November 13, 2009
I. In Memoriam: Rev. Polly Guild
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) joins the family and friends of the Reverend Polly L. Guild and the entire global community of Unitarians and Universalists in mourning Polly's death on November 7, 2009. Polly was an incredibly talented, deeply committed, and always wise woman who served UUA congregations as a spiritual leader, and the entire world as a tireless ambassador of faith, hope and love. We will all deeply miss her warm heart, kind smile, keen insight and loving spirit.
Read messages from Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists from around the world as we remember Polly.
II. The Charter for Compassion is Launched!
Unveiled on November 12, 2009, the Charter for Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life.
Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems. One of the most urgent tasks of our generation is to build a global community where men and women of all races, nations and ideologies can live together in peace. In our globalized world, everybody has become our neighbor, and the Golden Rule has become an urgent necessity.
Excerpt from the Charter:
"The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
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.
III. Seminarian Returns from Visit to Tsubaki Grand Shrine
Barbara Prose - currently the ministerial intern with the UU Church of the Monterey Peninsula - was awarded the UUA's 2009 Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship. For two weeks in October she lived and worked at the Shrine, and had a deeply meaningful interfaith experience there:
A wise and dear friend taught me this old German saying, "Barbara, remember," he said, "The soul travels on foot." Well, it will be a week tomorrow that I have been back from Japan and I fear my soul is still swimming somewhere far from shore in the depths of the Pacific, unsure if it should follow and try to catch up and into my body. Instead my wandering soul seems to be wondering if it would not be wiser to return to the wakeiseijaku of Japan and lure my body back to the enchanted island shrine called Tsubaki so that body, mind and spirit could wake up together and find themselves again in heaven.
View photos from the visit and read about Barbara's experience!
IV. ICUU Newsletter and Global Chalice Lighting Reading for November 2009 Now Available
The November edition of the ICUU's quarterly newsletter, the Global Chalice, is now available online (PDF).
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 75th 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 November 2009.
You are welcome here visitor, friend or long time member.
You are welcome here.
With your family or partner
Or lover or alone
We joyfully welcome you here.
You are welcome here as believer
Or doubter, as joiner or loner.
You are welcome here feeling a part of us or not,
Full of energy or plain tired, seeking a vision or a rest.
You are welcome to join us as you are.
Que vous soyez visiteur, ami ou membre de langue date,
Vous êtes le bienvenu.
Que vous soyez avec votre famille
Ou avec votre conjoint, avec votre amant ou amante ou seul,
Nous vous accueillons avec joie.
Vous êtes le bienvenu ici, que vous soyez croyant ou cherchant,
Que vous partagiez facilement la vie de la groupe
Ou que vous préfériez la solitude.
Vous êtes le bienvenu ici, que vous vous sentiez, ou non, à l'aise chez nous,
Plein d'énergie ou fatigue, cherchant un défi ou le repos.
Tel que vous êtes, vous êtes le bienvenu chez nous.
-Rev. Ray Drennan
Canadian Unitarian Council
V. IARF Chapter Conference in January
Save the date!
"Reconciliation with the Earth, Each Other and the Stranger" is the theme for the U.S. Chapter Conference, which will be held in Clearwater, FL, January 14-17th, 2010. Rev. Bill Schulz and Rev. Paul Rasor are two of the speakers who will be presenting. The work of IARF around the world will be shared along with preparations for the Congress in India in September 2010. Additionally we will have Circle Groups and time for renewing friendships.
Registration information is available online.
VI. 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!
VII. 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 (Word document).
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.
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. General Assembly 2010
The 2010 General Assembly will convene June 23 - 27 in Minneapolis, MN. The GA Program Development Group is now accepting submissions for the following:
GA Program Proposals
Programmed Event Forms (for pre-approved programs)
Private Event Requests
Program Advertisement Requests
If you wish to propose a GA program to the GA Program Development Group (PDG), the deadline is November 16, 2009. The PDG will make program selections by December 15. If your program is selected, you will receive immediate notification.
For further questions, contact the General Assembly office at ga @ uua.org.
- 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)
XI. 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.
XII. 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.