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Seventh Principle Project (SPP)

Abstract An independent affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the Seventh Principle Project (SPP) seeks to manifest the eco-spiritual vision expressed in the seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism, which calls for “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are part.” By providing environmental education and resources for discussion and action, SPP aims to help Unitarian Universalists address environmental concerns on both personal and institutional levels. SPP’s Green Sanctuary program guides participating UU churches through a greening process to help them integrate the seventh principle—respecting the interdependent web—into all levels of church life, including worship, education, communication, material and energy resource use, and environmental justice. The goals of the Green Sanctuary accreditation program are to raise awareness about environmental concerns, encourage personal lifestyle changes, generate environmental action at the community level, link spirituality and ecology, and promote environmental justice. Information and guidelines about this program can be found in The Green Sanctuary Manual, published by the SPP and on the SPP website. In addition to promoting the development of environmentally responsible UUA churches, SPP provides advice and support to the UUA on religion and ecology. Over the past forty years, the UUA has issued a number of Resolutions concerning natural resources and the environment. One of these Resolutions endorsed the Earth Charter in 2002, joining numerous secular and religious institutions in the global movement for a just, sustainable, and peaceful society. In addition to its newsletter, SPP provides a Green Sanctuary e-mail list-serve for a lively exchange of ideas and experiences. Along with its Green Sanctuary program, SPP facilitates workshops, conference programs, and retreats to help people of faith link their religious beliefs with their ecological values and to explore ways to live out these values in the world. While SPP programs are designed primarily for Unitarian Universalists, the approach to a greener faith is not theologically dependent. SPP programs, including Green Sanctuary, have an appeal to members of other faith traditions as well.
Religion Unitarian Universalist
Geographic Location North America
(primarily the United States of America and Canda)
Duration of Project 1991–Present

The Seventh Principle Project was established in 1991 by a group of Unitarian Universalists committed to finding ways to live their faith in a more ecologically sustainable way. With EcoSpirit New England, SPP founders published the Green Sanctuary Handbook as a resource for members to accomplish this goal. In 1999, SPP determined to place greater emphasis on implementing the Green Sanctuary Program within congregations. A formal process for accreditation was instituted to recognize congregations that complete a series of activities that accomplish the Program goals. References and resources for the Program were updated in 2000, and again in 2003, and an electronic list-serve has been added for members to share their experiences and ideas concerning the various program components.

Mission Statement “The mission of the Seventh Principle Project is to facilitate and support the work of Unitarian Universalists, by affirming and promoting the seven principles of the UUA, including the seventh, ‘respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.’ We do this by focusing on the theological, spiritual, and ethical aspects of human values and activities that affect the health and sustainability of the living earth.”
Partner Organizations None Listed
Long-Term Goals: None Listed
Bibliography None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information

Seventh Principle Project
Rev. Katherine Jesch, Director of Environmental Ministry for SPP P.O. Box 1523
Arlington, VA 22210
Ph:       703.920.3615
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)