December 23, 2009
I. Holiday Greetings!
On behalf of more than a thousand congregations that make up the Unitarian Universalist Association, please accept warm greetings and best wishes for this holiday season.
During this season we are reminded of humanity's deep and enduring longing for peace. We understand that peace must be far, far more than merely the absence of war and violence. Peace is a relationship that we build upon the foundations of compassion, justice, respect, and conditions that allow human life to thrive.
As we wish you peace this season, we also extend our hands in friendship and in partnership. Together let us continue our commitment to create a world where peace reigns.
May this be a season filled with blessings,
Rev. Peter Morales
Unitarian Universalist Association
Rev. Eric Cherry
Director, International Resources
Unitarian Universalist Association
II. UU's Send Love, Rice, to Filipino UU's Affected by Typhoons
Thanks to the combined efforts of Unitarians and UU's around the world, members of the UU congregations in The Philippines (Malingin and Doldol) have received generous donations of rice in the wake of food shortages from recent flooding.
Read more about this inspiring story!
III. Pictures From a Hiroshima Schoolyard
Earlier this year, All Souls Church in Washington DC restored WWII-era children's drawings from Hiroshima. These incredible works of art - which are part of an equally incredible story - were also on display at General Assembly last summer.
A film about the Hiroshima Children's Drawings and their story is now in production, and a website about the film - Pictures from a Hiroshima Schooyard - has recently been updated. Have a look, and enjoy the film's promo!
Read a related blog post on the Hiroshima Children's Drawings!
IV. Videoconferencing With Students in Mexico
Tom Cartwright, an American Unitarian Universalist living in Mexico, has established opportunities for professional video-conferencing experiences that he would like to open to UU Religious Education classes.
Dialog by video-conference between an RE class in your congregation and a panel of university students in Mexico provides an experiential and human component to your exploration of Multiculturalism. Discussions are governed by a purpose statement and a pre-defined content outline, established in advance with direct input from U.S. religious educators.
Learn more about this wonderful opportunity!
V. English Language Services at Béla Bartók Unitarian Church in Budapest
The Béla Bartók Unitarian Church in Budapest will begin offering monthly Sunday services in English on December 27, 2009. Regular Services will be held on every last Sunday of the months throughout 2010 at noon 12.
Visit the Béla Bartók Unitarian Church website for further information!
VI. 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.
VII.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.
VIII. 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!
IX. 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.
Find out more about the UUCP Sabbatical Program and how to apply!
X. 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 77th 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 January 2010. (The December 2009 GCL is also online!)
As one small flame
fills a whole room with light,
So may we radiate
hope, courage and good cheer
in our homes, in our worship
and in all the corners
of our world.
British General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
- 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)
XII. 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.