Guardian of the Future Awards

The Guardian of the Future award is presented annually by UU Ministry for Earth to recognize outstanding UU leaders in Earth ministry. Recipients, nominated by their congregations, are those who have had a transformative impact on their congregation and/or wider community, and who inspire new understanding and behavior in others, work to build environmental justice within their congregation and community, and make care and celebration of the Earth central to their lives. Presentation of the award takes place during UUMFE’s annual meeting at General Assembly.

Nominations must be received by UUMFE by May 1 each year (download a Guardian of the Future nomination form).


2012: Tom Gibson, First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, OH

Tom Gibson was awarded the local Eco-Hero in 2012 by his congregation and afterwards, one of the church members remarked, "It's amazing what one person can inspire" . . . continued: Fall 2012 newsletter, page 3.

2012: Judy Moores, UU Church of Davis, CA

Judy Moores formed the Green Sanctuary committee at Davis in 2005 at a time that few members understood the coming impacts of Climate Change . . . continued: Fall 2012 newsletter, page 1.

2011: Joan Gregory, First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, UT

Joan Gregory has been a leader in Earth ministry programs for her congregation for over seven years and led and/or participated in multiple groups – the Environmental Ministry Committee, the Social Justice Council, the Animal Rights Group, the Community Garden project, and the Legacy (facilities) Committee . . . continued: Fall 2011 newsletter, page 1

2011: Lynne Nittler, UU Church of Davis, CA

Lynne Nittler is a former English teacher and native of California, so her roots are deep and she cares about the future for her students.  Since seeing one of the first photos of Earth taken from space in 1969 . . . continued: Fall 2011 newsletter, page 1

2010: Lori Sands, Ginger Hill UU Congregation (GHUUC), Slippery Rock, PA

Lori Sands is from a small UU congregation founded in 2002 with just over thirty members, and is an inspiring model of how, even on a small scale, a passionate advocate can effect positive change for the future in a way that ripples outward. Lori builds community. With her leadership, the small congregation has partnered with the Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research and . . . continued: Fall 2010 newsletter, pages 3 & 4

2009: Colin High, UU Congregation of the Upper Valley, Norwich, VT

Colin High is an environmental consultant specializing in renewable energy, climate protection, and sustainability. He has taught environmental science at Dartmouth College and Columbia University and developed foreign study programs in Environmental Studies in Kenya and in Russia . . . continued: 2009 Fall newsletter, pages 3 & 4

2008: Stefani Scott, UU Fellowship, Stony Brook, NY

Stefani Scott shepherded her congregation through the Green Sanctuary process with creative projects like collaborating with a local African Methodist Church to save a local farm and then beginning to farm it for a local food shelter. She is an imaginative master teacher who has ignited curiosity and reverence for life in countless public school students and in her congregation’s religious education program. Her students are creating natural habitats in and outside the classroom, most recently working to create a National Green School. She points out that there are 90,000+ conventional public schools in the USA, and fewer than 3% of these schools have any access to the natural world, while close to 100% of all 90,000+ schools have access to the internet. Stefani says, “Something is not right with that picture.  We are depriving children in ways that are catastrophic for this Earth and so for the human species. Our children are our hope for the future. They can’t make the same mistakes we made. We need to give them the spiritual gift of nature.”

Past Nominees

  • Lisa Baker, UU Church of Davis, CA
  • Sally Breen, Allen Avenue UU Church, Portland, ME
  • Dennis Briley, UU Church West, Brookfield, WI
  • Susan Brown, Congregation of the Larger Fellowship
  • Jan Clement, Accotink UU Church, Burke, VA
  • Gerald Flakas, Lake Country UU Church, Heartland, WI
  • Stacy Gilmore, Green Bay Area UU Fellowship, Green Bay, WI
  • Marge Gonzalez, UU Church of Fort Myers, FL
  • Eldon Haines, UU Church of Eugene, OR
  • Rich Held and Elaine Vander Plate Held, UU Congregation of Monmouth County, Lincroft, NJ
  • Nancy Hough, Community Church of New York, NY
  • Roger Johnson, UU Church of Atlanta, GA
  • Steve Krings, Green Bay Area UU Fellowship, WI
  • D. Bruce Langmuir, First Parish, Sudbury, MA
  • Michael Manely, Emerson UU Congregation, Marietta, GA
  • Bill Martin, UU Congregation of the Upper Valley, Norwich, VT
  • Jean Matlack, First Unitarian Church in Rockland, ME
  • Mary Sager McFadden, UU Church of Studio City, CA
  • Howard W. Mielke, Community Church UU of New Orleans, LA
  • Judy Moores, UU Church of Davis, CA
  • Cat Rigby, First Unitarian Church of Orland, FL
  • Bob Ringlee, First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, NY
  • Vivian Viloria-Fisher, UU Fellowship, Stony Brook, NY
  • Sylvia Weaver, UU Fellowship, St. John, VI