In 2013 during the Annual Meeting, the congregation voted to create an Environmental Mission for the parish. Shortly afterwards, a Green Initiatives committee was formed and set to work creating a speakers’ series and other programs plus an energy audit and energy upgrades to our three buildings: the church, Davis Memorial Hall and the parsonage.
Over the years, much more has been done to fulfill this special mission. Restoration carpenter, Doug Cameron rebuilt the church doors using locally sourced lumber which was locally milled. Environmental presentations, discussions and films have been integrated into many of our services. Abbie White of Hardwick spoke on her family growing and milling grain, and EPA consultant, Lynne Pledger spoke on Zero Waste. Tom Sullivan presented a program on planting shrubbery to attract pollinators. Ridge Shinn held a talk on developing a new agricultural model for raising cattle in the Northeast, followed by a grass-fed beef church supper.
The church has hosted day-long activities as part of an Earth Day event each year on a Sunday in April. Panels of speakers present on organic farming, forestry and the impact of climate change on the plant and animal kingdoms.
As members of the Unitarian Universalist Association we ascribe to the principle that we have “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” In keeping with that principle, the First Congregational Parish, Unitarian Petersham will continue to dedicate resources, time and programming to uphold the Environmental Mission of the parish.
Photo of Restored Doors for the Church, photographer unknown.