|Religious Education ("RE")
"...Explore the material and psychological distractions that prevent us
from caring for the Earth, and to acknowledge the connection between our lifestyle choices and the condition
of the Earth . . . Clarify earth-related values . . .Explore the meaning of sustainability, to consider the
ties between lifestyle choices and their impact on the earth . . . Religious education is key to learning about
the complexities of the environmental crisis ~ Green Sanctuary Program Manual
December 16, 2012 • Rodd Pemble, Sanitary Services Company
Whatcom Waste Reduction and Recycling
Rodd Pemble will provide a summary – what’s in place, what’s coming in waste reduction
and recycling in Whatcom County. He will also discuss Stewardship (resource management) at BUF – what’s in place,
what is possible and BUF Outreach Opportunities – expanding the message to Mon-Sat, Smart Trips, etc.
November 18, 2012 • Jeremy Freimund and Victor Johnson, Lummi Dept. of Natural
Lummi Water Rights
Victor Johnson and Jeremy Freimund from the Lummi Natural Resources Department
provided 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 watershed.
November 13, 2012 • "Green Fire" Film Screening and Discussion
See the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary
conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy! Green Fire shares highlights from his extraordinary
career, explaining how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement. It also illustrates how
Leopold's vision of a community that cares about both people and land continues to inform and inspire people
across the country and around the world, highlighting modern projects that put Leopold’s land ethic in action
in a multitude of ways.
November 11, 2012 • Todd Jones, Whatcom County Agricultural Advisory Committee
The Future of Farming in Whatcom County
Agricultural has always been a major part of the local economy, but will it continue to
thrive in the twenty-first century? Todd Jones has worked in the local agricultural community for 37 years and
is currently the longest serving member of the County Council's Agricultural Advisory Committee. He will present
his insider's perspective and look at the challenges facing the agricultural community in Whatcom County.
October 21, 2012 • David Culver, GPT EIS Workshop Trainer
Writing Effective GPT EIS Scoping Comments
David started by discussing the proper technique to writing a substantive comment.
After a few minutes discussing terms and answering questions attendees started writing a comment. Members
attending the forum took home a draft of their first comment, a list of "101Reasons 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 January 21st so we need to start writing comments now.
October 7, 2012 • Laura Plaut, Common Thread Farms
Connecting Our Youth with Food
Laura Plaut is the founder and director of Common Threads Farm, a Bellingham based
nonprofit on a mission to connect young people with healthy food through hands-on, seed-to-table educational
experiences. Laura will be joining us on October 7th to talk about Common Threads' history and current programs,
and also to engage in a discussion on what is happening both locally and nationally to connect with our food
sources in ways that support the health of our bodies, our communities, and our environment. Common Thread Farms
will also be the social justice recipient on October 14, 2012.
September 16, 2012 • Jill MacIntyre Witt, Climate Reality Project
Climate Reality Project and the Gateway Pacific Terminal
Jill MacIntyre Witt shared with us the latest Al Gore presentation from the Climate
Reality Project in order to bridge the impacts of climate change to N. America's largest proposed coal export
terminal. She will provide concrete action steps at both the personal and local level and leave the audience
understanding that their actions do matter and that the time is now for transitioning away from fossil fuels.
June 24, 2012 • Ron Quinn, BUF Member
"Land Ethics and Unitarian Universalism" (An alternate title would be "How to save the world without
making yourself crazy")
Much of the discussion of environmental issues focuses on identifying problems, and
then solving them. This popular, and populist, approach is usually not reflective, and the policy battles
can be exhausting. The ethics of our relationship with nature is an important part of our UU heritage, and
it provides a way to weave together our thoughts, impulses and desires regarding the environment. This fabric
of belief, reinforced by contemplation and discussion, can be a safety net for earnest environmentalists, and
for the environment.
May 20, 2012 • Gigi Berardi, WWU
Gigi Berardi's work explores how we think about growing food and choosing the food
we eat. For example, in our imagination, we might link good food and fine eating with good farming. But
often the way we eat has little to do with the way we think food should be produced (or, the way it actually
is produced). For example, our sustainable farms in Whatcom County continue to be threatened by a range of
extreme events and by rapid economic changes. Indeed, many farms may be vulnerable, as they operate close
to resilience thresholds that threaten their long-term viability. At the government end of the food chain,
regulatory and corporate presence can demoralize farmers who are trying to do the right thing—tomato growers
do not get paid a cent for flavor, for instance – to the point where well-meaning farmers sometimes give up
and do something else with their lives. At the consuming end of the chain, we often let businesses make our
decisions about what we buy and eat. Such activity is inevitable as institutions of various sorts become less
empathetic and more focused on turning a profit. Berardi's work is about changing the way we think about food,
advocating a curiosity about all that is important about food, all that food production entails, and all that
food means to our bodies and our lives. It is a story about what is good for our soul, as well as the global
April 22, 2012 • Terry Meyer of Cascade Community Wind Company
Terry spoke about alternative energy and about his efforts to
bring wind power to Whatcom County. Terry also provided BUF with a carbon offset certificate!
From Terry: "That Certificate basically confirms that a Megawatt Hour of energy we generated from our
turbine was generated on your behalf to offset the carbon and electrical use of that service. We would all
like to not be emitting carbon with our regular activities, but we all have cars that burn gas and our
electricity is 1/3 from coal. What we can do is make sure that we have done something else that removes
or avoids the emission of carbon. That certificate says that about 1000 pounds of carbon were saved by
our wind turbine to compensate for the driving and electricity that was required for your service. The
certificate's value now is potentially as something to display to remind people that the church takes
carbon and renewable energy seriously. I know you recently stopped buying green power, I wanted to give
you this (it is worth about $40) to fill the gap until the church can afford to and decides on another
carbon mitigation strategy. I don't know what your electrical usage is but if you wanted to see this
as only offsetting your electricity, and not congregant's driving, then my guess is it will supply the
renewable energy for your church for a couple of months (look at your bill, this is 1000 kWh). This
certificate shows that, assuming you stopped PSE's program recently, you have not lapsed in your committement
to renewable energy powering your church." Thank you ever so much Terry!!
April 15, 2012 • Adam Karp, Animal Rights Attorney
Adam Karp exclusively practices animal law statewide from Bellingham,
Washington. He has been very active in a number of legal arenas promoting animal rights.
He will be giving us an introduction to animal law, discussing religious slaughter and the
evolution of animal cruelty law in the state of Washington.
April 1, 2012 • Lindsay Taylor, Program Coordinator, RE Sources
Currently, the world's largest coal company Peabody Energy is working with the world's largest cargo
terminal operator, SSA Marine, to build North America's largest coal export terminal here in Whatcom
County - right in our backyard. Coal is the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fossil fuel on the planet.
Being a gateway for coal export would fly in the face of our region's leadership in the clean energy
economy. Shipping up to a 48 million tons of coal a year to Asia through this port would spread toxic
coal dust along the rail lines in across Whatcom County, risk our families' health, pollute our air
and water, and continue to stoke the climate crisis. We need to power past coal. We can do better,
keeping our local economy strong and the place we love intact for our families. We won't sell the
soul of our community for coal. The costs to our health, quality of life, and our home town is just
February 12, 2012 • Tom Anderson, former general manager of the
Whatcom County Public Utility District
As a former Whatcom County Public Utility District manager, business owner of Advanced Solar
Energy LLC and an active member in Transition Whatcom, Tom has seen where Whatcom County has
been, where it is and where it's headed when looking at the issue of energy use and alternatives.
January 22, 2012 • Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director for
the FoodFirst/Institute for Food and Development Policy
In addition to being the Director for FoodFirst/Instititue, Eric is a food system advocate and
author/editor on sustainable agriculture. Food Justice describes all those aspects of our food
system. It encompasses the environmental, social and economic aspects of a system that impacts
everyone, from the small local community to the global community. From sustainable agriculture
to farmer and farm worker rights, domestic and international fair trade, Food Justice is a growing
and necessary response to saving our planet and ensuring the people of the world have access to
healthy food in a way that is economically just. Join us as we take this first, formal step with
Community to Community into the world and work of Food Justice. Co-sponsored by Green Sanctuary,
Immigration Rights Team and Community to Community
January 15, 2012 • Jean Rogers, Community Food Co-op Farm Fund
Whatcom County is fortunate to have a strong local food movement, talented and dedicated farmers,
and good growing conditions. At the time, our county faces some unique challenges, as well as
issues many communities are facing across the US as we try to build a healthier, more secure
relationship with our food systems. This forum will look at barriers our farmers face, and some
of the innovative solving going on, both on the farms and in the community. While there are some
tough issues, there is great momentum right now, and a whole variety of ways for folks to plug in,
as Whatcom County continues to break new ground in sustainable food and farming practices.
Sponsored by Green Sanctuary.
December 4, 2011 • ForestEthics with Adam Gaya
ForestEthics believes that protecting our planet is everyone's business. Because of our work,
environmentally responsible corporations and governments will thrive. Natural systems will be
protected, and the people and wildlife that depend on them will prosper. Markets will be more
transparent and ethical.
November 20, 2011 • Dr. Kimberly Sandstrom, ND, LMP, Bellingham
Natural Family Medicine
Health care in the U.S. today is often rushed, impersonal, and cost-prohibitive. The focus
of medical visits is on management of diseases and prescription medications rather than on
the foundational lifestyle factors that profoundly influence health. What is naturopathic
medicine? How are naturopathic physicians trained and what can they do? How are they similar
and different from family practice medical doctors and other primary care providers? What
role will they likely play in the future of medicine? Hear Dr. Kimberly Sandstrom discuss
her perspective as a local naturopathic physician, ask questions, and share your ideas and
November 13, 2011 • Living Democracy with Michael Lilliquist
Explore how large corporations have more rights than American citizens and cities. Examine the way
the US constitution allows laws that shift power from real people to "corporate persons" and the
impact that has on natural and financial resources of citizens and communities. See how some
communities, beginning with tiny, farming communities in Pennsylvania, are fighting back to protect
their lives and livelihoods. Hear how Bellingham has joined the battle to protect our natural and
financial resources through a new group called the "Living Democracy".
October 16, 2011 • Cathy Lehma, Futurewise
How will Whatcom County encourage economic development, provide
housing and transportation and protect property rights and natural resources?
The Growth Management Act is a action plan that requires the
county to look at and address several issues and goals related to current and future land
use throughout the county. It requires the county to look at urban sprawl, rural areas,
economic development, transportation and a host of other concerns.
Cathy Lehman, Whatcom County Chapter Director of Futurewise provided a basic
overview of the Growth Management Act and growth management in Whatcom County, including
basics like terminology, required planning, a general timeline of pertinent events that
got us to where we're at now, and more.
Futurewise works to protect forests, farms and shorelines by limiting development on critical
rural and resource lands and habitat. It advocates and promotes vibrant, compact, livable
development in our urban communities by supporting housing options, transportation choices
and smart development patterns. It fosters distinctive, attractive communities with a strong
sense of place.
October 2, 2011 • Whatcom Farm to School with Mardi Solomon
BUF members explored the many challenges and opportunities the farm-to-school
movement faces in the effort to incorporate healthy, fresh, and local food in the public school
meal programThe goals of farm-to-school are to improve children's nutrition, support local and
regional farmers, boost the local economy, and encourage lifelong healthy eating habits for
children and their families.
Over 30 million children eat school food five days a week, 180
days per year, and school kitchens have evolved over time to provide these meals efficiently
on very tight budgets. School meal programs have become well-integrated with national
industrialized food production and delivery systems. To make an impact, the farm-to-school
movement must address the existing situation from multiple levels, focusing on infrastructure
development for local food production, distribution, and preparation in institutional settings;
education of students, families, and cafeteria staff; and policy issues that affect the food
system. We will explore some of the complexities of this multi-faceted approach to achieving
the seemingly simple goal of making a healthy, fresh, and local school meal available for our kids.
September 18, 2011 • Sustainable Connections with Derek Long, Executive
"The Challenges and opportunities of building a sustainable local economy
and how BUF's membership and active participation in Sustainable Connections contributes to that goal."
In keeping with Moving Planet Day, GSP is hoping to host the adult forum class
with Sustainable Connections. Hear a brief background on Sustainable Connections as well as how diverse
stakeholders such as businesses, government, non profits and the public at large are putting our community
in an important leadership position as we attempt to model an economy that serves our community better.
Also learn about how over the past several years BUF has implemented programs from the Green Power Community
Challenge to Toward Zero Waste to the Community Energy Challenge to save energy to save money and reduce
our environmental impact.
March - May, 2011: Northwest Earth Institute Courses: "Discovering A Sense of
We had two discussion groups that formed around the NWEI course "Discovering
A Sense Of Place." This was a seven to nine session discussion guide focusing on knowing and
protecting our place. Discussion course goals included 1) understanding the meaning of a bioregional
perspective, and what it would mean to develop 2) considering the benefits of consciously developing
an intimate relationship with your place and 3) exploring what it might mean to protect the place
where you live. Topics include: A Sense of Place, Responsibility to Place, Knowing Your Bioregion,
Living in Place, Mapping Your Place, Building Local Community and Empowerment. About 15 people
March 2, 2011 - March 2011 Water For Life – "Beneath the Salish Sea:
An Underwater Odyssey through Puget Sound" Movie Presentation
As part of BUF's "March 2011: Water for Life" events in celebration of our
water theme for this year and in recognition of World Water day, BUF"s Film night (after the Community Dinner)
featured "Beneath The Salish Sea": An Underwater Odyssey through Puget Sound. This film is a spectacular
hi-def video tour of the waters around Whidbey. Starting in Holmes Harbor, international cinematographer
and marine biologist Florian Graner, filmed the beautiful, the frightening, and the just plain weird denizens
of our inland waters. Sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Program and Religious Education. The program
was an multigenerational event and was attended by folks of all ages.
|Sunday Morning Adult Forum - Fred Berman "Homegrown Security: Agriculture"
February 20, 2011
Fred and his wife, Lynne, were early organic farmers before establishing Pastazza
restaurant in Bellingham. He is now a coordinator for the Small Farm Program of our state's Department
Gather the Spirit: Workshop #8
December 8, 2010
"(In) the early '60's I realized that the world was being turned into a
poisonous garbage dump. By the time the meek inherited it, it might not be worth inheriting."
— Pete Seeger, folk singer and activist
"You can't expect people to fight for a cleaner river unless they learn to love it."
– Pete Seeger, folk singer and activist
This final class focused on Pete Seeger, his music, and his work with
the Clearwater cleaning up the Hudson River. Activities included: adding Boats to the Water
Mural, the story of Pete Seeger and the Clearwater, writing letters of Commitment and a sing-along
with musical assistance from Dan Sobel.
Gather the Spirit: Workshop #5
November 17, 2010
"This we know. The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the
earth... All things are connected like the blood which unites one family... Whatever befalls the
earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth... Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."
– attributed to Chief Noah Sealth, Reading 550 in Singing the Living Tradition
"We name ourselves after the land we live with. Because, not only are we breathing in, we are also
drinking from the water that is flavored by that very land. Whatever is deposited in the soil is
in that water is in us. So we are all one thing, and we name ourselves after the place that is our
nurturing. That sustains our life."
— Ramona Peters, Mashpee Wampanoag artist
This workshop's activities included a Meditation for Two Voices, a story about
"Mabouya, Chief of the Well," an exercise in water ownership and defining boundaries on our Water Mural.
Gather the Spirit: Workshop #4
October 20, 2010
"Filthy water cannot be washed."
– African proverb
"There is a silent holocaust occurring around the world caused by lack
of water and sanitation. People are dying because the international aid community and national governments
are not listening to the poor or looking at the overwhelming evidence.
— Barbara Frost, chief executive of WaterAid
This workshop will explore the importance and scarcity of clean, fresh water and
how we can keep it that way. Activities include a short meditation, an exercise in freshwater scarcity,
a game of Turdlywinks and the story "Why Toilets are so Important." We'll be adding signs showing the
way to the toilets on our Water Mural.
Gather the Spirit: Workshop #3
October 6, 2010
Anyone who can solve the problem of water will be worthy of
two Nobel prizes—one for peace and one for science."
— John F. Kennedy
"Water is life. We are the people who live by the water. Pray by these waters. Travel by the waters.
Eat and drink from these waters. We are related to those who live in the water. To poison the waters
is to show disrespect for creation. To honor and protect the waters is our responsibility as people
of the land."
— Winona LaDuke, "Like Tributaries to a River," translated from Anishinaabe by Marlene Stately,
The Winona LaDuke Reader, 2002
This workshop's activities include adding Animals to the Water Mural,
exploring Water Stewardship and Stewardship Pledge and an Aquifer in a Cup demonstration project.
Gather the Spirit: Workshop #2
September 29, 2010
This workshop's activities include a presentation on that Water Cycle
which illustrates the interconnection between plants, animals, people and water and
water stewardship by Matt Krogh of the North Sound Baykeeper Program, exploring BUF's rain garden-style storm
water run-off system and adding Plants to the Water Mural.
"For many of us, water simply flows from a faucet,
and we think little about it beyond this point of contact. We have lost a sense of
respect for the wild river, for the complex workings of a wetland, for the intricate
web of life that water supports." – Sandra Postel, Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity
"The protection of nature depends on more than the
organizational strength of stewardship organizations; it also depends on the quality of
the relationship between the young and nature—on how, or if, the young attach to nature.
— Richard Louv, author, Last Child in the Woods
Gather the Spirit: Workshop #1
September 22, 2010
"There's a river of my people and its flow is swift
and strong." — Pete Seeger, Unitarian Universalist folk singer and activist
"Between earth and earth's atmosphere, the amount of water remains constant; there is never a drop more,
never a drop less. This is a story of circular infinity, of a planet birthing itself. — Linda Hogan,
Northern Lights, Autumn 1990
This workshop's activities include starting the Water Mural, creating Water Poetry,
viewing "The Story of Bottled Water" video and making Rain Sticks
Tapestry of Faith: Gather the Spirit
September 2010 - December 2010
Religious Education, Social Justice and Green Sanctuary members
are working together to present Gather the Spirit, an eight-session, multigenerational
program that teaches stewardship with a focus on water. Stewardship can take many forms:
donating money to our congregations and to causes we care about; volunteering to teach,
to lead or to physically maintain our congregations; helping to meet the needs of others
and protecting our shared resources in our local and global communities. Perhaps, today,
there is no more compelling focus for our stewardship than the clean, drinkable water all
life on Earth requires. Through a lens both scientific and religious, using activities a
wide range of ages can do together, this program addresses the importance of water, the
inequity of access to clean water, and actions we can take as Unitarian Universalist stewards.
|Green Burial May 2009
May 10, 2009
BUF member Bob Keller conducted this seminar discussing the rationale for green burial compared to other
methods of interment or scattering of human remains. Topics included a brief overview of conventional cemetery
options, environmental costsof traditional burial practices, ethical/theological issues, currrent legal constraints
on human body disposal, the nascent U.S. green burial movement, certification, and the role of Whatocm Land Trust.
May 17, 2009
BUF members joined Bob Keller on this follow-up to the Adult RE class for a field trip to Greenacres Memorial
Park to meet with the director of that cemetery's green burial program. They learned the rationale, examined
equipment, toured the new 2009 site, and learned first-hand how this effort in land restoration and protection will
operate in our county. For more information on Greenacres, visit their website at
March 7, 2009 - "Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream" Symposium
|On March 7th, GSP brought the "Awakening the Dreamer, Changinge the Dream" symposium to BUF. Although geared
toward the UU membership, the event was open to and attended by the general public. The Symposium was composed of
astonishing and stunning video segments and profound, interactive exercises with a touch of the UU with music and
meditations. The Symposium's structure is built on four key inquiries—all developed for our community to ask:
• What's the true state of our modern world?
• How do we identify and come to grips with the very assumptions that underlie the way we see the world and our
place in it?
• How do we open up to new perspectives and possibilities that will form the foundation for a bold new future?
• What can each of us do—both individually and cooperatively—to move the world in a new direction?
Joined by the Social Justice Committee and the Principles in Action Team, although it was a very long day
(we planned the full 8-hour symposium) for both attendees and facilitators, it was well-received.
|January 26, 2009 - David Bacon's "Illegal People . . ."
Working with the Social Justice Team and Community to Community, GSP supported an event that invited author
David Bacon to speak on issues of illegal immigration. An award winning photojournalist who was a union organizer
for two decades before he began writing and taking pictures, Bacon examines immigration from the perspective of those
whose lives are most affected . . ."All over the world huge streams of migrants are fleeing war, repression, and poverty,
journeying from developing countries to the industrial ones of the so-called global north . . . at the same time, the
industrial economies have become dependent on the work of migrants, who form a subclass of people working in jobs with
the lowest wages, least security, and most dangerous conditions." Bacon examines how corporate interests, government
legislation, and economic and trade policy, including the role of NAFTA, have contributed to worker displacement and
the denial of immigrant rights to fair wages, housing, health services, and schooling.
A traditional mexican dinner was prepared by Las Margaritas, a project of Community To Community and side dishes were
provided by Social Justice and GSP. Later, a discussion of immigration issues in our community, a slide show including
Bacon's photos and signing of his book, "Illegal People" took place
|January thru March 09 - Rise Up and Call Her Name: A Woman-honoring Journey into
Global Earth-based Spiritualities
During the winter months, several BUF members attended a course entitled "Rise Up and Call Her Name: A Woman-honoring
Journey into Global Earth-based Spiritualities that was offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays. "Rise Up" is a
multicultural experiential curriculum that provides participants with a unique view of international religious
imagery and worldviews, including journeys through Ancient Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, African American, Southeast
Asia, China and Japan, Pacific Islands, Mesoamerica and North America. The course is made up of thirteen 2-1/2 hr
segments that include a variety of activities such as singing, dancing, rituals, simple art projects, sharing of
information and feelings, storytelling, and more. Thanks to Elizabeth Fisher and company for putting together the
curriculum, it's been an enlightening journey and highly recommended for both men and women. Although the classes
have ended, several of the participants are continuing their journey as a group continuing to explore the goddessess,
conduct celebrations and other activities.
|October 23, 2008 - "Solar in Bellingham" with Dana Brandt
Owner of Ecotech Energy Systems in Bellingham, Dana Brandt reviewed the basics of: How solar energy works;
Why it works in Bellingham; What it costs; What the new financial incentives are; and took us on a virtual
solar tour of local installations. Dana Brandt has a wide range of renewable energy experience. He holds
a Master of Science degree in Renewable Energy and has been involved in renewable energy projects in eight
countries on five continents. He is also active in the emerging field of microgrids and distributed generation.
Session One: "King Corn" and introduction - Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast,
move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds,
and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America's most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of
Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about
how we eat and how we farm.
|September-October 2008: "Menu for the Future" course by the Northwest Earth
Session 2: What's Eating - Given the array of food choices and advice, eating in modern America industrial society can
be wrought with confusion, contradictions and anxiety. This session considers the effects of modern industrial eating habits on
culture, society and the Earth.
Session 3: Anonymous Food - This session traces the historical shift from family farms to industrial agriculture to
present day questions surrounding GMOs and industrial organics. The session examines the ecological and economic impacts that
have accompanied the changes in how we grow and prepare food.
Session 4: Farming for the Future - This session explores emerging food system alternatives, highlighting sustainable
growing practices and the benefits of small farms and urban food production. It considers how individuals can make choices that
lead to a more sustainable food supply.
Session 5: You Are What You Eat - This session explores food systems from a human health perspective. The session
considers the influences that shape our choices and food policies from the fields to Capitol Hill, and the implications for
our health and well-being.
Session 6: Towards a Just Food System - The readings in this session examine issues of hunger, equity, and Fair Trade.
The session considers the role that governments, communities and individuals can play in addressing these issues to create a more
just food system.
Session 7: Choices for Change - Individuals and communities are discovering the benefits of choosing local, seasonal,
and sustainably grown and produced foods. This session offers inspiration and practical advice in taking steps to create more
sustainable food systems.
Session 8: Winding Up - Celebrate the completion of the course with a local foods potluck and a discussionon on where we
go from here.
|September 15, 2008 @ 7:00 p.m - "Food Consersations"
The new UUA Congregational Study/Action Issue for 2008 – 2012, selected at General Assembly, is "Ethical Eating:
Food and Environmental Justice." The Green Sanctuary Program Team felt the issue of eating locally takes a big
priority in our combating a myriad of environmental and social issues. For this reason we, chose the month of
September for "Local Foods and Food Security." As a part of that effort, we invited BUF members and members from
the greater community to join us for a short film "The True Cost of Food" and tackled questions the film raised.
About 30 people attended this event.
| April 20, 2008 - BUF's Second Earth Day Celebration - We Are The Ones We Have Been
BUF's Second Earth Day celebration included William Scarvie, a UU member very familiar with David Korten and his
works, conducting a service entitled "We are the Ones We've Been Waiting For." After the service, there was a
delicious Earth Day Potluck. About 1:00 pm, Mr. Scarvie conducted the "Change the Story, Change the Future" workshop.
"A three-fold crisis looms before us. Today's parents of young children will almost certainly experience the
effects of global climate disruption in their lifetime. They will also almost certainly suffer the catastrophic
economic consequences of dwindling resources and a possible collapse of the US dollar. Given our grim prospects,
is there any hope? The Chinese ideogram for crisis has two components, the characters meaning danger and opportunity.
What opportunities exist to shape a positive future for our children and grandchildren? What actions can we take
now that will improve the likelihood that their lives will be prosperous, secure and meaningful? What is the role
of religious communities in this great work? Inspired by David Korten's recent book, The Great Turning: From Empire
to Earth Community, this workshop will explore these questions through introspection, intimate conversation and
|March 7, 2008 - Applachacian Treasures
BUF's Social Justice Committee and the Green Sanctuary Program helped Whatcom Human Rights Task Force and Re Sources
sponsor a program by "Appalachian Voices" entitled "Appalachian Treasures." Launched by Appalachian Voices in March
2005, the Appalachian Treasures project is a national campaign to end the suffering and devastation that mountaintop
removal coal mining has brought to the land and communities of Appalachia. Appalachian Voices has sent a full time
field organizer out on the road, along with volunteers from Appalachia's coalfields, and together they are traveling
the country building a national network of people who will work together to end mountaintop removal.
At the heart of this effort is "Appalachian Treasures," a multimedia presentation that features photos that capture
the beauty of Appalachia along with disturbing shots of flattened moonscape mining sites, voice recordings of neighbors
and friends recounting the daily struggles of life in the coalfields, and traditional music of Appalachia. This amazing
presentation leaves a powerful, lasting impression of the beauty and the richness of the culture and heritage of
Appalachia, as well as the needless devastation caused by mountaintop removal coal mining.
|February 3 & 10, 2008 -"Digital Dump: Exporting Reuse and Abuse to Africa"
The photo-documentary report entitled " The Digital Dump: Exporting High-Tech Re-use and Abuse to Africa," exposes
the ugly underbelly of what is thought to be an escalating global trade in toxic, obsolete, discarded computers and
other e-scrap collected in North America and Europe and sent to developing countries by waste brokers and so-called
In Lagos, while there is a legitimate robust market and ability to repair and refurbish old electronic equipment
including computers, monitors, TVs and cell phones, the local experts complain that of the estimated 500 40-foot
containers shipped to Lagos each month, as much as 75% of the imports are "junk" and are not economically repairable
or marketable. Consequently, this e-waste, which is legally a hazardous waste is being discarded and routinely burned
in what the environmentalists call yet "another "cyber-age nightmare now landing on the shores of developing countries."
Most citizens, governments and businesses have blinders on concerning sham reuse and recycling of their e-waste.
"The Digital Dump" rips those blinders away. Save your breath. Show the film. Then talk. You will have instant allies asking
honest questions. That's how change happens." -- Sego Jackson, Principal Planner, Snohomish County, Washington
"Digital Dump pinpoints the horrific impact to human health and the environment in developing countries that results from
illegal exports and exploitative practices purveyed by certain segments of the electronics recycling industry today. The
right information can help us all make the responsible decision with our e-waste, and Digital Dump delivers just that." --
James W. Kao, President and CEO of GreenCitizen Inc.
|November 27, 2007 - "The Great Turning" Video Review and Discussion
The Great Turning makes the case that we humans are a choice making species that at this defining moment faces
both the opportunity and the imperative to choose our future as a conscious collective act. We can no longer deny
the need nor delay our response. A mounting perfect economic storm is fast approaching. A convergence of climate
change, peak oil, and the financial instability inherent in an unbalanced global trading system will bring an
unraveling of the corporate-led global economy and a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life. "The
Great Turning" video was viewed and a discussion, facilitated by Rebecca Cors, was held after the viewing.
|October & November 2007 - Climate Change: Changing CO2urse
We ran a 4-session class on Climate Change using curriculum designed by the Northwest Earth Institute. Discussion Course
Goals: included exploring personal values and habits as they relate to climate change, understanding the history and science
of global warming and empowering individuals to take action to curb global warming.
"For if there is to be a livable world for those who come after us, it will be because we have managed to make the
transition from the Industrial Growth Society to a Life-Sustaining Society. When people of the future look back at this historical
moment...they may well call it the time of the Great Turning."-Joanna Macy
- Off Course: Communities around the world are experiencing the effects of global warming. This session explores personal
responses to climate change and why society has been slow to respond.
- Collision Course: To better understand the complexities of global warming, this session breaks down the history and
science of global climate change and identifies our participation in this ecological crisis.
- Changing Course: Although global warming is a daunting issue, there are accessible and significant actions we can
all take. This session explores new strategies for addressing climate change and considers personal action to mitigate
the effects of global warming.
- Setting a New Course: What will it take to create a sustainable future? Explore our individual and collective power
to shape an effective response to climate change, enabling future generations to meet their needs.
|"An Inconvenient Truth" Workshop - September 25, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
Even having watched the Academy Award winning film "An Inconvenient Truth", we learned more about global
climate change when Katie Fleming, RE Sources Education Coordinator, delivered an updated version of the slide show
at BUF on September 25th. She addressed current research, information about our region, and most importantly, ways
in which you can be a major part of the solution to the growing crisis of global warming. Katie is one of 1,000
international "Climate Change Messengers" for The Climate Project. It was well-attended and very informative.