All-church Breakfast this Sunday
Singing the Journey
Mitzvah of the Month: Cleveland Food Bank
New Connections: for Visitors, Guests, Newcomers
For information about our Solar Panel Array and our Permaculture Garden, navigate to the To Search and To Serve tab and click on Environmental.
First Unitarian Church is a proud member of Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC). See more under "To Search and To Serve/Service & Justice".
Read Rev. Budd's recent Messages of Faith column from the March 16th Plain Dealer at: http://www.cleveland.com/religion/index.ssf/2013/03/holiness_is_everywhere_if_you_1.html
Our Permaculture Garden
Members of First Unitarian have constructed a 5,400 square foot permaculture garden as a way to express one of our core Unitarian Universalist principles: Respect for the Interdependent Web of Life. The principle provides a natural fit for the discipline of permaculture, which follows ecological principles to create durable, positive relationships between soil, plants, animals, and human beings.
Work on the garden began in 2010, when some 50 volunteers covered a plain grass median with a lasagna mulch---multiple layers of compost, cardboard (to kill the grass before decomposing into soil enriching carbon), more compost, dead leaves, top soil and mulch.
By spring, the lasagna mulch was well on its way to becoming black, microbe-rich soil. Still more volunteers cut and laid gravel paths, piling the new soil to planting areas. They followed by planting a “nibbling garden”—blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, persimmons, onions, sorrel, as well as tea plants like anise hyssop. Following permaculture principles, these plants were accompanied by plants that fix nitrogen, accumulate other nutrients like phosphorous, and attract beneficial insects.
But the garden designers stressed another element, as well: aesthetics. Pinks, mixed with oranges and white—and even some purple asparagus—draw people in. Stone seating walls, teak benches, vine-covered arches, a children’s water maze, chess tables and stools make people want to stay, sit, and talk.
In the end, 120 volunteer workers and contributions of over $55,000 have created a unique space: one of the largest permaculture gardens in Northeast Ohio and only the second Unitarian Universalist permaculture garden in the United States. It’s become a key component in First Unitarian’s designation by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Green Sanctuary (link to that web page). What’s next? Expanded permaculture gardens elsewhere on church property? Group permaculture installations at member homes? Active support for permaculture projects around Northeast Ohio? One thing is clear at First Unitarian. We not only respect the Interdependent Web of Life, we engage it.
Recent articles on Unitarian Universalist Growth may be found at:
Welcome to the website of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland! We are glad you stopped by. And we encourage you to explore the pages and information here. Please know that this website is for all of us. So feel free to send a note if you want to add information or make suggestions for content.
The tab labeled Spotlight On currently features our Permaculture Garden. We will be changing this feature periodically to highlight a program or other aspect of our community. If you are involved with a group, effort or program anchored at First Unitarian that you want others to know more about, suggest that it be explored as a Spotlight On topic. (Just be ready to write a little copy to submit!)
The tab labeled Coming Up is updated more frequently, and feature events and other details to inform our members and friends about the next week or two. If a special function or event is happening, this is where you can get the details, plus a link to more information in many cases.
The tab labeled Press features links to articles about the church in the media so our church community can read and share them, if desired. Social media links and references to the church would be here, too. If you spot the church in the news, send it to us! We'll make sure to include it.
And the Video tab features some short films that have been produced to show what it looks and feels like to be a part of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland. As we get more video, from events or other programs at the church, we will add those, as well.