At Unity of Traverse City, we hold a consciousness of the oneness and interconnectedness that we share with all forms of life. It is from this awareness that we are committed to doing all we can to protect and contribute to the ongoing sustainability of our precious Earth.
EarthCare Program Overview:
The EarthCare Program consist of three levels of certification:
Level A – EarthCare Covenant
Level B – EarthCare Commitment
Level C – EarthCare Fulfillment
Each level builds upon the other, with each level having increasing levels of commitment and activities. This ranges from setting an intention with a Covenant, to accomplishing some meaningful actions in the Commitment program, to expressing EarthCare in all aspects of the ministry by becoming an EarthCare Congregation.
Unity of Traverse City has attained full certification at all levels and is an EarthCare Congregation.
Unity of Traverse City Levels of Certification
Level A - EarthCare Covenant
In joining with the EarthCare Program of Unity Worldwide Ministries, we affirm our EarthCare Covenant:
Our consciousness reveals that all of creation is connected as one. The story of creation reveals that we are to be good caregivers of the creation.
As a people of faith, we commit to a renewed reverence for life and respect for the interdependent web of all existence. We honor our spiritual commitment to the care, support and defense of the balance between our individual needs and those of nature. We envision a world in which everything has intrinsic value and where all beings are assured a secure and meaningful life that is ecologically responsible and sustainable.
We agree to transform our individual and congregational lives into acts of moral witness, discarding harmful habits for new behaviors that demonstrate our respect for this harmony and interconnectedness.
We declare our covenant with God to walk upon the Earth for the greatest good of all creation.
Adopted this, the 23rd day of April, 2017.
Level B - EarthCare Commitment
From the time the grounds upon which the church was built were acquired in 1984, there has been a reverence of nature within the spiritual community. Our campus grounds consists of over 20 acres of wooded property, with our main building being surrounded by birch, white pine, oak, and cedar trees.
There has always been a healthy respect for and recognition of the plant and animal life that co-exist on the property.
We are located in a city that has a high emphasis are environmental care. We are blessed to be located alongside a multitude of bays and lakes, including Lake Michigan. There is also a strong focus on locally-grown foods and a fair percentage of the population utilizing hundreds of miles of walking trails and/or riding bicycles for transportation.
This culture has been expressed within Unity of Traverse City in many ways. We also recognize that there is more than we can try to do.
EarthCare Program actions that have been and remain ongoing at Unity of Traverse City include:
- Sunday celebration services in honor of Earth Day.
- Prayers, meditations, and music that include references to nature, our oneness with all creation, and the interdependence of all life.
- Sunday youth classes held out of doors, incorporating our relationship with nature.
- Presence of a stone labyrinth built by our congregation that winds through a wooded area of our property, and which includes trees that stand in the pathways of the labyrinth. It is often the site for weddings and many other sacred ceremonies and celebrations.
- Hosting an annual celebration of World Labyrinth Day on the labyrinth.
- Presence of an outdoor amphitheater, also constructed by our congregation, that nestles among the trees and trails on our grounds. It, too, is the site of ceremonies, concerts, and church picnics.
Campus and Greater Community Activities
- Campus recycling program which includes the recycling of all paper, plastics, cardboard, metals, glass, junk mail, ink cartridges/toners, batteries, light bulbs, toxic paints and cleaners.
- Minimization of waste through 1) The use of washable cups, plates, and utensils during Sunday morning fellowship and weekday meetings, and 2) programming of thermostats on a seasonal basis to conserve energy.
- Water conservation through: 1) A sprinkler system focused only on grass and plant areas, with watering done prior to 7:00 a.m. 2) mulch being placed around planted areas, as well as the trail leading into the campus labyrinth.
- Community promotion of earth care and sustainability of the planet via a partnership with a local community food co-op, a local leader in environmental awareness and education.
Level C - EarthCare Congregation
Level C - EarthCare Fulfillment
Our application for this final certification has been approved. This level of contributing to overall environmental protection and sustainability included:
- Creating and offering educational opportunities for environmental awareness.
- Conducting an energy/environmental audit of our campus building and implementing its recommendations.
- Implementing energy conservation practices.
- Accepting stewardship of a natural resource.
- Developing a means of offering resources for congregants to take steps of ecological social justice action.
- Developing/supporting programs that encourage mindful eating habits and practices.
Click the links below to access our EarthCare educational resources:
Local Resources for Responsible Disposal
Unity of Traverse City's EarthCare Brochure - 10 easy ways to go green!