Community for Earth - Earth Justice

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The First Unitarian Community for Earth, Social Justice Group
is based Green_Sanctuary_Logoon the 7th Principle of the Unitarian Faith,“Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."  We strive to connect our spiritual community through education, action, and faith in our ability to protect the earth for future generations and ourselves. General Meetings are held
 at 9:00 the second Sunday of the month from September to


Our next meeting is February 12th in
 room A303 at 9:30.   

See our
Website for more Information!

CFE-BannerFirst Church Ministers on Climate change:
Listen to Rev. Bill Sinkford's sermon from December 6, 2015. "The fierce urgency of now on climate 
change is all around us." 

Rev, Kate Lore at the Interfaith Climate Pilgrimage:  “Each of us must continue to act, pray, love, listen, read, learn, and connect.  Fight for justice.  Challenge your friends and family and coworkers and neighbors and educators and politicians.  March, believe, sing, dance, paint your outrage and your sadness and your frustration and your hope.  But please don’t do it alone.  Let us vow to support one another because we are in this for the long haul.  Let us lift up, speak up, stand up, rise up.  Together!"

Community For Earth and Climate Change
Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell, Minister Emerita.
Believing that climate change is the preeminent moral issue of our day, we are committed to raising consciousness. understanding that this issue is not a matter of simply shifting lifestyles, we emphasize social and political change. Community for Earth works in coalition with other groups to mitigate the effects of global warming already in process and to prevent further desecration of the Earth.  On our website we share news about the effects of climate change, both current and projected, and search for effective strategies to change our society’s love affair with fossil fuels.  Please join us in creating a future that will support life in all its magnificent forms

Group Photo Summer 2016This year Community for Earth has continued to look for ways to address the climate crisis by working within the Church and partnering with community groups.  Our group purchased the banner (seen above) which hangs on the north end of the Church and helps to demonstrate our congregational commitment and sense of urgency about global warming.  There were three committees created to support specific areas of focus to our work this year with the goal of  increasing our understanding of environmental issues create opportunities for concrete action within the church, locally, and regionally.  The committees are listed below. 

Green Sanctuary Re-certification
This committee was created to begin work to renew our Portland First Church's Green Sanctuary re-certification.  Work was started towards getting solar panels for First Church, a church-wide recycling audit and recycling improvement plan was implemented and a Children's Earthday Event provided an opportunity for education and fun for the children in the Church. 

Fossil Fuels and Legislative actions:  Many of the Fossil Fuel Committee activities have been coordinated with the Climate Action Coalition, a consortium of activist organizations working against Global Warming and working to hold the "Thin Green Line" by blocking new fossil fuel pipelines and facilities in our region.   Actions have included 
convincing FERC not to license the Jordan Cove LNG facility, and legislative work to help pass the coal transitions bill in the Oregon Legislature.  The committee is also allied with groups in support of legislation to put a price on carbon pollution and move Oregon and the nation to a sustainable clean fuels future.   

Indigenous Rights
The work of the indigenous Rights Committee culminated on March 12th with a workshop "Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change" facilitated by Rev. Katherine Jesch designed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of the indigenous people of North America.  A dinner including local and traditional ingredients was shared following the workshop and Paul Lumley talked about the history and significance of indigenous foods. This event was open to the public and offered as a Social Justice event in the "Beyond Violence" series this year. 

Community For Earth Ongoing Activities
2013 CFE TableFuller Hall Coffee Hour Table
Community for Earth joins other social justice church groups at First Church in hosting an information table each Sunday, during coffee
hour at Fuller Hall.  At our table we display timely information about our areas of focus and events that we sponsor or support.   At the table you will often find ways to get actively involved and can sign up for our Google Group to get regular group updates.  The very popular DVD lending library is here too and a friendly Community for Earth member is present to welcome you and answer any questions you might have.

Community for Earth Google Group
The Google Group is our way of staying in touch with the 100 + folks who have joined.  On this site we post meeting agendas, minutes and our upcoming Community for Earth events.   We are broadly focused in the arena of Earth Justice and also include UU Church events and events in the larger community.  Go to Community for Earth PDX Google Groups to sign up.

Environmental Film Library
Community for Earth started its popular Environmental Film Library in the fall of 2012 with only fourteen DVDs. It has now grown to almost eighty titles, with about half of them checked out at any one time! Stop by our table in Fuller Hall after Sunday services and borrow a DVD for up to three weeks, free of charge. Film donations are welcome.”

Chinook-Bookok Book Sales
Since 2009 the Chinook Book has been our annual fundraiser.  The money we earn helps pay for the year's activities and events. We are happy to work with Chinook Book to sell the coupon book that promotes local, sustainable business, and sells products and services that have a reduced environmental impact.  The books are available for purchase at the UU Bookstore from September through the winter holidays. 

Green Sanctuary Program

Green Sanctuary is a national accreditation program launched by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth in 2001.  The program is now administered by the UUA.  First Unitarian Church was one of the first five congregations accredited in 2002.  Our program included a variety of projects addressing facilities management, energy conservation, ethical eating, religious education for both children and adults.  When our Buchan Building was designed, Green Sanctuary advocates successfully encouraged incorporating energy efficiency, recycled materials, and other green elements in the design.  Community for Earth continues to offer educational programs and activities for congregants to engage with environmental justice issues, especially climate change, within our beloved community and in the wider world.


  Unitarian Universalist Association

  UU Ministry for Earth
  Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Community for Earth 2014 - 2015

OPPOSITION TO PEMBINA PROPANE TERMINAL: The Canadian Propane-Inside-City-HallCompany, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, has proposed building a propane export terminal at the Port of Portland on the Columbia River by 2018.  The pipeline required a zoning code amendment to a sensitive conservation area along the Columbia

Community For Earth has been active
in opposition to
the Portland Pembina Propane Terminal.  Our members joined with hundreds of other activist at to oppose the project.  Reverend Kate Lore and Marilyn Sewell have both participated in testimony in opposition.  On May 7th Mayor Charlie Hales withdrew support for the terminal!

Arc Logistics Protest
ARC LOGISTICS OIL TRAIN PROTEST: Community for Earth  members and Rev. Kate Lore were among 100 people who gathered to protest oil trail shipments at Arc Logistics on October 9th. "We must stand together and draw a green line between oil exporters and ourselves." Rev. Lore said. "Let us leave oil in the ground; let us protect the beauty and life of this region; let us say “no” to oil exports." Click here for more.

Climate March Sept 21PORTLAND CLIMATE MARCH On September 21, 2014, 400,000 people around the world joined the "People's Climate March" in New York City.  The March was coordinated with the UN Climate Summit to call on heads of state to commit to a strong treaty to limit climate change. Community for Earth and area Unitarians were among more than 3,000 who marched in solidarity in the PDX People's Climate March.  Click here for more.   


 Community for Earth

Coal Demonstration 2014Stop Coal Exports
In the last 2 years Community for Earth has been working to inform and involve members and friends of First Church in the movement to prevent coal exports from Oregon and Washington.  Coal is the dirtiest fuel by far and coal companies are seeking permits to build export terminals in both states.  Trains from strip mines in Wyoming and Montana plan to ship up to 100 million metric tons of coal a year through the Columbia gorge.   Our group members have attended hearings, provided testimony.  We helped members of our congregation participate in a letter writing campaign and sent 160 hand-written letters to Governor Kitzhaber expressing our opposition. We will continue to be involved in this important issue.


A seminar, "Divestment of Fossil Fuels From Investment Portfolios," was led by Bryan Brumley, Community for Earth member in connection with Earth Day. Individual and institutional investors, including First Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association, are removing fossil fuels from their portfolios as part of the wider effort to slow climate change. The movement for Sustainable, Responsible and Impact (SRI) investing uses divestment and shareholder activism to push corporations to change policies. Learn more about Divestment

Reducing Carbon Emission
Carbon emissions are killing life by raising the temperature of our planet. The seemingly impossible task ahead is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.  Community for Earth held two forums spring of 2014 related to reducing carbon emissions.  These included, "Meeting Oregon's Greenhouse-Gas Goals,” by Angus Duncan, Chair of Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the OR Global Warming Commission; and “Carbon Tax with Dividend back to the People: One Effective Response to Climate Change”, with Gordy Molitor and Scott Maxwell  Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Preparing for ClimCreative Disruption Eventate Activism
Two local activists were invited to speak with Community for Earth regarding climate activism.  Bonnie McKinlay outlined her work as a full time activist volunteer in civil disobedience and non-violent direct action.  She also talked about the Pledge of Resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Bonnie works with Rising Tide, 350pdx, Sierra Club, and NOKXL.  Ryan Rittenhouse, an activist with Friends of the Columbia Gorge, gave us a presentation about his experiences organizing against proposed coal plants with Greenpeace and Public Citizen.  Ryan spent months at sea as a volunteer for wildlife protection with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.  Both activists answered questions and described the fact there are many roles for activists, from leading groups to just showing up.

Children's EClaire Facepaintingarth Day Celebration
The children of First Unitarian Church enjoyed, an animal parade, stories, plant based snacks, and face painting between services.  Children were gifted with native plants and strawberry starts.  This celebration was a joint venture with Community for Earth and the UU Animal Ministries.

Strength and Inspiration
Rev Katherine Jesch provided spiritual support with her "Beloved Community" forum and presentation on "Staying Energized to Address Climate Change."