International News from the UUA (iNews)
October 16, 2009
I. Mallika Dutt Receives American Courage Award
It's been an exciting week for the UU Holdeen India Program's partners! Last week, Shramajivee Mahila Samity (SMS) - India received the Harriet Tubman Award from Free the Slaves; this week, Mallika Dutt received the American Courage Award from the Asian American Justice Center.
Founder and executive director of Breakthrough: Building Human Rights Culture, Mallika has been utilizing the power of media, popular culture, leadership development, and community education in India and the United States to transform public attitudes as a means of advancing equality, dignity, and justice for all.
An innovative, international human rights organization, Breakthrough addresses critical global issues including racial justice, immigrant rights, violence against women, and HIV/AIDS, using creative tools to "build a culture of human rights."
II. UU Ministry for Earth: 350.org
A Call to Unitarian Universalists from the UU Ministry for Earth: Participate in the October 24 International Day of Climate Action
The next weeks and months are critical for addressing climate change.
By late September, the Senate climate bill will have passed or failed. Passage is needed to send an empowered and credible US delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 7-18, 2009.
The world's leaders must arrive at that conference with the voices of their people ringing in their ears, calling them to take strong action to lower atmospheric CO2 levels to 350 parts per million (ppm).
Why 350? Scientists generally agree that if we continue to allow the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to top 350 ppm, we can't sustain a planet similar to the one we know and to which life on Earth is adapted. Currently, the CO2 in the atmosphere measures well above 350 ppm.
350 represents more than just a benchmark for a safe climate - there are deep moral and spiritual reasons for getting back below 350. Guided by the 2006 Statement of Conscience regarding the threat of global warming/climate change, UU Ministry for Earth, the UU State Advocacy Networks, the UU-United Nations Office, the UUA Green Sanctuary Program, and the UUA Office for Advocacy and Witness call upon UU congregations to participate in the International Day of Climate Action, October 24.
People in more than 1000 communities around the globe have already announced plans: there will be school children planting 350 trees in Bangladesh, scientists hanging banners saying 350 on the statues on Easter Island, 350 scuba divers diving underwater at the Great Barrier Reef, and thousands more creative actions like these.
At each event, people will gather for a group photo that depicts 350 - and upload that photo to the website www.350.org. As actions take place around the world, all the pictures will be linked via the web-and by the end of the day, a powerful visual petition from the entire planet will be delivered to the media and world leaders.
Learn more about how your congregation/community can organize an action on October 24!
III. Charter for Compassion
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is one among a diverse group of interfaith religious organizations that have partnered with the "Charter for Compassion" community. This collaborative effort seeks to be a witness to the centrality of compassion in all of the world's religions-and to help build a more "peaceful and harmonious global community" through that witness.
In November 2009 the finalized version of the Charter for Compassion will be "Launched" in a major event. Religious people from around the world are invited to join in this launch by sponsoring special events and activities. UU congregations are welcome to participate in any way that they choose.
Learn more about how your congregation can participate. Congregations are welcome use and/or adapt an example lesson plan as a religious education (RE) activity related to the Charter for Compassion Launch: the lesson plan details a one or two-day opportunity for religious education classes to learn about the "Charter for Compassion" and create a work of Art that expresses their understanding of "Compassion."
IV. UN Sunday
Celebrating United Nations Sunday is an excellent opportunity for Unitarian Universalist (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 UU-United Nations Office (UU-UNO)'s theme for UN Sunday 2009 is: A Safe and Dignified Life for All.
The UU-UNO has put together an excellent packet of worship materials to assist congregations in organizing a UN Sunday service. The UUA's International Resources Office also has UN Sunday resources, which reference this packet, organized in the "Faith Without Borders" framework.
Learn more about how your congregation can participate in UN Sunday!
V. Church of the Larger Fellowship
The Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) is a UU congregation by mail, email, and internet, with over 3,000 members all over the world.
Groups and individuals alike are invited to join CLF, which offers a group membership to small congregations outside of the US and Canada, called CLF International.
CLF International offers a variety of resources, including:
Who Should Enroll?
- Sundays Online
Hundreds of complete services with sermons by well-known Unitarian Universalist ministers available for use in worship.
- Religious Education Resources
Designed by professional religious educators for multi-age religious education programs including CLiF Notes: A Monthly Curriculum for Families and Small Groups and KidTalk Web page: Monthly information and activities on everything from holidays around the world to spiritual practices and social justice projects.
- RE Connections
Online resource with ideas for seasonal celebrations, informative articles, and games and activities for families and children.
- Between Sundays
A website designed to help parents and other adults answer religious questions raised by children and youth.
- Quest Archive
Online archive of the CLF's monthly worship publication, called Quest, which includes sermons, readings, meditations, and more.
- E-mail lists
The CLF creates online communities, small cyber-groups, and online courses to help members stay in touch. Starting Small, an email list for small congregations led by experienced lay leaders.
Are you involved with a congregation or small group that:
You might consider enrolling your group or fellowship in CLF International!
- relies on lay-leaders?
- meets at least twice a month?
- seeks new ideas, energy and resources?
The CLF International program will help groups plan and present effective and meaningful worship services, offers easy-to-teach religious education programs and provides easy-to-prepare study programs to expand opportunities for adults to interact.
Learn more about CLF International program!
VI. UUPCC Resources
UUPCC is happy to announce two resource guides - a Romania Resource & Grant Guide for Partnered Churches and a Guide to India Government Programs to Enhance Community Infrastructure and Amenities.
To assist congregations in identifying potential sources of financial support for Transylvanian village/town projects, UUPCC has developed a Romania Resource & Grant Guide for Partnered Churches.
The descriptions of potential grant opportunities are provided in Hungarian and Romanian with a summary statement in English. The sample grant applications are in Romanian because government grant applications are required to be written in Romanian. If you are an American partner, these English summaries will give you a good sense of the kinds of projects that have received funding in the past.
The Guide to India Government Programs to Enhance Community Infrastructure and Amenities describes assistance available from national and state governments in India for water development, health, education, nutrition, roads, and related infrastructure. It also offers employment programs to pay community residents for work improving village infrastructure. These state and national government programs have direct relevance to the work our partner churches are doing in India and provide a means to move the partnerships beyond charity to significant and meaningful relationships to make a huge difference in the well-being of health, nutrition, livelihoods, and infrastructure in our partner communities.
Read more about these resource guides and learn about the UUPCC's Community Capacity Building program.
VII. New ICUUW Newsletter Available
The International Convocation of Unitarian and Universalist Women (ICUUW) has released its fall newsletter, "Global Sisters".
In this edition, you can read about Global Sisters Initiatives, the upcoming SWUUW Conference, a report about the ICUUW at the recent ICUU meeting in Transylvania, news from the Philippines, and much more! This newsletter is free and online.
VIII. 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 most recent devotional online!
IX. 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!
X. ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Reading for October 2009
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 74th 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 is to be used during October 2009.
The light of life shines through the eyes of each and every person.
The light of truth shines through each life.
May the light of this chalice remind us that our search for truth and light is ongoing, and is enhanced and nurtured by every person we meet.
May we honor the light in each other.
Rev. Jill McAllister
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
- October 22-25, 2009: Conference of IARF European & Middle Eastern Region and the European Liberal Protestants Network
at Mannheim and Ludwigshafen (near Heidelberg, Germany)
- October 25, 2009: UN Sunday
- October 25-27, 2009: Interfaith Youth Core presents: "Leadership for a Religiously Diverse World", Chicago, IL
- December 3-9, 2009: Parliament of the World's Religions, Melborne, Australia
- January 14-17, 2010: IARF U.S. Chapter Conference, Clearwater, FL.
- March 5 -16, 2010: UUPCC Pilgrimage to the Philippines
- April 8-10, 2010: UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar, "A Climate of Change: Head, Heart, and Hands Around the Planet," New York City
- July 9-13, 2010: U-U Ministers Conference, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (details forthcoming at www.icuu.net)
- July 13-17, 2010: The Third ICUU International Theological Symposium, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (details forthcoming at www.icuu.net)
XII. Follow the International Resources Office Online
The latest pervasive, must-have technology since the invention of the cell phone, Facebook and Twitter are everywhere. And they're 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. A comparable number of people join Twitter each day, preferring it's simple, conversational-like platform. Often, folks are joining both to connect to one another.
So, it's about time the International Resources Office joined the (page) ranks of both Facebook and Twitter!
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. The immediacy of Twitter will allow you to be updated every time a new resource is available, as well as when events of interest will be taking place. Stay connected with the International Resources Office!
XIII. 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.