Welcome to the climate Justice Task Force at North Parish, a community whose members  believe in protecting the ‘interdependent web of all existence’. Our mission is to act according to our UU principles for climate justice.

We do this…

  • by reducing our church’s carbon footprint and encouraging our members to  do the same in their homes,
  • by lobbying for pro-climate bills in the Massachusetts  legislature and for some federal issues as well,
  • by encouraging members to take the Meatless Mondays pledge to lessen the high carbon footprint of the meat industry
  • by educating ourselves and members of the community on climate issues and
  • by participating in protests and rallies for climate justice.

→  Our charter can be found here.     →  Latest meeting minutes can be found here.

And that is just the point… how the world, moist and beautiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?” – Mary Oliver

Things You Can Do: Individual Actions

  • MassSave Home Energy Assessment – Call 339-502-6335 , option “0” to schedule a no-cost energy assessment. 
    • All residents of Andover, North Andover and Lawrence are eligible for no-cost insulation and sealing. For more details, click on the latest Columbia Gas newsletter
    • Customers also have the option to switch from gas heating to electric, through the installation of cold climate air source heat pumps. As a Mass Save partner, National Grid is offering rebates for energy efficient electric heat alternatives. For more details, click on the latest Columbia Gas newsletter.
    • If you rent, you are eligible for LED lightbulbs, power strips, programmable thermostats and more.
  • Municipal Energy Aggregation – When your town buys electricity in bulk, everyone wins. Want to learn more? Contact us at north.parish.climate.justice@gmail.com
  • Go Meat-Free Once a Week – Cutting back on meat not only helps the environment; it also lowers your risk of serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancers. If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road!
  • More Ideas – Commit to a Livable Planet for us and the Next Generations

Ongoing Initiatives

  • Meetings with our Massachusetts State Legislators. On January 24, we joined over one hundred other activists lobbying for carbon pricing, environmental justice and 100% renewable energy. Lobby Days are crucial to letting the people who represent us know that climate change is our priority and that we expect them to sponsor and vote for bills promoting clean energy and environmental and climate justice issues.
  • Monthly Vegetarian Potlucks. The North Parish Climate Justice Group host monthly vegetarian potlucks to highlight the significant impact of the meat and dairy industry on greenhouse gas emissions. 

Upcoming Events and Updates

  • Sunday, March 3 at 11:30 am. Video of Dr Barry Levy’s talk “Climate Change andPublic Health”. If you missed it at North Parish last fall, join us in the Flex Room.
  • Sunday, March 10 at 11:45 am. Carbon Pricing: What’s it all about?” This talk will be presented by Citizen Climate Lobby leaders, Rob Bonney and Jim Mulloy in the Parlor. Come find out what all the buzz is around carbon pricing and how it can move us forward to a cleaner energy future.
  • March 30, 8:30-9:80 pm.  Lights off for Earth Hour!
  • Friday April 5 at 6:30 pm. Screening of “Burned” at Merrimack College with guest Dr. Bill Moomaw, Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy at Tufts.

We’ve Gone Solar!

Our solar panels are now fully operational! Many thanks to those who funded the project, to the House and Grounds Committee, to Gary Martin for all of his work as liaison to the SunBug team, and to Harry Voorhees and Gary for their work to plan the project and get it approved by both the local Historic District Commission and the Old Center Historic District Commission. It took a lot of work. We think the panels are beautiful… and they are generating electricity!

We, the members of the North Parish of North Andover, understand that the action-plan we have completed is a beginning of the congregation’s work to integrate environmental awareness, sustainable practices, and environmental justice in our church community, our personal lives, and our wider communities, AND, we plan to continue the work that needs to be done, until Earth is once again a healthy Sanctuary for all. – North Parish Annual Meeting (5/22/2011)

Green Sanctuary

In January of 2012 the North Parish became an accredited UUA Green Sanctuary congregation, which intentionally works “to restore Earth and renew Spirit.” Reaccreditation was done in 2018. During the church year, staff and members of the Green Sanctuary Task Force invite the congregation to engage with issues of environmental justice through:

  • Education and Celebration
    Weir Hill Hike -1In the past, the Green Sanctuary Task Force Film Series showed Tapped (about the impacts of Bottled Water), Bag It (about the impacts of plastic bags), and Genetic Roulette (about genetically modified food). The children also saw parts of two of these films and engaged in two, month-long challenges to reduce or eliminate single-use items. In worship, we observed and celebrated the Autumn Equinox/Rosh Hashanah, Samhain/All Souls, the Winter Solstice/Yule, Imbolc/Candlemas, Spring Equinox/Easter, the Summer Solstice and Earth Day Sunday. The Earth Day service was followed by a potluck and congregational hike. 
  • Direct Action
    The Senior Youth spent a day doing trail clean-up in North Andover. The NP gardeners worked the gardens, and the children made birdfeeders for the church grounds. The RE Program now serves snacks out of re-usable snack bowls. The whole congregation was invited to participate in a month-long “Reduce Your Use” challenge to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic items from our lives. An outreach collection went to Groundworks Lawrence for their Share-a-Share program to support healthy families and local farmers.
  • Legislative Action
    Gary Martin SCAOn Earth Day Sunday, we collected and sent personal comments regarding the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline to the State House during their public comment period.If you would like to get involved with our Green Sanctuary initiatives, please contact us.
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