June 3, 2011
I. UUA/UUSC Haiti Seminarian Trip
In Haiti, recovery is slow but ongoing for the more than 2 million people affected by last year's devastating earthquake. In response to this horrific disaster, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) continue their joint relief effort to ensure recovery for all Haitians, especially those overlooked by mainstream aid.
As part of this process, the UUA and UUSC joined together to create an experiential learning journey to allow ten seminarians to be part of a hands-on eco-village building project in Haiti. The seminarians expenses were funded by generous UUA donors. Additionally, from May 25-28, the seminarians were joined by institutional partners from UUSC, UUA, UU Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, Meadville Lombard Theological School, and Starr King School for the Ministry.
Reflections from trip leaders and participants are available on the Faith Without Borders blog. Photos from the journey are also available online.
Trip participants at work on the eco-village in Haiti.
II. Flower Communion Resources
The flowers have the gift of language.
At the occasion of birth they are buds before bursting.
At the ceremony of love they unite two lovers in beauty.
At the occasion of death, they remind us how lovely is life.
Celebrating Flower Communion 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 UUA's International Resources Office has a Flower Communion resource available online. Find a few suggestions for bringing Sixth Principle Ministry to life in relation to your Flower Communion service in the seven areas of the Faith Without Borders program.
View the Flower Communion resource online!
III. Servetus Celebration at General Assembly
In recognition of the 500th anniversary of Michael Servetus's birth, the UUA's International Resources Office will be hosting a special celebration, including a presentation by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone, authors of highly-acclaimed "Out of the Flames," the historical account of one of history's most fearless scholars.
Join us for this lively celebration of Servetus; a book signing with the two authors will follow the event!
Friday, June 24 · 1:30pm – 2:45pm
Hilton Hotel – Mecklenburg Hall
222 East Third Street
UUA International Resources Office
UUPCC: UU Partner Church Council
ICUU: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
IARF-US: International Association for Religious Freedom US Chapter
The event is free and all are welcome to attend!
Please RSVP via Facebook or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
IV. General Assembly 2011
INTERNATIONAL EVENTS AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Volunteering in Haiti: More than Just Hammers and Nails!
Thursday June 23 9:00-10:15am
Convention Center 207 B
Learn about UUSC’s new Haiti volunteer program, how to use it to enhance congregational learning and to lift up the
issues of injustice beneath the Haitian disaster. Participants will discover how to turn volunteering into a deeply impactful experience and how to o involve the congregation in this valuable work.
International UU Worship
Thursday June 23 10:45-12:00pm
Convention Center 203AB
Rev. Osterman will preach on Unitarian Universalism’s past, present, and future, focusing on how international partnership teaches us our religious history, connects us to our brothers and sisters in faith, and shapes the world that could be. International ministers will also participate as we gather to worship, including Rev. Erika Demeter and Rev. Derrick Pariat.
Presented by UUPCC, ICUU, and the UUA’s International Office.
Beyond Boundaries and Borders
Thursday June 23 4:30-5:45pm
Convention Center 207A
US Congregations partnering with UUs around the world find common themes of liberal religion and sometimes bump into spiritual, political, economic, and social issues. How have we connected with our partners in meaningful ways? What issues arise, how have we reached out in love, and what have both partners learned? Featuring Rev. Levente Lazar, Rev. Derrick Pariat, Richard Van Duizend, Rev. Mark Kiyimba, Rev. Eric Cherry, and Rev. Jill McAllister. Presented by UUPCC, ICUU, ICUUW, and the UUA’s International Office.
Rev. Kosho Niwano Plenary Address
Friday June 24 8:45am
Convention Center Hall C
The President-designate of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Kosho Niwano, will address the General Assembly during Plenary on Friday morning.
Friday June 24 12:30-1:30pm
Hilton Hotel - Mecklenburg
Join the IARF for its annual reception!
Budrus: Creating Justice on the Ground in Palestine/Israel
Friday June 24 1:00-2:15pm
Convention Center 208 A
Hosted by UUs for Justice in the Middle East. The documentary Budrus is a powerful example of how persistence, dedication to non-violence, and a willingness to reach across cultural and religious barriers to embrace the “other” can create justice in a suffocating climate of hatred and violence. UUJME and Nadav Greenberg from Just Vision will lead a screening and discussion of Just Vision’s Budrus.
Friday June 24 1:30-2:45pm
Hilton Hotel - Mecklenburg
See above for details!
International Welcome at Plenary
Saturday June 25 8:30am
Convention Center Hall C
Join the UUA General Assembly in welcoming all of our esteemed international guests from Japan, India, Czech Republic,
Canada, Transylvania, Uganda, Germany, and the UK.
UU United Nations Office
Saturday June 25 5:30-7:30pm
Westin Hotel: Trade Room
Join the UU-UNO in celebration at this year’s annual reception. For further details, visit www.uu-uno.org.
INTERNATIONAL BOOTH AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The UU International Village is located at Booth #612 in the exhibition hall of the UUA’s 2011 General Assembly.
The booth serves as a home to nine international UU organizations: IARF (International Association for Religious Freedom), IALRW (International Association of Liberal Religious Women), ICUU (International Council of Unitarians and Universalists), ICUUW (International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women), PHH (Project Harvest Hope), UUGAC (Unitarian Universalist Global AIDS Coalition), UUPCC (Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council), UU-UNO (Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office), and the UUA International Resources Office.
Consider this booth your “one-stop shopping” spot to find out more information on ways UU’s can get involved internationally.
At the center of the booth is a large, shared common space where numerous events will be hosted during GA. Be sure to check the schedule to find out what we have going on!
For on-the-ground updates at GA, check out the UU International Village website: www.uuinternational.org!
V. Peace Corps Sparks Life of Social Justice
From Peace Corps volunteer to Nigerian bride, from Yale business school graduate to energetic volunteer for a series of social justice organizations, President of the UU United Nations Office (UU-UNO), Catherine Onyemelukwe, has led a most unusual and rewarding life:
“The whole thing was swirling and alive, it was so exciting to be there,” recalls Onyemelukwe, who stayed in Nigeria for 24 years, marrying her husband Clement Onyemelukwe and raising their three children there. The couple returned to the United States in the mid-1980s, and today Onyemelukwe is a member of the Unitarian Church in Westport, Conn., while also serving in a number of community organizations. She is also president of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO), which on April 29 voted to officially rejoin the UUA as a member organization. “The social justice piece and the international piece are closely tied for me,” she says.
VI. Ela Bhatt honored with Radcliffe Award
Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a UU Holdeen India Program partner, has been awarded the Radcliffe Institute Medal last weekend by Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in recognition of a life and work that have greatly benefited society.
Read more about the award ceremony!
VII. BUILD UU Philippines
BUILD UU Philippines is dormitory construction program of the UU Church of the Philippines (UUCP) that will provide safe, affordable housing for young university women while simultaneously allowing the national church to become a financially self-sustaining religious movement. Fundraising for BUILD is currently underway; learn how you can make a contribution!
Rev. Rebecca Sienes, President of the UU Church of the Philippines, and Rev. Nihal Attanayake speak about the BUILD program in this informational video: Learn how you can Help BUILD!
On September 17, 2011, one week before her 62nd birthday, Lee Boeke Burke plans to jump into the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay near Alcatraz Island and swim to the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco. In an effort to raise awareness and $25,000 for the BUILD UU Philippines project, Lee will swim the chilly 1.25 miles across the Bay.
IX. ICUU Global Chalice Lighting - June 2011
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 94th 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 submitted in French and English by the Eglise Unitarienne Francophone as homage to Norbert Čapek. It is to be used during June 2011.
Chaque fois que je vois une fleur, je pense à toi,
Chaque fois que je vois une fleur, je pense à nous,
Car nous assemblons les fleurs, n’est-ce pas ?
Pour qu’elles forment un éventail arc-en-ciel
Pour qu’elles fassent bouquets
Pour qu’elles fassent Eglise.
On dit que, dans ta Bohème natale,
Elles sont si nombreuses au printemps
tant belles et mutines
Qu’elles courent et dansent dans les prés
Célébrant la vie en farandole de liberté.
Each time I see a flower, I think of you.
Each time I see a flower, I think of us.
For we gather flowers, do we not?
So that they may bloom into a fan-shaped rainbow
and make up lovely bouquets,
making up the Church.
They say there are so many of them
in your native Bohemia,
so beautiful and lively,
that they run and dance in the fields
celebrating life in a frolic of freedom.
Eglise Unitarienne Francophone
- June 3-13, 2011: UUPCC SpringPilgrimage to Transylvania & Budapest
- June 10-13, 2011: Deutsche Unitarier (German Unitarians): Unitariertag
- June 21-26, 2011: UUA General Assembly, Charlotte, VA
- June 24, 2011: Michael Servetus Celebration at General Assembly
- July 16-27, 2011: UUJME Human Rights Trip to Israel/Palestine
- September 8-19, 2011: UUPCC Transylvania Quilting Retreat - Part 2
- September 28-October 4, 2011: Spiritual Journey in Tierra de Fuego, Argentina
- November 4-6, 2011: European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Fall Retreat, Oberwesel, Germany