GSP Meeting Minutes Archive
"Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible
trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a suatainable future,
eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the
-- John McConnell, founder of International Earth Day
GREEN SANCTUARY MEETING, OCT. 14, 2012
Present: Ron Quinn, Barbara Ellis-Quinn, Marian Bedill, Karen Hamalainen, Rick Dudley
We followed Deb’s Agenda for the meeting so I am not going to repeat what she put in there concerning things that have already been done.
Green Fire plans
Deb will work on getting the announcements into the Herald, the radio stations, and the BUF Online Community Calendar by Tuesday, Oct. 16th.
We need someone to get the announcements into the midweek update, order of service insert and pulpit notes as well as onto the website.
The posters (both 11x17 and 8.5x11) have been printed by Barbara E-Q. Karen H. took a bunch to distribute to various places. Ron is in charge of getting about 30 posters to Western for distribution there. The remaining posters are now located in the closet in the old social hall. If anyone needs more posters after Oct. 27th Barbara can easily produce some more.
It was suggested that an additional poster recipient could be Flip Reskin of the Columbia Neighborhood Association.
Facility Set Up
The event is on the BUF facility calendar. Barbara E-Q submitted the facility request form to Cyd.
The video will be presented with the help of a DVD player purchased by Ron and Barbara (which will then be donated to church for such future presentations). This has been tested with the projector and works fine. Barbara, with the help of Jeff, located the appropriate cable to connect the sound output of the DVD player to the sound system. That works just fine also.
Ron is going to work on getting permission to hang the big new screen in the front of the sanctuary for this presentation. He has measured the screen and the ceiling box in the sanctuary and it should be easy to hang it on some hooks from the ceiling that will not be visible from the pews.
Ron and Barbara will talk to Andy Marshall about the microphone setup before Nov. 13th.
The decision was made to set up a table with the handouts and bookmarks that came in the box from the Aldo Leopold Center. We think that we should have a basket or jar with a sign stating that “Donations are Welcome”. Any money raised could be used for future GSP activities. Also, this is where the copies of Sand County Almanac can be sold. Ron is contacting Village books to see about having them sponsor this event and allowing us to sell the book. Karen H. asked if we could get the books ahead of time so that they could be sold to congregants during coffee hour in the weeks leading up to the movie presentation. The BUF book group is reading the book as their book of the month for October. Additionally, it would be good to have information available about the Nov. 18th Adult Forum on Lummi water rights on the table during the Green Fire event.
*** We should put one of the large Green Fire event posters on the Green Sanctuary Table during the Find Your Place at BUF event on Oct. 21st. ***
Volunteers for Presentation date:
Everyone at the meeting agreed to be at BUF by 6 pm on the night of the presentation. Everyone who shows up will help with sanctuary organization and/or table setup and then as greeters as people arrive.
Ron will act as the “presenter” by giving a brief introduction and then leading the follow-up discussion after the presentation.
Food for Tots
This seems to be going well this year. The selling of food during Grand Coffee Hour seems to be a hit. The food cart is also a good visual reminder to people to bring food. Since Kay was not at the meeting we don’t have a current count but the food cart was quite full of donations by the end of second service.
GSP Leadership change:
Those present discussed this at length but came up with no volunteers from the group. Ron, a likely candidate, is away too much of the year to be able to take on such a leadership role. Marian also has similar problems with assuming the leader role.
It was suggested that we may need to fundamentally restructure how the GSP operates with the chair(s) being responsible for a more limited work load and that the work for specific activities be delegated to particular people or small groups. Also, if Deb and Linda could give members of the committee some “training” then others might be able to ease into a leadership position more readily. We are also hoping, maybe naively, that we can attract more members to the GSP during the Find Your Place at BUF event on Oct. 21st. Additional members could help to reduce the burden on the leadership. It would also be useful if could somehow encourage the 39 people who are “interested” in GSP, in the sense that they are part of the GSP Online Community, to become more active. Maybe some type of “special” group activity could be planned to get more of these people together to encourage more involvement.
IV. Find Your Place at BUF event (Oct. 21st):
This will be run both during the Grand Coffee Hour and after the second service. Kay, Judith and Karen have volunteered during Grand Coffee Hour. Kay and Judith will be selling baby food and bags. Ro’s apples will be provided as a snack. We did not come up with any other volunteer snack person.
It was decided that there should be a definite emphasis on getting people interested in joining GSP. Karen H. would like her role to be to get people to come to the table and discuss the good work that we do in hopes of increasing membership. She will actively engage people in discussion.
We did not come up with any volunteers to main the table after the second service.
GPT EIS Forums:
Deb is on a roll coordinating Aquatic, Infrastructure and Health forums between late Oct. and Nov. Details will be provided as things are firmed up.
GSP Adult Forums:
There are three scheduled between now and the end of the calendar year:
David will lead a GPT comment writing session. He will start by discussing proper technique to write a substantive comment. After a period of discussion attendees will start writing their own comments. Attendees will take home a draft of their comment, a list of “101 Reasons You Should be Concerned About Coal Export”, a comment writing guide, and an outline to help them write more comments in the future. The scoping period ends Jan. 21, 2013 so we need to start writing comments now.
Victor Johnson and Jeremy Freimund, from the Lummi Natural Resources Department, will provide an introduction to the Lummi Nation, an overview of Lummi water rights, and a summary of efforts to resolve conflicts over water allocation on the Lummi Indian Reservation and in the Nooksack River.
Marian and Karen will work on getting some more information from the Lummi Natural Resources Dept. that could be used for advertising this forum during the Green Fire event.
Rodd Pemble of Sanitary Services will speak. Description will be provided later.
NEXT MEETING OF GREEN SANCTUARY COMMITTEE: Sunday, Nov. 11th, 12:30 p.m.
"Green Fire" film event: Event set for Tuesday November 13 at 7 pm. Ron guided us through selecting tasks to
complete. We have several posters from the Aldo Leopold Foundation to put up around the county. We also divided
up other publicity tasks. Ron, Barbara and I will test the projector and sound system in early October. In late
October we will be asking for volunteers for the event (greeters, setup , cleanup, etc.). By the way, the BUF Book
Club is reading Sand County Almanac in October. Perfect timing!
Coal Terminal EIS Scoping: Comment period opens tomorrow Sept 24th for 120 days. Lots of opportunities for workshops
on how best to comment coming up. Stay tuned!!
Job Description for open Green Sanctuary chair position was available.
Sustainable Connections membership: The Green Sanctuary Program has been involved with Sustainable Connections for
6 years. Our team has been paying for our membership for 3 years since joining the Community Energy Challenge. And
we have greatly benefited from it with free energy audits, upgrades, free lights, and rebates. Our membership dues of
$216 are due in late November and we do not have enough in our GSP fund (currently around $50). We discussed various
options: hold a fundraiser, quit membership, ask BUF operating budget to pay it. The consensus was to ask the Social
Justice Committee if they wanted to pay it for this year while we request that next year's operating budget take over
the payment. The newest SC program is more social justice oriented than environmental - "Bank Local First!". Linda to
make request to SJ Committee.
Food Bank Team: Everything is set for our Food4Tots month in October. Our goal is 1,000 jars of baby food. Kay is
hoping most of those will be organic. We will be borrowing a grocery cart from the Fairhaven Haggens as our collection
basket. October 21 will be our Kids Feeding Kids Sunday. Kay is also working up the paperwork to make our food bank
program an official ministry team.
NEXT MEETING: Sunday Oct 14 after second service in conference room.
AUGUST 19 GSP MEETING MINUTES
Compiled by Deb Cruz and Linda Fels, co-chairs
Coal Terminal Issue:
Last fall, BUF’s Green Sanctuary Team began working with RE Sources’ Baykeeper program to develop in-depth
educational forums on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. These forums are being created in order to assist
Whatcom County residents in formulating their comments for the public commenting period on what the scope the
Environmental Impact Study/Statement should include. The idea is to conduct these forums once scoping has been
announced so that the information stays fresh in people’s mind and that comments do not get waylaid while waiting
for the official date that comments may be submitted. Once that date is set then we’ll be moving forward to get
the forums up and running.
Educational workshops - still in planning; delays due to staff changes at RE Sources and waiting for date when
scoping sessions begin; BUF will host one; First Congregational will host another; as a result of the recent
interfaith meeting, we may possibly have other faith communities willing to host as well.
First interfaith gathering on coal terminal topic was held in early August. Goal: how the faith community can
respond to this controversial issue. One great idea floated was focusing on economic justice. We want jobs but
not this way. And as people of faith, we have a responsibility to the world's poor. A small task force to meet
One event from interfaith meeting is a prayer breakfast, sponsored by Earth Ministry and probably hosted by First
Congregational just before the beginning of the scoping period.
Karen brought up an article in Bellingham Herald about possibility of carbon credits for Lummi Nation for loss of
wetlands and the implications of that to the whole process. Ron will do some initial research to see if it is
something for us to pursue.
What's On Your Plate?:
Social Justice collection recipient for October: Common Threads Farm - includes forum on Oct 7 and collection on
Common Threads Farm works to connect young people with healthy food through hands-on, seed-to-table educational
experiences. They include food competency (knowing how to grow and prepare healthful, delicious food), food literacy
(understanding how our daily food choices impact the health of our bodies, our communities, and our environment), food
justice (making sure that there is enough healthful, culturally appropriate food accessible to all) and youth empowerment
(we understand growing food as an effective way to develop confidence and self-esteem).
They have a variety of programs that the offer and work with including a Farm Camp and Camp Pizza, day camps were kids
of all ages learn about where their food comes from, caring for gardens and livestock and other activities. Camps are
a week long and can accommodate 15-20 kids. They also work with several of the areas elementary and middle schools in
establishing and maintaining community gardens. They partner with NW Youth Services for the Youth Grown Market Stand.
Common Threads will use any donations we collect for them to either embellish their scholarship fund for low income
kids to participate in the camps or to expand the school community gardens program to include summer programs.
Community Night Dinner signs - Linda showed an example based on our design ideas from May; will use the following
options for cooks to post on meals: Local, Organic, and GMO-Free as well as Vegetarian, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free.
Next step - show to cooks team.
Food Bank Donations/Food4Tots Month - How to raise donation level?:
Michael Cohen, Director of Bellingham Food Bank relayed this information for this year’s Food4Tots food drive in
October. “The goal is still 1,000 units of baby food and/or dollars. We love it when folks exceed those goals. We
are 13% busier than we were last year, our busiest year ever. We now average more than 10,000 visits a month and
are Western Washington’s 4th busiest food bank. One in Six Bellingham households now visit our food bank on a regular
basis. 3% of the recipients of our food are toddlers. The Food4Tots program is specifically for Bellingham Food Bank.
We do not redistributed that food with other food banks in Whatcom County.”
BUF food bank contributions are far below the need. The most food gathered in any one delivery has been 150 lbs.
Several ideas: On Blessing Sunday, hand donations to kids to bring to front of sanctuary; or even better do it
every week; make basket more visible - put on table or stand or use a shopping cart, on Sundays place cart/basket
by ushers for more visibility; for Food4Tots month have a gauge or thermometer in front of sanctuary to show progress,
buy cases of baby food so people can buy them during coffee hour and donate immediately; add Food Bank to EFT program.
Kay will still hold a brainstorming meeting for more ideas.
Eat Local Month volunteer opportunities: Sign up sheets available for both Whatcom County Farm Tour (Sept 8) and
Whatcom Harvest Dinner (Sept 23). Will have them during coffee hour for the next couple of weeks. Or contact Linda
Fels at email@example.com or 647-8029 to volunteer.
"Green Fire" film and building a land ethic:
Ron Quinn proposed that Green Sanctuary sponsor a showing of the film with an idea sharing exercise to follow for this fall (with possible large community event next spring). See full proposal at end of these minutes.
Team loved the idea. Deb and Linda to find date (early Nov preferred) at upcoming BUF calendaring meeting.
Ron to check with BUF book group about reading Sand County Almanac this church year.
Ron will be check with Village Books to see if they would be interested in co-sponsoring and/or selling books at the Spring Event.
Our September meeting to focus on planning for this event.
Fundraising for Sustainable Connections membership: discussion postponed until September
Green Sanctuary's slot is usually the 3rd Sunday of the month.
Here is a list of those already scheduled: (Those in BOLD are of particular interest to GSP members)
September 9: Ingathering – No forum
September 16: Jill McIntyre, Gore Climate Change presentation
September 23: Patricia Clark - No More Deaths Immigration Project
September 30: Michael Johnson – Jeffersonian Bible
October 7: Common Threads Farm (Tentative)
October 14: Sustainable Connections, Food to Bank On
October 21: Dave Culver, Coal Train presenation
October 28: Todd Jones - Socially Responsible Investing
November 4: Lummi CEDAR Project
November 11: Todd Jones – Whatcom Agriculture
November 18: Lummi Dept of Natural Resources (Tentative)
November 25: Thanksgiving Holdiay – No forum
December 2: Maple Alley Inn
December 9: St. Francis Foundation - Dec. 9, 2012
December 16: Rodd Pemble, Sanitary Services Company
December 23: Christmas Holiday – No forum
December 30: C2C (topic to be determined)
Whatcom Investing Network:
Judith Culver reported that members of the Whatcom Investing Network, a spin off of Transition Whatcom, have loaned over $500,000 to local businesses in their first year. Each member is responsible for their own due diligence and has an individual contract with the business (money is not pooled). Loans currently being considered are with a local food processing/commercial kitchen, a local manufacturer of pre-fabricated, architect-designed, Leed Gold homes, and renewable energy facilities. Information for prospective members and fund seekers is at whatcominvesting.org.
*** NEXT MEETING: SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 23RD AT 12:30 ***
GREEN FIRE PROPOSAL:
Ethics and the Environment
We propose that BUF plan and host a community workshop about environmental ethics in October 2012. If this event is successful, we could be one of several sponsors of a larger public event in Spring 2013.
The centerpiece of the fall event would be a showing of the award wining 2011 film Green Fire, which is about the life and ideas of Aldo Leopold. His book Sand County Almanac describes the importance of informed stewardship of the land, doing so with poetic and compelling prose. Green Fire is being broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television this month.
The fall event, open to the public, would occur at BUF in October or November, probably on a Sunday afternoon. There would be two activities. The first would be a showing of Green Fire. This would be followed by a question and answer period plus an audience participation exercise in idea sharing. The event would last 2 to 2 ½ hours. I would like us to personally invite leaders of other community environmental organizations to this event. I would hope that we could have an audience of 50 people, half BUF and half community. Tasks I can think of to organize the event: facilities scheduling and preparation, publicity, and preparing the actual event activities. I already have materials that we could use for publicity, and I can obtain more as needed from the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
I prefer to schedule the event in October rather than November, in order to put space between the event and the national election. I would not like the event to be construed as political advocacy. It is worth noting that Leopold’s land ethic is not partisan, or even political, in nature. It deals with a stable and productive relationship between people and the landscape, arising from familiarity, understanding and love.
The spring event could take place in April, some time around Earth Day, which falls on Monday in 2013. In general content it would resemble the Fall BUF event. It would take place in a larger public venue, such as the Pickford or Western. I imagine sponsorship shared with local environmental organizations, student environmental clubs, other religious groups, Village Books, etc. I want rep’s from some of these organizations present at the BUF sponsored event in fall, in order to build interest in a public spring event. I do not imagine this larger event would require any more effort from BUF than the fall event, since we would be one of several sponsors. The results of the BUF fall event should tell us if a larger community event is warranted.
Ron Quinn 6-18-12
"Going Deeper" lecture series. This proposed series will consider inviting previous adult Sunday forum speakers
back to go further in depth on the issues they presented in the forums. We need to decide on who we'd like to bring
back and decide on a preferred time for the lecture series as June 12 PIG will be working with various organizations
to establish next year's calendar.
Adult Sunday Forums. We will be continuing with having one adult Sunday forum speaker per month. We will need to
decide on the individuals and/or organizations that we will sponsor for next year.
Social Justice Collection Recipients. Once again we have the months of October and April to decide on an organization
to be the recipient of BUF's social justice collection.
What's On Your Plate? We will continue discussing what we need to do to get this program off the ground and running.
April is scheduled to be a busy month and we need lots of volunteers.
Sunday evening April 15th: We are excited to host "The Climate Monologues" by Sharon Abreu at 7 pm in the
BUF Sanctuary preceded by a Stop Coal fair featuring many organizations working on the coal terminal issue at
5:30 in our Social Hall. We need lots of volunteers to help with setup, greeting, taking donations, helping
with parking, and cleanup starting at 4:30 pm. Please contact Deb Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 392-8552 to
Sunday April 22nd - Earth Day: Help BUF celebrate Earth Day by providing organic or locally grown snacks for
coffee hour. The day begins at 9 am with adult forum speaker Terry Meyer of Cascade WInd Company, followed by
our 10:30 worship service with Dana Lyons with our social justice collection for RE Sources' work on the proposed
coal terminal. Please let Deb Cruz (email@example.com 392-8552) or Linda Fels (firstname.lastname@example.org 647-8029) know
if you can bring coffee hour refreshments.
Coal Terminal Educational Workshops are still planned to begin around mid-April and go through May. These are
designed to prepare our community for the comment period on the scoping of the Environmental Impact Study. BUF
will be one of the churches to host workshops. Once we know the dates, we will need volunteers to help on those
evenings. Stay tuned.
Food Justice Program: Still in planning stages but we have settled on a name for our project: "What's On YOUR Plate?".
Kay Witter and Kyra Skaggs have agreed to create a rotating display publicizing simple steps we can take to clean up our
dinner plates. Look for these on the Green Sanctuary kiosk in the Social Hall soon.
Deb updated our website (buf.org/gsp), especially check out the Worship page.
Update on coal terminal workshop series, co-sponsored with RE Sources. The lineup has changed so that
Sharon Abreu's performance of "The Climate Monologues (One Woman Show)" will now be the kickoff for the
workshop series (instead of the finale). An organizational fair to include all organizations working on
the coal terminal issue is also in the works for the kickoff. Sharon's performance is slated for Sunday
evening April 15th at BUF. The plan is to have the educational workshops hosted by different local churches.
Their purpose is to prepare the public for the public comment period for the scoping of the Environmental
Impact Study (EIS). More details to come.
Food Justice Project discussion:
We are continuing to define, explore and brainstorm just how this project will develop.
Topics to include but not limited to strong environmental focus, sustainability, food as a
right, hunger, animal welfare, control of food and seed supply, food shortages, local food sources,
traditional foods, nutrition, farmland vs. urban sprawl, urban gardens, spiritual connection with food,
rights of nature, food waste, farmers, farm workers, other food industry workers, food sovereignty, native
foods, and freedom to make personal food choices.
How, What, When, and Where:
Our plan is to incorporate these topics into the everyday life of
BUF, as a congregation and as individual families and members. We want our message to be fun instead
of lecturing; a positive message so it will be heard. Possible methods can include edible lessons,
personal success stories, use of games, displays, cartoons, challenges, and skits. We can use Sunday
Coffee Hour, Wednesday Community Night Dinner, possible worship services, RE classes, and film nights.
Karen will check with RE Sources about their film library and possible coordination. I will check with
Community Night cooks about possible labeling of foods served.
Name for Project:
Possible names submitted so far - "Clean Plate", "Green Plate", "What's On
Your Plate?". Please submit your best ideas.
Homework for Next Meeting:
Find or create possible examples like card games, cartoons, signage
to use, a challenge, sound bites, etc. Let your imaginations run WILD!
Next Meeting on April Fool's Day Sunday April 1st at 12:30 pm (after 2nd service) in BUF Conference Room.
Bring your ideas and examples! Hope to see you there.
Submitted March 11 by Linda Fels, GSP co-chair
One agenda item: Share our passions around the issue of food justice
We took turns sharing our top issues and passions around food and justice. We had our invited guest
Rosalinda Guillen from Community to Community (C2C) speak first, followed by everyone who attended.
Listed below is a summary of what was said - I hope I accurately summarize people's comments.
Our next step (during upcoming March 4th meeting) will be to discuss how to put together a program to reach
first our congregation and then the community on the importance of our food choices and their impacts on our
health, our economy, on the farmers and farm workers, on our local land and the whole planet. We will explore
how to educate effectively and reach beyond those who already "get it". Please plan to join us.
Rosalinda: C2C works on justice issues within the whole food system through the farm workers' perspective.
They track emerging food justice and food sovereignty movements and how farm workers can play a role in
decision making within those movements. They are very involved in the Work Place Standards for Domestic
Fair Trade certification through the National Domestic Fair Trade Association. Standards were finalized
in December 2011 and C2C is beginning their role as small farm auditors for certification for the NW region.
C2C's Erin Thompson is working with local farmers toward applying for this certification. BUF's role could
be to promote the significance of buying domestic fair trade products and to educate the community. (I will
also forward this on to the new Fair Trade Team). C2C is also watching state politics around issues dealing
with farm workers and could use help in lobbying and supporting actions in the future. (This could fit in
with the goals of our Living Democracy Team).
Summary of other comments, interests and passions:
Kay Witter: Kay organizes the BUF Food Bank collections, takes what we collect to the food bank and
posts reminders. Besides our ongoing collections with 3rd Sunday food blessings, we take one month a
year for the Food4Tots program to collect 1,000 jars of baby food (or equivalent) and every three months
our collections go to the Lummi Food Bank. Her biggest frustration is helping people remember to bring
in their donations.
Karen Hamalainen: Karen believe food shortages is the big issue to hit us soon. There is a convergence of
issues like peak oil, shortages of clean water, topsoil erosion, etc. that will bring a major food crisis.
Our current system is unsustainable and unfair.
Yoshe Revelle: His big issue is that food is a human right like the right to water and air. We all have a
right to a health diet, one which produced using sustainable methods and distributed fairly to everyone.
Katrina Poppe: New to BUF but is very interested in supporting a local food system.
Rick Dudley: Rick is working on expanding the umbrella of inherent rights to include animals. Although
this goes beyond animals raised for food, it certainly encompasses how animals are raised in this country
through factory farms. He is actively recruiting BUF members to join him on a new Animal Ministry action
team. There is a national organization UUAM that already has information on ways to educate and take action
so we don't have to reinvent the wheel. If interested, please contact Rick and check out the uuam.org web
Sue Krueger: Sue's passions run toward how people make personal food choices, how to educate the public
and is interested in the UUAM project too.
Abe Lloyd: New to BUF. Has a background in ethnobotany and is passionate about stopping the destruction
of the ecosystem through monocultures, loss of biodiversity and use of nonnative plants. He is interested
in looking at how indigenous people live within the Earth's systems and how we can learn from them. Native
diets were integrated into their local land area. How is that relevant to us here in Whatcom County?
Richard Kruger: Wants to see local farm community succeed.
Marian Beddill: Marian is interested in long term sustainability and with her background in water, that is
of particular interest. She is concerned about the tension between urban sprawl and farmland and the level
of corporate power in our food systems. Marian is also organizer of the BUF Living Democracy Team working
on curbing corporate power though our laws.
Kathy Anderson: Kathy was inspired by Erin Holt-Giminez's adult forum on food sovereignty issues. She has
always wanted to be a farmer and is still trying to follow that dream. She also believes education of our
youth is the key to solving many of our food issues. Growth of organic food and solving distribution issues
are also important.
Linda Fels: My passion is for the return to traditional diets for their nutritional density and low impact
on our land, economy and people. And that includes traditional diets of European Americans too. I want to
help educate our community on the benefits of moving away from the industrial food system.
What's Next Discussion:
- Those who control the food supply (and seed supply), control the population
- We want food produced in a just manner
- This is political work
- How can we educate our congregation and community when the same people attend presentations
and workshops? One solution offered - look to incorporating education into what we are already
doing like worship, community night dinner, RE, adult forums, CSA, etc.
- Possible name for our project "Clean Plate" - just how clean is the food on your plate?
- How can Social Justice, Green Sanctuary and Lifelong Learning work together on this?
- Help BUF members answer questions like "Were does your food come from?" and "Why does it matter?"
- Rediscover the spiritual connection indigenous people have to the animals they eat
- Look for small steps to take, as all of this can be overwhelming
- Realize that this does take effort
- Use stories, films, poetry, music
Submitted Feb 17, 2012 by Linda Fels, Green Sanctuary co-chair
Our Fruits: BUF OUTREACH TO COMMUNITY
Our Supporting Structure: ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
- We decided on our Social Justice collection slot for April. Recipient will be RE Sources to support their
work on the Gateway Pacific Terminal issue.
- World Water Day is March 25th which again is the Sunday of the BUF Women's Retreat weekend. It is
also the UUSC Justice Sunday for 2012 with the theme "Justice is the Human Right to Water". We do
not plan to create a BUF event but will make sure we publicize any related events. The City of
Bellingham usually holds a Walk for Water. Deb is trying to find an adult forum speaker on water
for March too.
- The team decided to focus on food justice for our February meeting. It is scheduled for Sunday
Feb 12th - NOTE this is a new date due to a conflict on Feb 19th - from 12:30 pm to 2 pm. Rosalinda
Guillen and Erin Thompson of Community to Community (C2C) will be our guests. We will hear what C2C
is doing around food justice issues as well as explore where within this huge issue our team has
passion and energy. We have failed in the past to create a long term food justice project but we
feel there is enough energy around it now to finally pull something together. The topics team
members have already voiced as being their top interests include
- Confront power structures that control our food supply
- Examine our personal choices around food
- Explore how our denomination at the national level is addressing food justice
- How can we leverage our membership in Sustainable Connections?
- Explore the issue of food sovereignty that Eric Holt Gimenez raised at the forum
- And learn how we can partner with Community to Community
Our Roots: HOW WE LIVE HERE AT BUF
- Plans for a workshop series co-sponsored with RE Sources on the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) are
well under way. The plan is to hold several educational workshops including the following issues:
aquatics, local rights/living democracy; health issues; jobs/economics and infrastructure. The team
is also looking to involve other churches to host workshops.
- Sharon Abreu has a calendar conflict for presenting her "Climate Monologues". We decided to offer
her April 22nd as an alternative. Update next month. She is also looking at tying in her performance
with our GPT workshop series.
- The Green Sanctuary adult forum for February is scheduled for Feb 12 and will feature Tom Anderson
speaking on energy issues. Karen Hamalainen will be our host for that forum. Deb is still working
on speakers for March and April.
- Energy Audit progress: Due to our membership in Sustainable Connections and our energy audit under
their Community Energy Challenge program, we received 24 LED lights to upgrade the lighting in our
sanctuary at no cost to us. Clearly, this membership (which Green Sanctuary pays each year) is worth
- Deb is still working on drawing up the Green Cleaning Products proposal. And Karen will check with
Crystal Neva on the proposed food handler training (which will include what cleaning products are
- We decided to reserve our May 2012 meeting to focus on fundraising ideas. We need to raise at least
enough for our Sustainable Connections membership which comes due in November and costs about
NEXT MEETING: SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12, 2012 FROM 12:30 PM TO 2 PM - Focus on Food Justice
Our Roots: HOW WE LIVE HERE AT BUF
Sunday Coffee Hour (Kiosk, UUSC bags sales) – We sold enough UUSC bags to now have funds to
pay for the Sustainable Connections membership; sale is suspended for now – we have about ten bags
left which means we sold 90!! We could use some volunteers to staff our information kiosk during
Sunday coffee hours.
Our Supporting Structure: ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Energy Audit Report and Lighting Upgrade Proposal – Karen, Ron and Erin met with Martin of
Sustainable Connections to review the latest energy audit report; they will continue to gather
bids and information for a proposed sanctuary lighting upgrade; in January we will discuss ways
to pay for the lighting upgrade (fundraising ideas)
Green Cleaning Products proposal – Samples were shown; Deb to write up proposal
Food Handler Training proposal – Karen will work with Crystal on a timeline for this training
especially for those who cook the Community Night Dinners
Fundraising Ideas – Our Green Sanctuary account is very low so we need to think of ways to
raise money; our main expense each year is the Sustainable Connections membership of $216.
Upcoming environmental adult forums
Our Fruits: BUF OUTREACH TO COMMUNITY
Gateway Pacific Terminal Workshop Series – Deb and Richard are continuing to work with RE
Sources to pull this together; update in January
- January 15 (Jean Rogers on the challenges for a local food economy) – HOST NEEDED
- January 22 (Eric Holt-Gimenez on food justice) – HOST NEEDED
- February 12 (Tom Anderson on energy issues) – Karen will host
Sharon Abreu "Climate Monologues" performance tentatively set for April 15 – Marian, Deb and
Kay are on the team
Future Movie Nights – It was suggested that we coordinate with RE Sources as they also have a
library of movies; it was also suggested that we have a liaison with RE Sources for this and any other
combined projects – Do we have a volunteer???
Food Bank Donations: Looking for ways to improve our level of support – Kay, Tom and Mary to
tackle this one
IDEAS FOR FUTURE EVENTS/ACTIVITIES
Community to Community (C2C) proposed partnership – Invite C2C representatives to our February
meeting to brainstorm ways we could work together
April SJ Collection recipient selection – We need to decide soon so please bring your suggestions
to the January meeting. Other activities in April include forums, movie night, "Climate Monologues" and
Earth Day – perhaps a coordinated theme?
Water event in connection with World Water Day in March
Food Ethics – discussions, movies, UUAM, books, etc.
NEXT MEETING: January 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm (after 2nd service) – room TBA
Gateway Pacific Terminal Update.
Unfortunately, we've not yet gotten a response from ReSources about conducting educational forums so
Deb and Richard will meet next week to draw up a tentative list of possible forums topics and speakers.
Conor also said that Occupy Bellingham also has a contingent that is working on the coal issue as well.
The comment was made to engage other community organizations. It's been our intention to engage other
community groups and that was one of the things what we were hoping that ReSources could help us with.
There was mention of an upcoming event sponsored by the Sierra Club, but no one had the particulars.
(This event information has since been located and posted on the online site.)
UUSC Shopping Bags Update (Winterfest).
Kay, Sue and Ro sold 2 bags during the Winterfest which should bring us to about 32 bags left unless
some got sold that I don't know about. There was a deadline on when the remaining bags had to be returned
to UUSC, but at the last meeting we decided to purchase the remaining bags from the GSP account and sell
them at our leisure.
Adult Forum update.
December 4th, Aaron Sanger and/or Adam Gaya will be presenting a forum on the Canadian Tar Sands.
January's forum will be the Community Food Co-op Farm Fund (date not set yet). Tom Anderson has
agreed to do a forum on energy issues in Whatcom County, but whether that will be in January or
February has not been determined yet.
Food4Tots food drive update
The congregation almost didn't make its target of 1000 units this year. We were short about 168 units,
but a BUF couple graciously wrote a check to cover the difference. There was a brief discussion as to
whether or not this was an effort BUF should be continued and it was decided that the effort was an
important one to continue on with. For next year, work will need to be done to help the congregation
meet and exceed the 1000 units. The effort will need significantly more visibility then was provided
The subject of baby food processors was brought up again, but it was suggested that this be separate
from the actual Food4Tots drive since there are several issues that need to be address when talking
about offering up the processors. Some of these issues included providing education on using the food
processors and if families have access to the appropriate types of food to be used with the processors.
At this point Deb reviewed, in general terms, those things required to conduct events and activities at BUF.
While many of us know these things, some of us don't. For those of us who do, it doesn't hurt to have a gentle
reminder. This discussion was conducted prior to discussing any ongoing or future projects so that we when we
attempt discuss these projects, we have a better understanding of what will be expected of us and what we need
to prepare for.
BUF is undergoing a transformation from being a small congregation to a mid-sized one, which means that we can
no longer expect to do things in simple ways anymore. With a larger congregation come defined processes/procedures
expected to be followed, different levels of approval, etc. This transformation is new to many members and the
church's leadership is still trying to work out what these procedures and processes are and what they will be and
many of us are trying to learn them. So it can be very confusing at times to try and get things accomplished, but
the processes and procedures are necessary. While it used to be that many issues were brought before the Board,
this is no longer case. There are usually going to be several steps before anything is brought to the board, if
it ever does and this will depend on what the issue is. For the most part, most of our activities and events
should not be things that require the Board's attention.
In addition to this transformation, we now have the added situation with Doug leaving the congregation. When the
interim minister comes on board, part of his/her responsibility is to challenge every aspect of congregation life
and how we do business. This could have significant impacts on how people and groups get things accomplished. The
point being, there will be an ongoing change in how and who we deal with over the next couple of years.
We are not the only group that wants to get things accomplished or wants attention and sometimes we forget this.
This congregation is a very active congregation with a lot of people trying to do a lot of things and vying for
limited set of resources.
Different activities and projects will require dealing with different individuals, committees and processes.
Generally speaking, anything having to do with the physical needs of the building will be handled by the Building
and Grounds committee (namely Carol) and our administrator (Erin) who oversees pretty much everything having to do
with the building. Other activities/events may need to involved Crystal (Director of Lifelong Learning) or Doug
(Worship). Publicity, depending on the type needed could involve at least 3 different groups/people.
In taking on a project/event/activity, it's important to address each of the below items:
Upcoming and Ongoing Projects
Lighting Upgrade project update
- Timeline: Are there any time constraints
- Publicity: What kinds of publicity will be required
- Space: What space is needed and when is it available
- Competing Community Events
- Competing BUF Events
- Costs/Budget: How much and how will it be paid for?
- Volunteers: How many and who will be needed?
- Goals: Important to have a clear, well-defined goal
- Other Players: Who else will be impacted and need to be consulted?
- General Communications: Inside and outside the congregation
- Internal Communications: People working on a task need to communicate with each other
- Education process of conducting business: With the transformations it's important to share
information as we learn of it.
The lighting upgrade quest was a real learning experience that encompassed much more than what we thought
it would. First off, the Board was not the proper approach for this particular project. When dealing with
the physical conditions of the building, being "green" is not the only priority that needs to be considered.
Through the process we discovered that there are several safety issues to be considered and take a higher
precedence, some "green" aspects may not have a significant impact and the congregation's budget is a huge
consideration. For all practical purposes, for the time being, there is no extra money in the budget, so all
changes to the lightning, while they need to be done, have to be ranked in priority. In order to begin evaluating
the lighting, 3 bids are being sought. One is already in, we are waiting on the results of another and the third
has yet to be conducted. When addressing the lighting, "green" is only one consideration. One of the biggest
issues is the maintenance and the safety issues involved with that maintenance. Right now, just changing the
light bulbs in the sanctuary is a dangerous proposition due to the height of the existing fixtures. There is also
the feedback from prospective renters that the lighting (or lack thereof) is a factor in their decisions. Also
other general electrical issues in the sanctuary particularly come into play as a result of a recent fire inspection.
So, there are aesthetic, environmental, safety and budgetary factors that have to be considered. For the time being,
we will wait for the receipt of the 3 bids, then we can work with Carol (Building and Grounds) and Erin on where we
go from here considering all the other needs, available funding, etc.
Cleaning Supplies recommendations update
It was decided that we need to hurry up and put this topic to rest. What was discussed that would be needed
is a specific set of product recommendations that will name the product, it's specific use, and any environmental
certifications the product may have. Karen, Conor and another person (I'm sorry I don't remember your name!) will
work together and with Carol to determine what types of cleaning need products and determine if there are any
specific requirements related to the kitchen (due to a recent inspection). Once that information is gathered,
we can draft a proposal of our recommendations. It was also discussed that products should not only be addressed,
but the how of what get's cleaned as well. There was some discussion on a possible relationship with Shaklee, but
that will be have to be checked into further at another time.
Possible Sharon Abreu Climate Monologues performance for spring
It was decided that GSP would like to co-sponsor finally bringing this event to BUF in the spring. Deb to get
more details on Sharon and space's availability, cost and contact the people outside of GSP who were interested
in this project also. A spring performance seemed to be preferred.
Food Handling Training
Karen will be getting basic information on setting up possible food handling training (cost, length of time,
etc.). Once that information is gathered then we can begin approaching the various groups and individuals
(inside and rentals) who do food preparation in the church to participate in the training.
GSP Presence During Coffee Hour
For the Coffee Hour several things have been suggested
- The idea of GSP having a presence once again was discussed. Previously, Green Sanctuary did have
a table during coffee hour that would display printed materials, etc. on a given subject. During
the construction process, the coffee hour table was put on hold due to space constraints. Now
that the new building has been finished and things are settling down into a more normal routine,
it's been suggested that we consider bringing back our table during the coffee hour. Discussion
was general and while the idea was generally accepted, there were no immediate volunteers to
make this active. There was some additional discussion on making use of our brochure rack and
displaying "green" books from our library. There will still need to be some more discussion on
how and how often (weekly vs periodic) we want to do the tables, who would be willing to volunteer
to staff the tables, what materials would be made available, etc.
- Combined Social Justice and Green Sanctuary Presence. Social Justice and Green Sanctuary Kiosks
are being placed in the same area during coffee hour to enhance BUF's social and environmental activities.
Social Justice has a computer mounted to their kiosk that will allow members to access the web and will
have particularly links/tabs to the Social Justice and Green Sanctuary websites as well as other related
sites. One of the main ideas for the terminal was to allow BUFsters to be able to access and sign online
petitions and explore UU related activities relating to social justice. While the terminal is primarily
set up for Social Justice, the committee has graciously invited Green Sanctuary to also be a part of
- Another idea previously discussed was to have SJ and GSP present their respective sides of a given
issue (e.g. social and environmental issues centered around Water). That SJC and GSP assist each other
in manning the tables and kiosks during the coffee hour. Example: If we had one person from GSP and one
person from SJ, that should make staffing the tables easier by spreading out the responsibility among a
larger pool of people. If we did this, it would mean that GSP should become familiar with the computer
terminal and the social justice coffee sales. Although the idea seemed to be welcomed, nothing specific
was decided on at this point in time.
- Updating GSP's printed literature for kiosk and social hour. It was acknowledged that our existing
printed materials are outdated, however, there will need to be more discussion on how to get updated
- GSP Kiosk maintenance. Our kiosk is in sore need of attention. During September and October there
were plenty of things going on at BUF and in the area, that we had issues with trying not to put too much
information up. Now during November and December where we don't have as much going on, the kiosk was
pretty sparse and some information was outdated. Now that the kiosk will be rolled out during coffee
hour, we will have both sides to work with in displaying materials. It was suggested that we have
specific areas of the kiosk designated for specific topics or categories of information including
BUF/GSP events, community events, information on ongoing projects that GSP is working, current
issues/topics in general (e.g. Gateway Pacific Terminal), etc. Kay volunteered to put information
up, but will need to have someone else make the decision of what will go up. Deb will scope out a
possible layout and then we'll go from there.
Great attendance - 14 people!
AGENDA ITEMS: (Assigned tasks are underlined)
"Deep Green" movie: It was suggested that this important movie needed a wider showing.
Karen will check into the possibility of teaming up with RE Sources and/or Pickford Theater
for another showing. We are also looking for other movie titles for upcoming months. And
as always, 1st Wed Movie Nights leaves out the choir.
GMO Presentation: good reviews, wished more BUFsters had attended. There are Non-GMO
shopping guides at the GSP kiosk in the Social Hall.
Find Your Place At BUF: Circular pattern was good; hard to hear conversations for some;
a map was suggested; food at each table pulled people in. Linda will forward reviews to Heidi.
GSP Forums/Farm Fund Collection: The forums have gone well; attendance could be enhanced
by not scheduling on dates with major conflicts like the BUF Retreat and the Choir singing at
another church. Amount collected for Farm Fund will be checked and posted by Linda.
UUSC Shopping Bags: Sold 66 so far; have 34 left. Team decided to buy any not sold after
Winter Festival and we can continue selling them. Kay and Sue will sell bags during Winter Festival.
They will be at the table next to Sarah selling other UUSC items. No sale on Oct 30th because of
Food4Tots Month: We have donated around 550 units of baby food so far. We need 1,000 by
Oct 31st! Cash donations also accepted - just make check out to BUF and mark "Food4Tots" in
memo line. Issue of buying jars of baby food vs. food grinders and breast feeding vs. formula
have been raised. GSP will discuss at a future date. Right now we have committed to 1,000 jars
for month of October.
Upcoming GSP Adult Forums: Living Democracy in November; perhaps Forest Ethics in December and
Jean Rogers from Farm Fund in January.
Energy Audit: Karen handed out copies; Linda will try to obtain an electronic copy; major time
constrained item is upgrading lighting in sanctuary, cry room and loft. Team consensus was that
this is a must-do item. Karen will continue to work with Erin to get 3 bids and cost estimate.
Conor and Karen will research the amount we can save with rebates if work is done BEFORE end of
December. Linda to relay our commitment on this to Board, Admin and Buildings and Grounds Committee.
Ron to contact Erin about a fundraising call during a November service.
Green Cleaning Products: Karen and Conor to work on draft list for team to vote on at next meeting.
Karen suggested BUF sponsor a Food Handlers class (Min 10) on use of kitchen.
Coal Terminal Workshops: Richard and Deb trying to work with Mat at RE Sources on possible
Community to Community (C2C) Meeting: Immigration Team has formed a BUF team to investigate the
possibility of a formal partnership with C2C. Deb and Linda met with C2C to learn of any environmental
related projects that could be part of this potential partnership. C2C works on Domestic Fair Trade;
Farm Workers and Food Sovereignty issues. If this process continues, we can bring C2C representatives
to a Green Sanctuary meeting to further explore possibilities.
GSP Kiosk: During coffee hour our kiosk can be moved next to the Social Justice coffee table if
someone is willing to staff our kiosk. There are more copies of our current handouts in the Green
Sanctuary closet in a UUSC bag.
NW UU Justice Summit: Linda attended the summit on Saturday along with Beth. This newly forming
network includes a website where we can post our social and environmental justice projects and teams.
Review September Events
Review of October Events
- Sale of UUSC bags: 39 sold so far; will sell them on several Sundays in September and
October and during BUF Winter Festival on Nov 5th.
- Review of today's adult forum: Fifteen people attended today's forum with Derek Long of
Sustainable Connections; very positive feedback; Emily Kubiak had an SC info table during
coffee hour; Karen to send thank-you note to Derek and Emily; trifold display that Emily
created is ours to keep – shows BUF's involvement in SC programs.
- Bike Bellingham: Just a reminder of Bellingham's participation in 350.org Moving Planet Day
next Saturday September 24th – bike from several local schools to city hall – see
http://www.moving-planet.org/events/us/bellingham/1196 OR 350 Bellingham on Facebook
- Carbon Masters Program: Starts this week if anyone is interested; requires a commitment to
volunteer on projects with community; Karen is willing to work with any BUF member who takes
the class on a project involving BUF.
- C2C Partnership: BUF Social Justice Committee is creating a team to work on the process of
defining a formal partnership with Community2Community; asking for a Green Sanctuary representative
since C2C works on food justice issues.
Planning for November and beyond
- Food4Tots Month and Kids Feeding Kids Sunday: Everything set up; we will continue to push for
donations of organic baby food and formula. There is interest in looking into the possibility
of donating baby food mills or grinders for those food bank clients who wish to make their own
baby food – we need a volunteer to look into the feasibility of this including possible classes
on how to use them; Kay will ask Food Bank if they are open to the idea.
- 3 GSP Adult Forums - Oct 2, 9 and 16: Just happens that 3 speakers who have environmental themes
selected October dates; we decided to give up our November slot since we're taking 3 slots in October;
if you have suggestions for speakers, please forward them to Deb or post them to the Adult Forum Group
on BUF Online Community. We have hosts for our 3 forums.
- 1st Wed Movie Night "Deep Green" Oct 5 at 7 pm: film on climate change to kick off BUF movie
nights this year; held after BUF Community Dinner; hosts: Judith and David
- Dangers of GMO Foods presentation - Oct 11: Linda meeting with co-presenter this week; publicity
is going out; need setup and cleanup help.
- Find Your Place at BUF Fair - Oct 16: Need to staff table after BOTH services; still need one more
volunteer for each time; will also be selling UUSC bags and hosting KCLT info too (they are the SJ
collection recipients that day)
- BUF Winter Festival - Nov 5: Sarah will help sell UUSC bags along with UUSC holiday cards; if
one or more Green Sanctuary folks can take a shift that would be great! Festival hours are
9 am - 3 pm. Suggestion was made for GSP to buy any remaining bags to sell later, as we need to
send in final proceeds or bags to UUSC after Nov 5th.
- Deb is compiling a list of environmental books for the VB sale during the winter festival –
suggestions welcome. It was also suggested that GSP buy a book from Village Books for the BUF
library. Decision on which book to be made at October meeting.
- Energy Audit report from Sustainable Connections should arrive soon. We expect a strong
recommendation to replace lighting in sanctuary and comfort room before rebates ends at end of
- Status of Gateway Pacific Terminal: Richard is working with RE Sources on a possible series
of community-wide educational workshops on this proposed coal terminal.
- Cleaning Supplies request: We will discuss next month; Karen to investigate requirements from
city for kitchen cleansers.
Marian introduced a new BUF action team she is pulling together to support the new Living Democracy
non-profit in town; she needs 2 more people to create the team. There will be a Living Democracy class
Oct 21 – 22.
Date for October meeting: Sunday October 23 at 10:30 am in Old Social Hall/New BUF Library. Grab a cup
of coffee and join us!
REVIEW OF VOLUNTEER ASSIGNMENTS and OPENINGS
- 9/24 Sell UUSC Bags – Kay
- 10/2 Host adult Forum – Lauralee
- 10/5 Host Movie Night – Judith and David
- 10/9 Host Adult Forum – Linda; Sell UUSC Bags – Judith
- 10/11 GMO Presentation by Linda and Tanja
Greeter – Karen
Runner – Kay
Set up ________________
Staff GSP table – Karen. and __________________
Clean up __________________
- 10/16 Host Adult Forum – Michael
Host KCLT as SJ collection recipients _____________
Find Your Place at BUF – after 1st service – Kay and _____________
Find Your Place at BUF – after 2nd service – Karen and _____________
- 11/5 Help Sarah Pearson sell UUSC Bags ___________________
- C2C Partnership Representative ____________________
- Investigate feasibility of donating baby food mills _________________
TENTATIVE calendar of Green Sanctuary events: (need to confirm several items)
Month of September:
Month of October:
- Publicize Sustainable Connections "Eat Local First" campaign
- Sun. Sept 11 – Sat. Nov 5: Sale of UUSC reusable shopping bags (we will also collect
your old, clean cloth bags for donating to those who cannot afford them)
- Sun. Sept 18: Adult forum on Community Energy Challenge at 9:30 am with information
table during coffee hour and Green Sanctuary monthly meeting at 12:30 pm
- Sat. Sept 24: Moving Planet Day (350.org) – possible Bellingham bicycling event –
Food4Tots month – BUF committed to donate 1000 units of baby food
Tasks and Assignments:
- Sun. Oct 9: Possible adult forum on access to land for farming (Kulshan Community Land
- Tue. Oct 11: "Dangers of GMO Foods and How to Avoid Them" presentation 7 pm BUF Sanctuary
- Sun. Oct 16: UN World Food Day/Kids Feeding Kids Sunday
- Sun Oct 23: Social Justice collection for Kulshan Community Land Trust's Affordable Access
to Land for Farming (AALF) program
Items tabled but not to be forgotten:
- Create sign up sheets for sale of UUSC shopping bags and begin recruiting – Linda
- Request Sustainable Connections speaker on Community Energy Challenge for Sept 18 – Karen
- Reserve room for September GSP meeting – Linda
- Research Moving Planet Day local activities – Linda and Rick
- Organize Food4Tots Month/Kids Feeding Kids Sunday and publicity – Kay
- Contact Kulshan Community Land Trust about social justice collection and adult forum for
October – Kathleen
- Contact Erin and Doug about date for October social justice collection and possible sermon
on environmental food issues - Linda
- Contact Adult Forum team on our choices for September and October - Deb
- Posters for adult forums, GMO presentation and Food4Tots month – Deb
- Coal Terminal issue
- Interfaith Green Teams Council
- "Imagine This" tour next June – apply for BUF to be on the tour
- Water Issues
- Our Social Justice collection choice for April 2012