UU News

UUs gather nationwide to protest police violence, and other UUs in the media

UU in the news - Fri, 2014-08-15 14:44

Silent vigil held for Ferguson teen killed by police

Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden, Utah, minister the Rev. Shelley Page and dozens of members from various Ogden-area congregations gathered in downtown Ogden this week to hold a silent vigil for Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Mo. “(We’re here) to stand in solidarity for people around the nation and the world with those who have fallen to police violence,” said Page. (Standard Examiner - 8.15.14)

Related stories include:

“Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart holds candlelight vigil for Ferguson” (The Elkhart Truth - 8.15.14)

“Jackson residents take part in vigil for Michael Brown, victims of police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri” (mlive - 8.14.14)

“Vigil planned in McHenry for killed Missouri teen” (Northwest Herald - 8.14.14)

New Jersey congregation helps fund preschool education

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, N.J., presented a substantial donation to the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Somerset County to help fund preschool education for children served by the network. Members of the church also serve as volunteers to the network, which provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, and support services to families throughout the county. (nj.com - 8.10.14)

More news from UUs and congregations

The Rev. Marilyn Sewell, minister emerita of First Unitarian Church in Portland, Ore., offers advice on how best to help someone you suspect may be depressed. The first thing? Don’t tell them to count their blessings. (OregonLive.com – 8.12.14)

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, Ohio, focus on three main aspects of social justice ministry to change lives in their community: teen outreach, immigration justice, and food justice. The church was a recent recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Bennett Award for Human Justice and Social Action. (Akron Beacon Journal – 8.8.14)

An ex-Westboro Baptist Church member has come forward to offer advice to those seeking to dismantle the Kansas-based sect known for spreading anti-gay propaganda and messages of hate. “Create a dialogue of love,” Zach Phelps-Roper said in his own “Ask Me Anything” interview on popular website Reddit. “If you truly want the church to dissolve, that is what you need to do. You need to sincerely show them love.” Phelps-Roper now attends a UU church. (New York Daily News – 8.10.14)

Categories: UU News

Up to Our Necks

UUA Top Stories - Thu, 2014-08-14 01:00
'This is a problem for our whole nation, not just for people of color. We are in this together. And riot gear, intimidation, and more brutality from police are not the way forward towards healing. They are, in fact, yet another giant step backwards,' reflects the Rev. Meg Riley, senior minister of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, on the police brutality in Ferguson, MO in The Huffington Post .
Categories: UU News

A kind of mirror

UU World - Mon, 2014-08-11 01:00
SPIRIT: I never considered myself a visual artist, but then, I never expected to have cancer.
Categories: UU News

31 UUs arrested at immigration protest at White House

UU World - Mon, 2014-08-11 01:00
NEWS: Unitarian Universalists made up largest contingent in interfaith action July 31.
Categories: UU News

Woo, paying for ministry, mature faith, and more

News from Far Off UU Congregations - Fri, 2014-08-08 10:24
Mature faith

When Sarah MacLeod no longer needs her UU congregation as a stepping stone from theism, or as a safe, supportive place during a personal crisis, she asks, “Why church?”

Church, because supportive community is built over time, not just used when in need.

Church, because working through pain, anger, and disappointment in community deepens understanding. . . .

Church, because it reminds us that community is larger than any one person, idea, or belief. (Finding My Ground, August 5)

The Rev. Tom Schade believes that a consensus is emerging among UUs, including that “the ‘language of reverence’ is now our vocabulary.”

President Sinkford was roundly criticized for suggesting that we needed to break out of the straitjacket of humanist language, but then, we did. We’re all about “calls,” “faith,” “mission,” “prayer,” “spirit,” and “soul.” Admittedly, we are probably sloppy in our usage, but everyone kind of gets what each other is talking about, and goes along with it. (The Lively Tradition, August 1)

Woo, but not woo-woo

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden reclaims the practice of spirituality from superstitious “woo-woo.”

There’s nothing mysterious about the mystical. Spirituality is a feeling. We don’t have to buy what particular religions are selling to access these feelings. It’s all in our heads. (Quest for Meaning, August 7)

Rachel Camille values sacred space, and notices that Unitarian Universalist meeting spaces tend not to feel “special.”

We didn’t talk about anything different from what we talked about at the dinner table. It wasn’t super deep. It didn’t teach me anything epic and huge. I didn’t feel connected to anything bigger than myself, which is kind of insane considering that in UU, I’m connected to the entire interconnected web of existence. It felt like a book club. We went into a room and talked about some interesting things, and that was all. The end. (I Am UU, August 7)

Rebecca Hecking is not Pagan, but does mark the Wheel of the Year.

The simple act of marking the day, noting the change, acknowledging the passing of time in a tangible, physical way, helps to counteract the fast pace of our busy lives. As the seasons turn, as the wheel makes yet another round, we note the passing of time in our own lives. Children grow. Elders pass. We move from stage to stage on our own journey. Bringing this to conscious awareness heightens our appreciation for life and its gifts. (Breath and Water, August 1)

Paying for ministry

The Rev. Tom Schade puts concerns about clergy compensation into a broader context.

The big picture is that most of us need a broad social movement to redirect the wealth of this country downwards. That means raising the minimum wage, building up the infrastructure of the country, forgiving student debt, investing in education, increasing social security benefits, bailing out underwater homeowners, empowering old and new unions, returning the wealth stolen from African Americans. More people should have more money.

And in that context, UU ministers will probably have a better future than it now seems. (The Lively Tradition, August 2)

Katy Schmidt Carpman asks us to remember more than just clergy when we talk about paying for ministry.

And yet in many congregations, ministers have the best compensation package. I would love to see a fuller conversation of compensation and financial wellness for all who work in churches. Yes, as a religious educator, I’ve got an interest here. But it’s also about our music directors, administrative staff, sextons–whatever positions make up each congregation. (Remembering Attention, July 31)

Energy and despair

The Rev. James Ford sees the future in the “mix of energy and despair” in Long Beach’s diverse downtown neighborhood.

Walking around downtown Long Beach I realized this is the future.

Edgy. Dangerous.

Colorful.

Chaotic.

A mix of energy and despair, people succeeding and people crushed. And downtown everyone living cheek-by-jowl, the same block with high-end lofts, middle-income condos, and inexpensive apartments. In places trash in the street, and not far away, pocket public gardens. (Monkey Mind, August 2)

Asked to write about yet another tragic news story, the Rev. Lynn Unger shares a poem, encouraging us to “Wake up. Give thanks. Sing.”

What will you do
with the last good days?
Before the seas rise and the skies close in,
before the terrible bill
for all our thoughtless wanting
finally comes due? (Quest for Meaning, August 6)

Photos from the “Humans of New York” project inspire the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum’s thoughts about why we need safety nets.

I’m fortunate—we have family and friends able and willing to help. I’m a minister in a denomination that has some funds for ministers in financial crisis, and knowing that is a piece of sanity, a certain knowledge that there’s a safety net there for me. I’m also insured, which means there’s a cap to the financial trouble that health problems can bring me.

Not everyone has these safety nets. Many people have only the knowledge of a family member’s open door. Some people don’t have even that. (The Lively Tradition, August 6)

Gracia Walker remembers a long-ago encounter, one of many that helped her find her way from fundamentalism to Unitarian Universalism, and encourages us to be the kind strangers other people need.

You never know what seeds you can plant, what a bit of kindness can do to widen the thinking of someone who may be trapped in a worldview that doesn’t meet their needs, or let them grow to their potential. We don’t always have to preach, it may just be the patience we show that can change hearts. (Loved for Who You Are, August 4)

Categories: UU News

Faith leaders, immigration activists arrested at White House, and other UUs in the media

UU in the news - Thu, 2014-08-07 14:34

Deportation protest ends in arrests in Washington, D.C.

More than 100 faith leaders and immigration activists were arrested last week in Washington, D.C., as part of a larger demonstration protesting the deportations of undocumented immigrants. Director of the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice the Rev. Kathleen McTigue led the civil disobedience action along with other interfaith leaders, calling on President Obama and Congress to halt the deportations of unaccompanied children escaping the violence of drug cartels in Central America. (Huffington Post - 7.31.14)

Related stories include:

“More than 100 religious, immigration activists arrested at White House” (Religion News Service - 7.31.14)

“White House protest ends in arrests; Congress balks on border funds” (Tucson Sentinel - 8.1.14)

“Religious leaders arrested outside White House during immigration rally” (NBC 4 - 7.31.14)

“More than 100 faith leaders and immigrant rights activists arrested in Washington, D.C.” (Telesur - 7.31.14)

Local church groups support unaccompanied children

A group of 70 church-organized supporters, including the Rev. Robert Murphy of First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth, Mass., gathered at a Cape Cod rotary to show support of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to use Camp Edwards on the Joint Base Cape Cod as a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children. (Cape Cod Times - 8.3.14)

Related stories include:

“Austin, TX, wants to help illegal aliens” (Austin American-Statesmen - 8.7.14)

More news from UU congregations

LGBT activist the Rev. Mark Kiyimba of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Kampala, Uganda, visited the UU Church of Pensacola, Fla., earlier this week to speak out about the harsh anti-gay policies in his native country. (Pensacola News Journal - 8.3.14)

Hundreds gathered in Cincinnati to show support for marriage equality, marking the opening arguments for Michigan and other Midwest states in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Rev. Mary Moore of Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Dayton, Ohio, was present along with members of the congregation. “We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of everyone,” said Rev. Moore, “It’s not fair because I perform services for same-gender couples but they don’t get the same rights as heterosexual couples.” (Detroit News - 8.5.14)

Categories: UU News

UUA sells last Beacon Hill building for $11.5 million

UU World - Wed, 2014-08-06 01:00
NEWS: 41 Mt. Vernon St., former Beacon Press headquarters, will become condominiums.
Categories: UU News
Syndicate content