Social and Environmental Concerns

We act in accordance with our social concerns

The Social and Environmental Concerns Committee (SECC) uses direct action, advocacy, and educational initiatives to promote social justice and environmental issues. The goups meets every second Sunday of the month at 12:15 pm.

Those interested are encouraged to attend our meetings and to participate in all activities, whether or not you choose to be a regular SECC member.

Idle No More, January, 2013

Unitarian principles commit us to:

  • Affirm and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  • Work toward the goal of community with peace, liberty and justice for all
  • Respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

Our community enjoins us to “take action in the world”.

raging grannies idle

The Social and Environmental Concerns Committee represents the principal means through which the Unitarian Church of Montreal (UCM) works to honour these basic commitments. Among past and ongoing projects supported by SECC are those related to poverty, the environment, human rights, and peace.

The committee focuses its efforts on projects identified by SECC members during each church year, while also supporting initiatives which individuals may suggest from time to time. 

Green Sanctuary

In view of our rapidly deteriorating environment, the SECC believed we needed a road map towards a new church lifestyle, a comprehensive, coordinated program of environmental responsibility. In January 2002, the UCM took the first steps towards becoming a Green Sanctuary, a church which seeks to involve all its members in promoting the health and sustainability of the living earth.

This comprehensive program has five goals:

  • To build awareness of societal environmental issues among UCM members;
  • To generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes;
  • To motivate Montreal Unitarians to community action on environmental issues;
  • To build a connection between spiritual practice and environmental consciousness;
  • To build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices.

The Unitarian Church of Montreal was accredited as an official Green Sanctuary in 2005 by the Unitarian Universalist Association.  We were one of the first Unitarian churches in Canada to achieve this distinction.

Read Mary-Louise Engels' historical moment from the 175th anniversary celebrations about the decision to become a Green Sanctuary.

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ) is a national, liberal religious organization founded to actively promote Unitarian values through social action.

A Welcoming Congregation

The Welcoming Congregation Program is a volunteer program for Unitarian Universalist congregations that want to take active steps to become more welcoming and inclusive of individuals with marginalized sexual orientation and gender identities.

The program grew out of the recognition of existing prejudice and ignorance about LBGTQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer) people in UU'ism resulting in exclusion from our congregations. 94% of Canadian congregations are Welcoming Congregations. UCM has been a welcoming congregation since 1998.