Environmental Ministry

The chalice icon identifies events planned and sponsored by First Unitarian’s Environmental Ministry


Saving Great Salt Lake

Upcoming Events, Past Presentations for Viewing, and More

“Scientists are sounding the alarm that the Great Salt Lake ecosystem is on the verge of ecological collapse. …  Without urgent and longer-term actions to provide water to the lake, the ecosystem may pass a tipping point, beyond which recovery could be out of reach.” (Center for Biological Diversity)  

Get Started on Your 2024 New Year's Resolution to Save Great Salt Lake: Here are 8 actions you can take NOW to help you meet your goal of getting water to Great Salt Lake in 2024: http://tinyurl.com/SaveGSL-Jan2024


Environmental Ministry's focus this year is on taking action to get water to the Great Salt Lake to solve the immediate salinity crisis and supporting longer term action to assure the viability of the lake going forward. Our goals are to build understanding of the issues facing the Great Salt Lake, raise the overall awareness of the issue and solutions, bear witness to this catastrophe to remind the public and decision-makers of what is at stake, and to engage in the 2023 Legislative Session to support and advocate for water management changes that will result in more water getting to the Great Salt Lake.  We are working with local nonprofits and other congregations to raise awareness and build the groundswell of public opinion required to move Utah to take the actions required to revive our GSL ecosystem. From education to witnessing, from rallying to speaking up at the Utah Legislature, we will be advocating for the survival of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem!


We invite you to join us in this endeavor. Listed below are actions you can take. The chalice icon identifies events planned and sponsored by First Unitarian’s Environmental Ministry. We are also sharing information about events sponsored by local nonprofits focused on the Great Salt Lake. If you have questions, please contact:  


pasted_image_0.pngFirst Unitarian's Saving The Great Salt Lake Project Planning Meeting - 2nd Fridays of the month @ 10-11:30 AM (Zoom), 4th Thursdays of the month @ 7:30 PM (Zoom) - Members and friends are invited to get involved in planning Environmental Ministry's Saving The Great Salt Lake efforts.  There is much to do and we could use your help.  Contact:  for the schedule, Zoom link and/or to ask questions.  Sponsored by: Environmental Ministry, First Unitarian Church of SLC.


WALLACE STEGNER SYMPOSIUM - 2023 - The Future of Great Salt Lake What is all this alarm about Great Salt Lake, what are the issues, what are the solutions?   Learn more by watching these recordings of the presentations from the 2023 Wallace Stegner Symposium - March 16-17, 2023.  


pasted_image_0.pngPrayers for the Great Salt Lake - Intergenerational Service focused on the Great Salt Lake with Rev. Monica Dobbins, Sunday January 29, 2023 – 
Press Conference by faith communities in support of Great Salt Lake, at the Capitol Rotunda, February 16, 2023 - Deeda Seed, Center for Biological Diversity, facilitated this press conference which was opened by Rios Pacheco, Spiritual Leader, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. Representatives of local churches and faith communities, including Unitarian Universalist churches, read faith statements calling for action to save the Great Salt Lake. Postcards written by congregational members were then delivered to state representatives. First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City helped to organize this interfaith effort, and members and friends attended. 



Look for the next SWAP in November of 2024
The Environmental Ministry sponsors a SWAP at the First Unitarian Church where participants can bring what they don’t need and take what they need. The purpose is to share what we have with each other, with our neighboring community, and with others in need. We aim to reduce waste, recycle what we don’t need, reuse what others don’t need, and share our abundance.

How the SWAP works:
  • Bring clothing or household items you don't need, take what you do. All is free, and remaining items will be donated. No TV's, and you need to be able to carry items; no large furniture. If interested in volunteering, let us know here
  • Items should be in good condition..
  • Bring what you don't need, take what you need.  Try out something new that you would never purchase, but since it is FREE … why not experiment!
  • What is not taken will be donated to others in need.
  • The church does not have space to store donations before the swap, so if you are not able to bring items on the day of the swap, consider asking a member, friend, or neighbor to drop items off.
  • Bring items at the beginning of the SWAP so they will be available all day.
  • ALL are welcome.

PBS Utah - Utah Insight | Future of Great Salt Lake segment aired on Friday, July 7, 2023.  Recording: https://video.pbsutah.org/video/future-of-the-great-salt-lake-yjr1jw/ - 

This segment of Utah Insight features our First Unitarian Church of SLC's High School Youth and our congregant, former Utah State Representative Elizabeth Weight, talking about doing what is required of us to save Great Salt Lake We are very proud of our First Unitarian High School Youth and grateful for the support of their guides, mentors, and teachers!!

Utah Insight, a weekly series from PBS Utah, examines the most pressing issues facing the state, as hosts Liz Adeola and RaeAnn Christensen join leading authorities and newsmakers to shed light on the issues that matter to Utahns most-from air quality to affordable housing. Each episode features a panel of experts, interviews with people on the front lines, and a segment illustrating the human impact these issues have on our friends and neighbors.

Tree Planting Service Project
Come be a part of this restoration project, where we plan to help restore Shoshone land on Wuda Ogwa (Bear River) to its natural habitat, by planting willows, cottonwoods, dogwoods, currants and other native plants. This effort will be a rebirth of this sacred land that will allow more water to flow to Great Salt Lake. Bring your own work gloves, shovels, and refillable water bottles. Water, breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided.Saturday, November 4th, 2023, 9 AM - 3PM), North of Preston, Idaho (We will meet at 1st UU at 6:00 am and bus together at 6:30 am, or you can drive yourself and meet at 8:45 at Bear River Massacre Site.)
To register email  or sign up at the Environmental Ministry table in Eliot Hall on Sundays, all ages and abilities welcome.

Environmental Ministry Reading/Video Discussion Group


Reading/Video Discussion Group on Zoom. We will be reading the book The Overstory by Richard Powers during the summer months June-August. We will meet again on Zoom in September to discuss this fabulous novel. Details regarding the September meeting will appear in the August Torch.



As part of caring for the earth, the recycling team collects hard-to-recycle items such as oral care and personal care items, batteries (not corroded), cereal box liners (crinkly bags inside cereal boxes) and spent writing utensils. They will even take your old, worn out (clean) socks. The team also can provide information about other recycling opportunities in the community. Please keep trash out of the landfill and help raise money for the church by participating. 

Get the most up-to-date information here on items being collected:
Then drop off your items on Sunday mornings to the marked bins in Eliot Hall. If you would like to join the Environmental Ministry’s recycling efforts, contact Jim French at . One way you could help would be to volunteer at a CHaRM event hosted by the Utah Recycling Alliance.

About Environmental Ministry

The purpose of Environmental Ministry is to affirm, promote, and act in congruence with our 7th UU principle:  Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.  The Earth and her people are in peril from the devastating impacts of what Joanna Macy calls: The Great Climate Disruption, what Job One for Humanity describes as: our runaway global climate heating emergency.  It is up to us to get educated and stay educated, catalyze change, and advocate for and take effective action.  In our own community, we challenge environmental and climate injustice.  At our church, we take action to reduce our carbon footprint.  We work together to develop new skills, to grasp the immensity of our role at this time, and to act for current and future generations of all species.

Environmental Ministry is coordinated by Joan Gregory.  Environmental Ministry’s Saving Great Salt Lake Project is co-coordinated by Joan Gregory, Cathy Chambless, and Steve Glaser.  The SWAP is coordinated by Sandy Harty and Anna Fonnesbeck.  Green Sanctuary is a joint effort of Environmental Ministry and the Facilities Management & IT Team. 

Join our Environmental Ministry mailing list. Send an email to  to be added to the list, to receive notifications of meetings, events, and actions.  Some are planned by Environmental Ministry; some are sponsored by other environmental and climate justice organizations. 

Join our Environmental Ministry Facebook group.              

Join us in the Environmental Ministry thread in Heartbeat by emailing us at .  Available for church members and for friends who are active members of the Environmental Ministry Team.