Church sues over zoning
Brief congregational news items from the Summer 2010 issue.
The Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta had 20 solar panels installed by Soenso Energy at the end of January, initiating a campaign to “go off the grid” through the use of solar power and energy conservation. The congregation hopes to eventually install 108 solar panels according to a press release from the congregation’s Earth Ministry.
On March 28, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno in Clovis, Calif., held a dedication ceremony marking the completion of its solar installation, comprised of panels on the church roof and grounds. The congregation entered into a power purchase arrangement with SolarCity, which owns and maintains the panels. The Rev. Bryan Jessup told UU World that the congregation will be getting 90 percent of its power needs through this arrangement. The Fresno church, which was completed in 2007, has been designated as a Green Sanctuary by the UU Ministry for Earth, meaning that the congregation has made a commitment to living in an environmentally sustainable manner. The building is also leed certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), meaning that it has met a standard created by the U.S. Green Bulding Council
Alternative Easter celebration
Children from the Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Lafayette, Colo., collected canned goods instead of plastic eggs at their congregation’s second annual Easter Soup Hunt on April 4. The canned goods were donated by congregants and were taken to the Boulder County aids Project. “We wanted to have a fun activity for the kids, but with added meaning,” said committee co-chair Linda Spencer.
The Boulder Valley Church also offered a UU alternative to the Roman Catholic Stations of the Cross at their Easter morning service, called the Stations of the Chalice. The Catholic Stations of the Cross are a series of images or sculptures marking Jesus’s final hours, ending in his crucifixion. In the Catholic version, the first station is “Jesus is condemned to death.” In the UU version, created by the Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry, Katie Covey, and Marcia Pasquer, the first station is “Like Jesus, UUs are heretics who believe in radical freedom, tolerance, and inclusivity.” Each UU station was marked by hymns and readings.
The First Unitarian Church (Second Parish) in Worcester, Mass., celebrated its 225th anniversary on Sunday, March 21, with a special church service followed by a lunch and a cake with 225 candles.
The Unitarian Universalist Area Church at First Parish in Sherborn, Mass., marked its 325th anniversary, also on March 21, with a service incorporating skits and a sermon about the congregation’s history.
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