First Parish in Needham is thrilled to be hosting the second season of the Needham Farmers Market, a community-wide initiative with deep ties within the First Parish community. The market will be held on the front lawn of First Parish, which runs along Dedham Avenue, just off the town square. Like the work that went into our award-winning, eco-friendly building, the donation of our front lawn to the NFM represents the deep commitment of this congregation to the environmental and social values embodies in our Green Sanctuary program.
About Green Sanctuary
First Parish has been recognized by the UUA as a “Green Sanctuary” not only our energy-efficient building renovations, but also our willingness to share this knowledge with others and act as a model. They were impressed with all our actions, but especially mentioned our Sharing the Harvest program, our partnerships with the Needham Community Farm and other community groups and Houses of Worship, and the inventiveness of the “Walking Church Bus.” Becoming a Green Sanctuary involved efforts from many individuals and church committees. Along the way, we adopted a Green Sanctuary Covenant. The Green Congregation Committee will continue to work with others to further First Parish’s commitment to care for the Earth. This is the beginning of a beautiful journey!
“Green Sanctuary,” is a recognition given by the Unitarian Universalist Association to churches which have demonstrated a deep and ongoing commitment to caring for the Earth. The process involves all aspects of congregational life – worship, religious education, social action, and sustainable lifestyles. Click here for more information about the Green Sanctuary program.
Also, in April 2010, First Parish received the EPA's Energy Star rating for our newly refurbished and rebuilt building. First Parish is the first house of worship in Massachusetts to receive the Energy Star, and only the sixth nationwide. To learn more about our energy efficient and environmentally friendly facilities, visit the Our Green Building page.
Green Sanctuary Environmental Justice Program
Sharing the Harvest is a new Green Sanctuary project which encourages congregants to share their backyard harvest with the Needham Food Pantry or donate labor to the Needham Community Farm. The goal is to provide needy local families with fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables by working with the Needham Community Council Food Pantry. For our church community, this project affords an opportunity for people of all ages to work together on fun, educational activities with a focus on helping others. There are 3 components to Sharing the Harvest:
To sign up or to get more information, contact Jeanne Gerber at email@example.com.
Roll and Stroll is an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions by walking, biking, or carpooling to church. Start Spots are homes where you can join other congregants and walk to church together. Here is a list of Start Spots with the respective start times. Just show up and join a group! If you live farther out from a Start Spot, feel free to drive and park, or walk/bike to a Start Spot. If you live closer to church than a Start Spot, feel free to email or call someone on the list and join a group en route. This is a rain or shine event. If biking to church, you can lock your bikes on the playground fence at the end of the church driveway.
Start Spots (see the Directory for contact info)
Jackie and Rafal Boni, 13 Nichols Rd. (near the intersection with Beaufort Ave.) Leaving at 9:45 a.m.
Elise Coughlin, Meet at the intersection of High Rock and Linden Streets at 9:30 a.m. Leave at 9:40.a.m.
Wendy and David Blom, 89 Parish Road (near the intersection with Damon Rd.). Leaving at 9:50 a.m.
This past year, First Parish has had a wide variety of programming organized around the goal of becoming a greener people. Read more about these events at the Green Sanctuary Archive.
Vegetable Gardening Resources:
Other Green Sanctuary Resources: