December 11, 2009
I. Faith Without Borders: Winter Holiday Resources
For everything there is a season-a time to die and a time to be born. With the arrival of winter's low dark sky, communities around the world look to the miracle of light as a sign of rebirth and a source of hope. We celebrate the promise of new life and recommit ourselves to the protection of everyone's right to his or her own radiant humanity. Celebrating the Winter Holidays, thus, 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 international resources office offers a Winter Holidays resource guide which has a few suggestions for bringing Sixth Principle Ministry to life in relation to your Winter Solstice service framed in the seven areas of the Faith Without Borders Program: Spiritual Support, Education, Advocacy, Partnership, Stewardship, Pilgrimage & Witness, and Associational Leadership.
II. The Dana McLean Greeley Address: Annual Competition
Established by the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, the Dana McLean Greeley Address Annual Competition is inspired by Rev. Dana McLean Greeley. As the first president of the UUA, Rev. Dana McLean Greeley continues to inspire us with his dedication to peace and justice, expressed in his ministry until his death in 1986. One of the principal founders of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, he believed that strengthening the United Nations is part of our commitment to world community with peace, liberty and justice.
All Unitarian Universalists are invited to submit a sermon (or address) to the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO). The purpose of this annual award program is to encourage and to recognize Unitarian Universalists' principles, thought and action on a wide range of global issues as well as the role of the United Nations and our own Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office. While all submissions will be considered, those highlighting the work of the United Nations and the UU-UNO will be given priority consideration.
The winner will be awarded a cash prize of $500 and have the opportunity to deliver the sermon or address at the upcoming 2010 UUA General Assembly in Minneapolis, MN.
Deadline for 2010 submissions is February 1, 2010.
Read about past award recipients, guidelines for submissions, and Frequently Asked Questions about the Greeley Address Competition.
For further information, contact the UU-UNO.
III. Thinking About Microfinance
Unitarian Universalists (UUs) have been involved with Microfinance initiatives for many years, recognizing that Faithful Stewardship includes sharing our abundance generously and constructively.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) recognizes that microfinance is complex work. Along with the praise and acclaim that microfinance enterprises have received from many quarters, there are also significant critiques to be considered.
Learn more about how, through an integrated approach and long-term commitments, microfinance can be a transformative part of supporting authentic social change and justice-and alleviating poverty.
IV. Parliament of the World's Religions
The 2009 Parliament of World Religions recently concluded in Melbourne, Australia, where 6,000 people from 80 nationalities attended, representing more than 220 faith traditions.
The global Unitarian/Universalist movement was represented at the Parliament by the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU). ICUU representatives provided a workshop on congregational interfaith work, and staffed a booth in the Exhibit Hall.
View coverage of the event, including videos, blog posts and photos!
V. IARF Chapter Conference in January
"Reconciliation with the Earth, Each Other and the Stranger" is the theme for the IARF 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. UU Global AIDS Coalition November Newsletter
The UU Global AIDS Coalition's November newsletter is now available online!
News items in this edition include: an introduction to the new chair of the UUGAC, a profile of a Zambian AIDS organization seeking partnership, news and events about the global health community, reports from UU Red Ribbon congregations around the U.S., and more!
To join the newsletter mailing list, which is sent approximately three times a year, email UUGACNewsletter@gmail.com. To learn more about the UUGAC and how your congregation can get involved, visit www.uuglobalaids.org.
VII.Global Chalice Lighting | ICUU Newsletter
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 76th 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 December 2009. (You can also view January's edition online)
Knowing we must die, we question what life means.
Final answers may elude us, but by living the questions, we create and discover meaning where we can.
-Rev. Forrest Church (1948-2009)
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
VIII. International Opportunities for UU Clergy
Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship Program
The Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship is available to Unitarian Universalist seminarians (in candidate status) attending non-UU theological Schools who have an interest in international and interfaith engagement. Scholarship recipients will be provided with expenses for travel to the Tsubaki Grand Shrine (TGS) in Suzuka, Japan, as well as room and board at the Shrine for two to three weeks. Starr King School for the Ministry has a similar program, and Meadville/Lombard is in the process of developing one.
TGS is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, dating back to the first century BCE. The long-standing relationship between Unitarian Universalism and TGS has its roots within the International Association for Religious Freedom.
This scholarship was established by Guji Yukiyasu Yamamoto, the 97th guardian priest of the shrine, to:
Find out more information about the scholarship and its application process!
- promote international and interfaith understanding,
- provide opportunities for Unitarian Universalist seminarians to develop a deeper understanding of shrine Shinto tradition, customs, and practices, and
- further develop close relationships between the Tsubaki Grand Shrine and Unitarian Universalists.
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
For further questions, contact the General Assembly office at ga @ uua.org.
- 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 (visit http://uu-uno.org/ for further information)
- 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.