Green Sanctuary Ministry Team Blog

On Saturday morning on September 13, members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn volunteered at The Food Project’s Lynn Farm located next to the Ingalls School. Working side-by-side with youth from the Project, they weeded beds and helped manage the massive on-site compost pile. Before getting their hands dirty, everyone participated in a game designed to provide interesting facts about how food travels from “seed to fork.”

“The Food Project is a fantastic organization bringing fresh food to Lynn, empowering youth workers and building community,” church member Tara Gallagher remarked. “It was a privilege to help them with their post-harvest tasks and to remember how much work goes into farming.”

Members were also lucky enough to take home some of the post-harvest bounty of squash, onions, beets, lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

According to its website, each year 120 teenagers from Greater Boston and the North Shore of Eastern Massachusetts cultivate The Food Project’s urban and suburban land. These young people participate in workshops, serve at local hunger relief organizations, lead volunteers on the farms, build raised bed gardens, and work with the community to find innovative ways to expand food access. The Food Project brings together a diverse group of young people across racial, socio-economic, gender identity, and geographic differences to partner with adults in building a more equitable food system for everyone.

“It was wonderful to see how positive, energetic, and well-informed all these young people are concerning issues related to food production and distribution. It is very encouraging to know that they will become the environmental leaders of tomorrow,” John Benson, another church member said. More information on the organization can be found at: thefoodproject.org

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn, located at 101 Forest Ave. in Swampscott, volunteers at The Food Project each spring and fall. As Gallagher, who is also a member of the church’s “Green Team,” pointed out, “participating in the hard work of farming helps us all appreciate the food we have and encourages us not to waste.” She noted that the “Green Team’s” focus this year is “Climate Change & Faith” and “how we grow our food and what we eat has an impact on the planet’s changing climate. Eating more plants and buying local decreases our carbon footprint.”

We hope that you’ll come out to the farm with us next year and get your hands dirty!

As we draw to a close on the Green Sanctuary Ministry Team’s focus this past church year on
“Fresh Water – Rivers, Ponds & Wetlands,” we wish to thank everyone who participated in the
activities we hosted. Those activities included, among others, a “Wonders of our Waterways”
presentation by Amy Weidensaul, Director of Mass Audubon/Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary;
a film screening of DamNation, an award-winning documentary on dam removal in this country
followed by a discussion of local dam removal; and an Earth Day service that was all about
celebrating water with song, stories, poems, and readings with the congregation suggesting
favorite hymns that relate to fresh water that we then sang together – creating a wonderful sense
of community. The year was capped off with a paddle on the Ipswich River in which 22
members of the church and family in canoes and kayaks enjoyed a picture-perfect spring day
celebrating both the river and church community!

While we’ll always continue to celebrate fresh water, the Green Sanctuary Ministry Team will be
shifting in the fall to focus on a new theme. Believing that we all have a moral, ethical, and
survival imperative to learn about climate change and to act appropriately and decisively, the
GSMT has chosen as its theme for the 2019-2020 church year “Faith and Climate Change.” This
is also one of the UU Ministry of Earth special topics this year and more information can be
found at https://www.uumfe.org/act/issue-areas/#climate-change. Across all faiths, there is a
belief that we have sacred responsibility to care of the Earth and be its stewards. As we move
forward with this new theme, we’d like to hear from you on this topic – in particular what you’d
like us to bring to the church by way of information and action. You can talk to one of the
GSMT members, or e-mail Toni Bandrowicz directly at [email protected]. We will also
be leaving blank cards by the Green Sanctuary bulletin board in the Parish Hall for you to fill out
with your thoughts. And, as always, we welcome you to help organize activities and participate
in them. Let us know how you’d like to get involved!

Faith and Climate Change