February 11, 2011
I. UUA President Launches Social Justice Journey Across India
On February 14, 2011, Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), embarks on a two-week journey to India to visit with several partners of the Unitarian Universalist Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) and with leaders of the Unitarian Union of North East India (UUNEI).
“The UUA’s relationships with social justice and faith-based partners in India are historic and transformational for all of us,” says Eric Cherry, Director of International Resources for the UUA. “Rev. Morales will have an opportunity to further develop his relationships with leaders in India – and I know he looks forward to sharing his experiences in India with UUs in the United States.”
Read more about the journey on the Faith Without Borders blog!
II. UUA/UU-UNO LGBT Uganda Fund
Ugandan LGBT rights activist David Kato, who sued a Ugandan newspaper which outed him as homosexual, was beaten to death in his home last month.
The UU Church of Uganda and Eddoboozi Human Rights Defenders Network have issued a statement in condemnation of this tragic killing.
Kato's murder is a devastating reminder of the dangers facing those in Uganda who support the struggle for LGBT rights.
As UUs, we are called to promote human rights and respond to threats to our liberal religious values at home and abroad. After two years of partnership with the UUA and the UU-United Nations Office (UU-UNO), the UU Church in Uganda has asked for our help to address the increasing violence and oppression that LGBT individuals are experiencing in their community.
In response, the UUA, in partnership with the UU-UNO, has launched the UUA / UU-UNO LGBT Uganda Fund to help the UU Church in Uganda and their partner organizations fight for social justice and equality for LGBT citizens living in Uganda.
In light of this recent tragedy, your support is needed now more than ever. Please give to the UUA UU-UNO LGBT Uganda Fund.
III. CMEP Statement on UN Security Council Middle East Resolution
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a coalition of 24 national church communions and faith-based organizations advocating for stronger U.S. government policies to help end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has issued a statement about a recent United Nations Security Council resolution that calls upon Israel to stop illegal settlement construction in its territories.
According to CMEP, the language of this resolution reflects language that the United States has historically used to describe settlement construction activity: illegal, an obstacle to peace, and not legitimate. Calling on the Obama Administration not to stand in the way of this resolution in a Security Council vote, CMEP urges the U.S. government to take this opportunity to spur both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take decisive new steps toward a comprehensive peace agreement.
Read CMEP's statement regarding the UN Security Council's Middle East resolution!
IV. Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship
The Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship is available to Unitarian Universalist (UU) 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 a similar program.
The deadline to apply for the Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship is April 1, 2011.
Learn more about the Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship and apply today!
V. UU-UNO Spring Seminar
The UU United Nations Office (UU-UNO) will be hosting its 2011 Spring Seminar April 28-30, 2011, in New York City.
The theme for this year's seminar is: Empower Women for a Better Tomorrow!
The UU-UNO is currently accepting applications for 2011 Spring Seminar leadership positions during the seminar.
Register by February 28th for an early-bird discount; the deadline to register for the seminar is March 31st.
For more information, visit the UU-UNO's website!
VI. Traveling and Connecting with U/U’s Internationally
Unitarian Universalists who are planning to travel internationally, whether permanently or temporarily, are invited to consider including a visit with a Unitarian, Universalist or Unitarian Universalist congregation while abroad.
There are UU congregations and groups in nearly 30 countries around the world—some are very small, and some are quite large. And, most of these congregations deeply enjoy having visitors and new members.
With several professional opportunities abroad for UU ministers and seminarians, as well as opportunities for non-clergy to make international connections, there are numerous ways to find community with Unitarian, Universalist or Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations or groups abroad.
VII. Upcoming IARF Events in the UK
The British Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) has several upcoming events:
February 19, 2011, 10:00-3:30pm:“Ethics, Ecology, and Interdependence,” featuring BBC Presenter Rev. Peter Owen-Jones and Datuk Leslie Davidson, world authority on Palm Oil. (Datuk is an honour from the Malaysian Government similar to Knighthood). Location: Croydon Unitarian Church
Learn more about IARF and The General Assembly of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches online!
March 8-10, 2011: Interfaith Retreat at the Brahma Kumaris World Retreat Centre. Further details will be available online.
VIII. ICUU Global Chalice Lighting - February
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 90th 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 by the Scottish Unitarian Association. It is to be used during February 2011.
To celebrate our gathering together this morning we light our chalice
as we do each time we meet for worship.
It is good to embrace this familiar ritual.
It is good to know that through this action we are united with Unitarian and Universalist sisters and brothers throughout the world.
But let us try to ensure that our understanding of this familiar and comforting ritual does not become dulled through repetition.
The symbol of a flaming chalice stood initially for a life of service.
Its designer had never seen a Unitarian church or heard a sermon.
What he had seen was faith in action in the form of the Unitarian Service Committee.
As we reflect upon our flaming chalice let us remember this commitment to service – which comes in many forms.
But let us also remember that the flaming chalice, like our faith, stands open to receive new truths that pass the tests of reason, justice, and compassion.
Let us take a moment to call to mind what special meaning this symbol of fire, of light and of warmth might have for each of us this morning, and for our lives in the week ahead.
—Rev. Maud Robinson
Scottish Unitarian Association
- February 15-March 7, 2011: Sacred Places: A Pilgrimage to India with Rev. Abhi Janamanchi
- February 19, 2011:“Ethics, Ecology, and Interdependence,” British IARF, England
- March 8-10, 2011:Interfaith Retreat at the Brahma Kumaris World Retreat Centre, British IARF, England
- March 11-24, 2011: UUPCC Pilgrimage: Meet the UU's of the Philippines
- April 1-3, 2011: "A Humanist's View of Spirituality: Paths to Understanding," European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Spring Retreat, Spa, Belgium
- April 28-30, 2011: UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar, New York City
- May 14-26, 2011: UUPCC Pilgrimage to Transylvania
- November 4-6, 2011: European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Fall Retreat, Oberwesel, Germany