Unity Church of Overland Park has been awarded the Congregational Green Star Award by the Unity EarthCare Ministry for the fourth consecutive year. The Green Star Award recognizes spiritual centers that completed at least three significant activities in 2019 to protect and preserve the environment. Only one other spiritual center has received the award this many times, Unity of the Blue Ridge.
UCOP is one of four congregations receiving this year's award. The others are: Unity Church of Charleston, South Carolina, First Unity Spiritual Campus, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Unity of the Blue Ridge, Mills Creek, NC.
In 2019, UCOP's Green Team completed the following activities:
1. "Overland Park Clean Stream Day," to remove trash & litter along the Johnson County, Kansas’ Streamway Trail system. A team of six volunteers picked up 15 bags of litter.
2. "Planting Independence, One Yard at a Time." In conjunction with The Whole Person, two Green Team members helped clean up the yard of a person with disabilities who was unable to do so themselves.
3. Spearheaded creation and presentation of a petition with 192 signatures, representing four organizations, to the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, The petition urged the commision to restate their commitment to a resolution of goals in December of 2007 for reduction in GHG by specific dates and to create a special Sustainability Committee to guide, monitor and advocate for the completion of these goals. The petition was presented at the Commissioners July 10, 2019 meeting. The commissioners later reaffirmed their pledge. Our action also spurred a growing movement throughout the community in support of the petition's objectivess. In November of 2019, Unity Church of Overland Park was approved as an official “Partner” with the KC Climate Action Coalition, the only individual religious denomination in the KC Metro area to be so honored.
In addition to receiving a certificate, a representative of UCOP has been invited to participate in a panel discussion at a Zoom "EarthCare Summit" on June 20, 2020.