Archive for the ‘Congregational Activities’ category

The Web is Abuzz

May 2, 2010

The web is abuzz with 40/40/40!

Participants in over 50 Unitarian Universalist congregations in 30 U.S. states and at least two countries are celebrating. Check here to see if your congregation has registered, so that you get national credit and we can know how many congregations are participating—-and so we can sing your praises!

You may have seen that 40/40/40 was the top headline on for about a week–that story is a good one.

40/40/40 is considered an official event by the official Earth Day folks, and has been covered in the secular press in places like St. Louis, MO, Sierra Vista, AZ, and greater Boston, MA, as well as by a handful of newspapers that don’t have online editions.

But the real story is happening in congregations–check out this impressive 40/40/40 Calendar from the UU Church of Greater Bridgeport in Stratford CT—-and in Unitarian Universalist homes, as evidenced by almost daily updates on blogs like Ideal for Eating, UUCE 40 Days, The Geeky White Girl Grows Up, and Inspired Faith, Effective Action.

Where else have you seen 40/40/40 on the web?

Tell us your story so far, or part of your congregation’s story, in the comments—-we may just devote a blog entry to what you have to say!

Ideas for Children and Youth

April 24, 2010

A volunteer helps organize food for distribution at the San Francisco Food Bank

Children and youth are leading the way toward environmental justice and stewardship of the Earth. If you’re looking for ways to involve children and youth in 40/40/40, you might best start by asking them for their ideas. Looking for more?

The 40/40/40 Sample Actions Document lists 10 sample actions for children and youth. But that’s just the beginning.
Jessica Rubenstein, Director of Youth Ministry for Winchester Unitarian Society in Massachusetts, has generated great conversations in the church’s large youth group with excerpts from Michael Pollen’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids, which is really for middle school and high school ages, and movies like Fast Food Nation, Supersize Me, Food Inc., The Future of Food, and FRESH (most of which are reviewed in the updated Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice 2010 Study Guide).
Jessica points out the availability of great curriculum online on food sovereignty, lessons for garden, kitchen, and classroom, and much more.

On 40/40/40 for the Earth!’s Facebook page, starter activities for kids has been a hot topic. Check out that page’s comments for more ideas like Peggy Ellis’s to “throw away NOTHING at lunchtime. Use all reusable containers, take utensils from home that get washed and reused, take water in a reusable container. Urge other kids to do the same.” Susan Eakins reminds us how easy it is to find a nearby farmed animal sanctuary where you can help, pet, and care for farmed animals…and she asks, are any UU congregations part of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots groups?

Soon we’ll post ideas about UU curricula you can use during, and well beyond, the 40/40/40 campaign. But what ideas would you add to the mix? Let’s hear it in the comments.

What are People in Your Congregation Doing?

April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

The 40/40/40 campaign is the top story on the UUA’s home page, and lots of folks from the UUA’s Advocacy and Witness and Washington Center are taking part, like the three excerpted below. What are folks in your congregation doing? Let’s hear it in the comments–and let us know if you have pictures or videos of your experience to share!

Orelia Busch
For the next forty days, and hopefully for the rest of my life, I will only eat meat that comes from farms with sustainable and humane practices, preferably located near where I live.  I want to know exactly where my meat is coming from and be assured that the animals I’m eating have not been pumped full of antibiotics and chemicals or lived under the conditions of factory farming, which is inhumane not only to the animals but also the workers involved.  Sometime during or after the forty days, I will probably expand these criteria to all animal products that I consume, but for now, I’ll start with meat.

Rob Keithan
I am going to only drinking fair trade coffee.  I think that will be challenging but not too challenging!

Rowan Van Ness
I’m going to say grace before each meal and be more mindful about and grateful for my food and the journey it takes from field to the table. I’m curious to see how taking a few moments each day to recognize all of the people; the sun, rain, and soil; the spirit of life—all involved in getting me the food I eat every day—changes my relationship with food and decisions around what I eat.

Make Local News with the 40/40/40 Press Release

April 20, 2010

Just in time for Earth Day, the customizable 40/40/40 Local Press Release has been posted on the UUA’s 40/40/40 main page.

Today: download it, adapt it, send it off to your local papers and news outlets.

Later this week: enjoy knowing that you’ve just spread the word about your congregation to thousands of interested people nearby.

And congratulations to the UU Church of Southeastern Arizona, for their 40/40/40 story in the Sierra Vista Herald.

40/40/40 Launches in Twenty States or More!

April 18, 2010

Engineers Without Borders helped launch 40/40/40 in the UU Church of Canton, IL. Photo: At work in La Margarita, Ecuador

So far, congregations in twenty states have registered their 40/40/40 events. Represented so far:  Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin!

The UU Church of Elgin, Illinois kicked off its own 40/40/40 blog ( and launched its festivities  with a sermon on ethical eating and environmental justice, tabling for 40/40/40 participation, and signups for Fair Trade gift baskets.

The UU Church of Canton, NY used the Sunday Service Kit (PDF) to help shape today’s service, and found that 43 members signed onto the challenge immediately following. Their pulpit guests were students from Clarkson University Engineers Without Borders, who shared their ongoing mission to provide clean sanitary drinking water to remote villages of South America.

If your 40/40/40 service will be next Sunday, be sure to check out the Sunday Service Kit (PDF) and additional worship resources in the updated Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice Worship Resources Supplement.

What’s going on in your congregation? Let’s hear it in the comments. Send your pictures if you’ve got ‘em!