
Carbon Neutral CUCC
As the world sets targets moving us toward carbon neutrality, CUCC is making a plan to do our part. We are developing a step-by-step plan to become a carbon neutral church by 2050. Because there are no standardized definitions yet, we are considering what parts of our carbon footprint to include. We’re considering what role, if any, carbon offsets should play. One of our goals in all of our Justice in a Changing Climate work is to share what we learn (both successes and failures) with other congregations, and to collaborate whenever possible. We also commit to preferencing those options which are economically just and work to correct environmental racism.
Our first step has been to address the carbon footprint of our building’s energy usage (electricity and gas). Read about the Carbon Covenant for Our Buildings here.
Becoming a Creation Justice Church of the United Church of Christ
We are exploring making this commitment, starting with a Creation Justice 101 Lent 2023 series. Learn more about becoming a Creation Justice Church here.
Contributing a few hours here and there
Composting – Even during a pandemic we can compost together. Many people have compost piles at home for plant-based foods, but our contract with industrial composter, Compost Now, allows us to compost meat, bones, and paper tableware (like pizza boxes). Bring your compostable items to our industrial composting bin in the CUCC courtyard near the kitchen. Read the resources below to find out if what you have is compostable so we don’t contaminate the compost used by local community gardens and farmers.
Our grounds – an interconnected habitat – Using local plants, maintaining a National Wildlife Federation-certified wildlife habitat, and keeping our grounds safe for community and Community UCC use requires lots of hands. Whether you volunteer to water the children’s Plant a Row for the Hungry garden, fill a birdbath, or spend a day weeding and raking, you are welcome here.
Pre-weatherization – Community UCC, Raleigh Friends Meeting, and NCIPL have been doing clean outs and repairs of homes in our area so that the homes can then be weatherized for free. Our preparatory work leverages federal funds to pay for professionals to insulate the home or install a new HVAC system. Most of our work is low-skill – moving boxes away from walls, emptying an attic and hauling unwanted items to the landfill. Friends are welcome.
Cooperative recycling – Bring your CFL bulbs (long and curly) and batteries to Jane Smith who makes occasional trips to the hazardous materials center for Wake County on behalf of CUCCers.
Community UCC is grateful to the many community partner individuals and groups who have been with us every step of the way in this work. Justice in a Changing Climate has received two awards which remind us to continue to work for justice for those least able to adapt to climate change. We were honored to receive the 2016 US Foods Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award given by City of Raleigh and the 2016 Community Inspirations Cool Congregations Award from Interfaith Power & Light.