International News from the UUA (iNews)
I. Hillary Rodham Clinton Visits UU Holdeen India Partner Organization
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, currently on a tour of Asia, visited in Mumbai, India, with representatives of the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), a longtime partner of the Unitarian Universalist Holdeen India Program (UUHIP).
Secretary Clinton gathered with SEWA General Secretary Reema Nanavaty, Mona Dave, SEWA's CEO, and Ela Bhatt, SEWA founder. Clinton visited a shop run by SEWA, a union of more than 1 million women operating cooperatives that make and sell embroidery and other products using microfinance methods.
Read more here!
II. Sharing Global Faith
Grounded in the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all, Sharing Global Faith invites Unitarians and Universalists from around the world to deepen and enrich our shared global faith.
The international devotional will be distributed on the second Monday of every month starting in April, 2009 and running through September, 2009. Each publication will address a central issue in the development of faith-life and will include thoughtful responses from a diverse geographical selection of U/U spiritual leaders. Topics range from freedom to fellowship, justice to hope. Alongside the monthly e-resource, the devotional's webpage will host additional information about the project and each of the contributors.
Read the July devotional on Justice online!
III. Rest in Peace: Hungarian Unitarian Bishop Reverend Csaba Razmany
On Wednesday, July 15th, the Bishop of the Unitarian Church of Hungary, Reverend Csaba Razmany, passed away after a long illness.
Bishop Razmany was born in Kolozsvar in 1946. From 1968-1971 he was a deacon of the Unitarian church in Brasso. From 1971-1995 he served the church in Alsóboldogfalva. In 1995 he moved from Romania to Hungary and served the church in Pestszentlorinc until 2001. In 2001 he was elected the Bishop of the Unitarian Church of Hungary, and also served as the senior Minister of Bela Bartok Unitarian Church in Budapest.
Our caring thoughts and prayers are extended to Bishop Razmany's family and all Hungarian Unitarians.
UUA President, the Reverend Peter Morales, has extended his personal condolences, and those of the UUA, to the Unitarian Church of Hungary.
IV. Water Communion Resource
Many Unitarian Universalist congregations have an annual tradition celebrating a Water Ceremony/Communion early in September as a ritual of welcoming members of their congregation to a new church year.
Though these services vary greatly from congregation to congregation, they are generally an excellent opportunity for UU congregations to express their commitment to our Sixth Principle: We Covenant to Affirm and Promote the Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty and Justice for All.
The International Resources Office offers a Water Ceremony/Communion resource (PDF), in the framework of the "Faith Without Borders program, offering suggestions for Sixth Principle ministry in the areas of spirituality, education, advocacy, partnership, stewardship, pilgrimage & witness, and associational leadership.
Read more about the IRO's Water Ceremony/Communion resource here!
V. News from the ICUU
New ICUU Executive Secretary and Program Coordinator Named
Adopting a new staffing model designed to launch the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) into its next stage of growth and development, the Executive Committee is very pleased to announce the hiring of Rev. Steve Dick as Executive Secretary and the creation of a Program Co-Ordinator position to be filled by Rev. Jill McAllister. Both appointments take effect August 1, 2009.
Click here to read the official press release.
ICUU Council Meeting in Koloszvar, Transylvania
September 1-5, 2009
The ICUU Executive unanimously agreed to accept the invitation from the Transylvanian Unitarian Church to hold the next Council Meeting and associated International Gathering in Kolozsvár, the city of their Headquarters and College. On many western maps, the city is identified as Cluj, Romania.
The Council Meeting will run from Tuesday 1 September, 2009 (arrivals) to Saturday 5 September (departures). A full day pilgrimage to Deva, site of the prison where Dávid Ferenc (Francis David) died, is being planned -- this might be just before, just after, or during the Council Meeting (the dates of the CM might be adjusted slightly if the Deva trip is during the meetings).
All Member Groups are entitled to send one voting delegate to the Council; Groups with more than 3000 individual adult members are entitled to a second voting delegate. There will be a sponsorship fund to assist travel and accommodation for delegates from developing economies. Additionally, individual Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists may attend the International Gathering at their own expense; these individuals may observe the Council Meeting but not speak or vote at business sessions although they may participate in the other aspects of the programme.
Please click here for further information!
VI. Now Available on Google Books
The International Resources Office is pleased to announce the addition of two new out-of-print titles to our Google Books Library. The full texts are available online, free:
Credo International: Voices of Religious Liberalism from Around the World, by Don McEvoy
The author, a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego, California, has drawn upon historical sources to create faith statements from sixty-one prominent Unitarians and Universalists.-- UU World December 2003
Credo: Unitarian and Universalists of Yesteryear Talk About Their Lives and Motivations, by Don McEvoy
A collection of 37 first-person "credos", imaginatively reconstructed, from prominent historical figures. -- UU World December 2001
This refreshing book suggests the sources from which serious seekers have discovered insight and inspiration. -- Religious Humanism winter/spring 2001
VII. UU Church of the Philippines
The UU Church of the Philippines (UUCP) has embarked upon a Sustainability Program that seeks to build a Dormitory in Dumaguette City. Congregations and individuals can find out more about this exciting program by visiting the project website.
A PowerPoint presentation of the BUILD Project is now available online at www.uua.org.
You can also listen to a recording of the UU Partner Church Council's most recent "Virtual Conference" during which Rev. Nihal Attanayake (Chair of the UUCP Faith in Action Department) and the UUA's Ambassador to the Philippines, Rev. Fred Muir discuss this project and others.
Additionally, the UU Church of the Philippines held its Annual Meeting in late April and Bob Guerrero was kind enough to share some wonderful photos from the event.
VIII. International Opportunities for UU Clergy
UUCP Sabbatical Program
Experienced UUA ministers are invited to consider applying to spend 3- 4 months of a sabbatical with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines (UUCP), providing skill development in these and other areas:
- Nurturance of the UU faith through teaching and articulation of theological concepts.
- Youth and Young Adult Ministry
- Project development, management and community work.
- Church administration, leadership and financial management.
Successful applicants should expect to be engaged in this ministry for approximately 20-hours/week. Contexts will include worship services, traditional classes and less formal discussion groups. The unique skills that a successful applicant brings to this ministry will also be integrated.
The organizing and implementing body for this program will be the UU Church of the Philippines' Religious Education Committee. The UUCP will provide sabbatical program participants with housing and local transportation. Other expenses will be the responsibility of the applicant, with some assistance available from the UUA.
Read more about the UUCP Sabbatical Program and how to apply!
IX. ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Reading for July 2009
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 71st in its monthly series of global chalice lighting readings. Congregations worldwide are invited to participate.
All ICUU-affiliated groups have been asked to submit brief chalice lightings for the project. Every month, a reading will be distributed to Unitarian and Universalist congregations around the world. We ask each congregation to use the reading for at least one worship service in the designated month, identifying it as the "Global Chalice Lighting" for that month and naming the group which submitted it. Readings will be circulated in English and, where different, in their original language.
It is hoped that the ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Project will enhance the worship experience in our congregations and raise awareness of the international dimensions of our religious movement.
This Global Chalice Lighting, in English and French, is to be used during July 2009.
A LIVING TRUTH
I have not come to give you Truth,
nor have you come to give truth to me.
We have come together to recreate the truth,
and only a living truth can blossom,
and thus become large enough to embrace the wholeness of our lives.
UNE VÉRITÉ VIVANTE
Je ne suis pas venu pour vous transmettre la Vérite,
Et vous n'êtes pas venus m'imposer la vôtre.
Mais nous nous sommes rassemblés pour le bâtir ensemble.
Parce que seule une vérité vivante,
et seule une vérité vivant peut sèpanouir
et devenir ensuite universelle pour englober la totalité de nos vies.
Rev. John Baros-Johnson
Canadian Unitarian Council
XI. International Resources Office on Facebook
The latest pervasive, must-have technology since the invention of the cell phone, Facebook is everywhere. And it's growing.
Combining the best features of email, MySpace, and other Web 2.0 technology, 374,000 people join Facebook each day to connect, reconnect, and interact.
So, it's about time the International Resources Office joined the (page) ranks of the Facebook-o-sphere (or maybe it's Facebook-o-verse?)!
The versatility of the Facebook layout allows for our office resources to be neatly listed and easily navigable. You can find out about upcoming events, learn more about the Faith Without Borders program, and hear announcements about new resources available on our homepage.
XII. Faith Without Borders
Introduced at General Assembly, the "Faith Without Borders" program invites congregations to integrate a commitment to faithful global citizenship into many aspects of congregational life.
Participants in the program will receive resources, consultation and celebration from the International Resources Office. For more information, click here.
XIII. Inspired Faith - Effective Action Blog
As part of the UUA's Advocacy and Witness Staff group, the International Resources office contributes to the Inspired Faith - Effective Action blog. Visit the blog for postings on a wide variety of issues. Or, subscribe to an rss feed of international-related posts.
XIV. International Engagement Database
The IRO maintains a database of the many varieties of international engagement that UU congregations are involved with. To date we have records from approximately 150 congregations in the database. Is your congregation one of them? If so, we'd love to update your entry. If not, we'd love to include information about your congregation's international engagement.
Contact Nicole McConvery to check/update your congregation's status in the database.
Or, if you'd like to be in contact with other congregations who are involved with international programs that are similar to yours, let us know and we'll provide you with a report.