Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Will Fuller

Will Fuller 2020Will is a busy guy. As church moderator, he is an ex-officio member of all KMUCC’s missions and teams. “I am curious about a lot of things and how they relate to each other,” he says. Though he can’t be deeply involved in every aspect of the church, he remains an active member of the Green Team.

Spiritually, Will centers on the word connection. “We humans are spiritually connected to the non-human parts of nature, and we Green Team members are connected to each other as we share the work and play. How we congregate is how we serve God,” Will says.

He calls his personal connection to sustainability and the environment “partly genetic.” His sister runs an energy-efficiency nonprofit, Natural Capitalism Solutions, and has published several books and articles on the subject, most notably “Natural Capitalism.”

Will has a special interest in relating the physical environment to social justice issues such as racial and economic inequalities.


Carolyn and Pete Rux

Carolyn Rux 2020Pete Rux 2020Carolyn's and Pete’s involvement with the Green Team has been a big part of their church life as long as they can remember. The team began as a small group of people concerned with global warming and caring for the environment. “We worked to increase our awareness of these issues and tried to identify activities and changes to make a difference,” Carolyn says.

She says, “The Green Team has always been stimulating, sincere and fun. It has taken on exploration in many directions from reading, discussion, special guests, viewing
films, to attending conferences. This has led to plant sales, PACE articles, energy audits, plastic and Styrofoam collections and sharing of useful information.”
Pete notes some of the issues and tough questions the group has tackled include how to take better care of the Earth, climate change, food practices, how certain foods are more eco-friendly than others, how to become more energy-efficient and reduce our carbon footprint both as consumers individually and as a church community.

For Carolyn, the idea of caring for the earth is a basic part of her faith. “This faith, in part, comes from the awe and wonder the earth provides in abundance each day, which sustains me and gives me life,” she says.


Johnette Orpinela

Johnette Orpinela 2020Johnette was attracted to Kairos Milwaukie UCC largely because of its commitment to the environment through the Green Team. “I’ve been concerned about the environment and the various ways we are destroying the planet as long as I can remember,” she says.

Johnette lives out her commitment to the environment at church and at home. “The Green Team has been a very consistent and vocal presence in the congregation through the things we do such as recycling and the bee garden,” she says. Johnette would like to see the Green Team take on the bigger picture of environmental and sustainability issues. One way to do that is by partnering with other organizations in the area who have similar missions.

At home, Johnette and her family live their beliefs. When they built a studio next to their house, they installed an eco-roof.

Like most church groups, the Green Team has been challenged during the pandemic to keep their plans moving. However, in June they met in person outside the church, masked and distanced but with the same energy they have found in each other throughout the years. “It was great to see everyone, to talk in person. I felt safe doing it,” Johnette said.