December Edition

We continue the series of essays written by  members from the Sustainability Team this month as they share part of the "why" behind the sustainability work they choose to volunteer with.

This month's writing is by Janice Knapp-Cordes.

  My Climate Change Story
  Janice K-C

   When we consider climate change, we often think, “What can I do? I’m only one person. Can I really have an effect?” Well, my answer is, “Yes, you can!” My dedication to fighting climate change was supercharged by just one man. 
     We used to live near Boston, where we often had the opportunity to hear excellent speakers. One opportunity we took advantage of was to hear a journalist in 2003, sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists. I forget his name but he had been covering environmental issues for years. He was very discouraged; he felt that he had failed to make people aware of this huge problem, especially people in positions of power. When he retired, he had intended to walk away from the subject, give all his notes and materials to someone else, and simply enjoy life.  . . .  Well, he couldn’t do it. The crucial nature of global warming wouldn’t let him rest. So, he started giving lectures. His example and what I heard from him galvanized me, made me so aware of the limited time we had and all the work we needed to do. And he could document every statement, citing all the science behind his claims. That one man had a huge effect on me.
     Martin and I had been doing some things to help the environment, including socially responsible investing for twenty years but, after hearing this journalist, we put more skin in the game. We eliminated red meat from our diet, bought 100% renewable electricity, and  installed an on demand hot water system and a dual flush toilet. Eventually we went down to one car.
     Around the same time, I heard about the Transition Movement, which started in Great Britain, and I helped to form Transition Framingham. The basic idea of the Transition Movement is that, if we’re going to be forced to change the way we live by circumstances in several decades, why not transition now?
     Shortly after that, Al Gore released “An Inconvenient Truth.” He’s another person who had a large effect on my actions.
     When we decided to move to Madison, we wanted to have a low carbon footprint, so we chose  to live in a condo six blocks from the Capitol. We live without a car and walk, bike, or ride the bus. I am really looking forward to the Bus Rapid Transit! We found a CSA and they recently converted to transformative agriculture. Last winter, we installed window quilts and window warmers and in June of 2022 we had an air source heat pump installed to replace our old furnace and air conditioner.
     While personal actions are effective, group actions are many times more powerful. I’ve been privileged to be part of our Climate Action Team here at FUS. Please consider joining us!
     I believe that the climate crisis is the biggest existential problem facing humanity, the biggest problem ever.  We must change, and quickly; doing this is in our collective power. Also, part of that humanity includes my children and grandchildren, so I am daily motivated to keep working for change. As one of our Team said recently, “Hope is a practice.”


Guest At Your Table

Guest at Your Table (GAYT) is UUSC’s annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues. The program is an opportunity to celebrate grassroots partnership, support human rights, and learn about just four of these individuals—the “guests” in Guest at Your Table. This year's theme is: Courageous Change. Boxes can be picked up before or after services in the Atrium Commons. Please join us! For more information about the Guest at Your Table Program, please visit:

Porchlight will be coming to FUS on Sunday, December 18, to sell delicious products during coffee hour. Buy something for yourself or for gifting purposes. Porchlight Products helps its employees reach their goals by providing confidence-building job skills and creating revenue to support Porchlight programs. Most of the produce they work with comes from local farms, bolstering our community in many ways. 

See their products here: Porchlight Products 

Giving Opportunity! 

 This year, First Unitarian Society is working with The Road Home to support families who are experiencing homelessness at this time of year. Please see the information online or in the Atrium, by the library, for how you can help by purchasing gift cards for families. Your generosity is deeply appreciated! To learn more, see the website for giving. The Road Home - Giving 

First Friday Films will continue in January online. The date of the film will be:

Friday, January 6, 2023. 
We will begin at 6:30 PM.
Discussion will follow at 7:30. 

More information on how to sign up will be coming soon, in Red Floors and on Facebook. Looking forward to seeing you there!


FUS MOSES Ministry Team Update:

The MOSES Ministry Team of First Unitarian Society meets Wednesday, December 14, at 4PM.
Topic: Moses Meeting Link Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime Join Zoom Meeting
If you'd like to learn more about what the FUS MOSES Team is doing to hasten humane criminal justice reform, please join us.
For more information about our team, contact Kathy Luker @,


In memory of Ramiah Whiteside, the Associate Director of EXPO (Ex- Incarcerated People Organizing), who passed away on December 4, 2022. The Moses Team spent time getting to know this talented man in their work toward changing systems of power and oppression in the justice system.
This fall, Whiteside joined us at First Unitarian to speak about injustices in prison and the lack of voting rights among people who have a felony conviction. We learned so much from him.

You can read more and donate here: 

The Racial Justice Ministry Team Update

The FUS Racial Justice Ministry Team meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6 pm via Zoom:  http://Meeting ID: 811 7852 9448 .To volunteer or for more information, please contact Kristi Sprague at 
The Racial Justice Committee is currently seeking a chair and co-chair. Just think of the applause! 


FUS Sustainability Team Update:
 Contact Liz Hachten at, for more information on meeting times.
Array It Forward  solicits donations to put solar panels on the roofs of non-profits and faith institutions. They have an excellent arrangement with Renew Wisconsin. Donations of any amount at any time can be made at, and put Array It Forward in the memo line.

Thank you to all who submitted feedback to the Doodle Poll!
Our regular, monthly meeting will be on the First Tuesday of each month at 5PM CST.
Next meeting date is: January 3, 2023.
Contact Minister Kelly Asprooth Jackson
at or Kristi Sprague at, for more information.

 We are seeking a Chair and Co-Chair.

Meet us on Zoom!
http:// Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 889 4550 5065 Passcode: 292136

This team continues collecting resources, researching a potential speaker to talk to the congregation between services, and is looking into peaceful vigils to draw attention to the issues we're facing. 


FUS Social Justice Opportunities:

Find other justice opportunities in and beyond the Madison area at:
Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice & Sustainability Calendar

A note from Social Justice Coordinator, Kristi Sprague:  

At right, teens who participated in the Youth Social Justice Meet-Up in December, create pinecone bird feeders as part of First Unitarian Society's Holiday Decoration and Crafting Sunday. It's not your eyesight, the photo is blurred. If you know teens, you know why. 

The Teen Social Justice Group is open to anybody in Middle through High School. We've met twice, and it seems that Sunday afternoons work well for a lot of families. If you have an interested teen in your life, please reach out so we can let you know when the next meet up is happening! 

Some final words as I sign off:
 The path forward may sometimes be unclear. And it may be messy. But the shared heart is calling, and we have an opportunity to make lasting shifts toward love and justice in our world. — Kristi Nelson

In love and peace,

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