January 28, 2016


Dear friends,


As Unitarian Universalists, we yearn for a world in which all people can lead lives of dignity, and we work to make it so. For the most part, this search for dignity through justice is the backdrop to all we do - from how we raise our children to the careers we choose.


There are times, however, when we are called to bring this search for justice from the background to the foreground: times when injustices grave and near require our immediate attention, times when we are called to show up when we might otherwise choose to stay at home. We are writing because we are in such a time.


Spectra Energy Corporation has begun construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline, an extension of which runs through both Dedham and West Roxbury, near where many of us live and work. If completed, this pipeline will carry methane gas, so called natural gas, of an unprecedented pressure from fracking fields to an aging and already leaking pipeline system in Boston. The pipeline is opposed by most Boston elected officials and significant numbers of local residents. To gain access to the roadway where the line is being laid, Spectra first sued the city of Boston, then eventually was granted eminent domain. (see SWRL.org and resistthepipeline.org for more information).


We unequivocally oppose the continuation of this project, and need your help to support efforts to stop it.


Unfortunately, the West Roxbury Lateral is not an isolated incident. All across the country companies are engaged in an unprecedented and massive expansion of gas infrastructure. We feel this expansion must stop, and call instead for investment in renewable infrastructure and democratic control of our energy systems.


Here in Massachusetts, the Baker Administration and the State Legislature are considering legislation that would slash payments for community solar and instead subsidize the construction of new gas pipelines with ratepayer tariffs. Billions of dollars will be allocated in Massachusetts in the next few years; the question is whether it will be spent on green infrastructure or more pipelines and dirty power plants.


We are in a moment of history that requires we organize. We hope you will you join us, and other Unitarian Universalists, in lifting our voices in favor of safe and renewable energies. Will you join us in resisting the construction of the West Roxbury Lateral, and in fighting for the solutions we DO need?


On February 13th, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., we will gather at Theodore Parker Church to build our Unitarian Universalist climate justice community and plan next steps. We hope you will join us!


In faith,


Rev. Anne Bancroft, Minister, Theodore Parker Church, West Roxbury

Rev. Tricia Brennan, Interim Minister, First Parish Dorchester

Rev. Martha Niebanck, Minister Emerita, First Parish in Brookline

Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris, Interim Minister, First Church in Jamaica Plain

Rev. Catie Scudera, Minister, First Parish in Needham

Rev. Rali Weaver

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Reeves

Rev. Mark Harris, Minister, First Parish in Watertown

Rev. Fred Small, Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action

Rev. John Gibbons, Minister, First Parish in Bedford

Rev. M. Lara Hoke, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover

Rev. Julie Lombard, Minister, Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church in Danvers

Rev. Art McDonald, Minister, First Universalist, Essex

Rev. Dr. Marjorie J. Matty, Minister, First Parish of Sudbury, Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Erin Splaine, Minister, First Unitarian Society in Newton

Rev. Amy Freedman, First Parish in Concord

Rev. George G. Whitehouse, Minister Emeritus, Arlington Street Church

Rev. Catherine Senghas, Interim Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading

Rev. Kathleen McTigue, Director, UU College of Social Justice

Joanna Lubkin, Candidate for Ministry


Organizations listed for identification purposes only.


For more information and to sign up for the February 13th convening, please click here.