Deadline approaching for environmental fellowships

June 15 is the deadline for applying to become a GreenFaith Fellow through the group GreenFaith, Interfaith Partners in Action for the Earth. Lay and professional leaders who are accepted take part in programming over 18 months designed to help them address environmental issues in religious settings.

Several Unitarian Universalists—the Rev. Alison Cornish, Shelley Dennis, Dr. Cheryl Larsen, and Susanne Novak—are current GreenFaith Fellows. Up to four more UUs will be selected in June. Applicants must pay $750 in tuition fees. The fee is normally $1,500, but that has been halved for UU participants for the first three years of the program. The second year of the program begins this summer. Coursework is accomplished through retreats, field trips, and monthly seminars.

Cornish, minister of the UU Congregation of the South Fork in Bridgehampton, N.Y., is halfway through her GreenFaith fellowship. She said, “The first gathering we had—an environmental justice tour of Newark, New Jersey—was sobering and deeply moving. Sometimes, as Unitarian Universalists, we are better versed in the injustices on other continents than in our own backyards. It was good to . . . witness to this and to imagine what we saw as religious issues.”

GreenFaith environmental fellows selected

Unitarian Universalist lay and professional leaders are eligible to apply to the interfaith group GreenFaith, Interfaith Partners in Action for the Earth, to take part in 18-month fellowship programs focused on environmental leadership in religious settings.

Current GreenFaith Fellows from UU communities are the Rev. Alison Cornish, Shelley Dennis, Dr. Cheryl Larsen, and Susanne Novak. Cornish is minister of the UU Congregation of South Fork in Bridgehampton, N.Y.; Dennis is a student in the Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities program at Northern Arizona University and in the Master of Theological Research program at Andover Newton Theological School, and an active member of First Parish UU in Medfield, Mass.

Larsen is a senior management analyst at the United Nations and a leader at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester, N.Y. Novak is a retired teacher and leader at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester in Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

They join 21 additional fellows from Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, and mainline Protestant backgrounds. The fellowship program is called the only comprehensive education and training program in the United States to prepare lay and ordained leaders from diverse religious traditions for environmental leadership.

Deadline for applications is June 15 of each year. Next June up to four more UUs can be selected. Applicants who are accepted must pay $1,500 in tuition fees. GreenFaith pays for food and lodging and educational materials. Coursework is conveyed through three retreats, field trips, and at monthly seminars.

For more information, go to the UUA Green Sanctuary blog and email Robin Nelson, the UUA’s Environmental Stewardship manager.