August 11, 2011
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I. UN Sunday
In celebration of the founding of the United Nations on October 24th, 1945, the UU-United Nations Office invites congregations and individual UUs to deepen their understanding of the UN by devoting one service in October to reaffirming the connections between UU principles and vital issues dealt with at the UN.
The UN Sunday Resource Packet includes everything you need to plan a UN Sunday service, from the history of the UN to a sample Order of Service with suggested hymns and readings. The packet also includes information about our theme for this years UN Sunday: Empower Women for a Better World.
This year's UN Sunday will take place on October 23rd.
II. UUSC Launches Relief Fund for East Africa Famine
The growing enormity of the famine and drought devastating Somalia and East Africa has compelled the UU Service Committee to launch the UUSC Somalia & East Africa Relief Fund.
UUSC is uniquely positioned to support groups whose existence on the margins further endangers their ability to survive the famine. This is the worst food security crisis in two decades: Please make a donation to support this important relief work.
III. Water Communion Resources
Many Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations have an annual tradition of celebrating a Water Ceremony/Communion early in September as a ritual of welcoming members of their congregation to a new church year.
Though these services vary greatly from congregation to congregation, they are generally an excellent opportunity for 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.
View our resource packet (PDF) and resource page for suggestions on how to bring Sixth Principle ministry to your congregation's Water Ceremony/Communion service.
IV. Blog: Service Learning in Ghana
On August 5, 2011, Erik Mohn, UUA Young Adult Spirituality & Service Consultant, embarked on a 24-day journey to Ghana where he will be volunteering in a health clinic, a school, and an orphanage through Amizade, a global service learning organization.
Erik shares his reflections on the Faith Without Borders blog in anticipation of this life-changing trip.
V. Video: Prague Unitarian Flower Communion Festival
The Prague Unitarian Church gave the world the Flower Communion, created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek, who founded the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia.
Flower Communion is a beloved spring-time ritual where congregants bring a flower to Sunday service, usually held in June. Upon entering the sanctuary, each person places his or her flower on the altar or in a shared vase. The flowers are blessed by the minister or congregation during the ceremony, and the sermon usually reflects upon the flowers' symbolism. At the end of the service, each person brings home a flower other than the one that he or she brought.
Enjoy this video footage from this year's Flower Festival, celebrated in Prague!
VI. IARF U.S. Chapter Summer Newsletter
The summer newsletter from the U.S. Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) is now available online (PDF).
Included in this edition:
- Spiritual Recharging from Hal French
- IARF International Council Report
- IARF at General Assembly
- and more!
VII. 2012 ICUU Gathering in the Philippines
Join Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists from every continent for the International Council of Unitarians and Unversalists’ (ICUU) historic Council Meeting and Conference, meeting for the first time outside North America and Europe.
The Conference theme “Sharing Our Faith, Transforming Our World” (PDF) asks how we can “love alike” in appropriate right relationship. Creative tension in our multi-cultural dialogue will be explored through a variety of talks, workshops and other interactive experiences focusing both on our diversity and what we have in common. Some sessions will consider how the ways we express our faith can make an impact on social justice and the environment in our local communities.
South Sea Resort on Negros Island, the Philippines, is the location for the gathering from February 7 to 12, 2012. Situated near the headquarters of the UU Church of Philippines in Dumaguete City, this remarkable seaside hotel will offer comfortable accommodation and a picturesque setting for ICUU’s biannual Council Meeting.
Worship and spiritual sustenance will be a special feature of the gathering including acts of worship in the style and custom of different member groups, Chalice Circles for small group sharing and participatory workshops focusing on creative arts such as dance and music.
A limited number of eligible participants from member groups and emerging groups will receive sponsorships covering international travel and on-site costs for the Council Meeting and Conference. Details and an application form are available from the ICUU website or by email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for applications is September 15. If you are considering applying for sponsorship, please do not register online at this time.
Read more about the ICUU gathering in the Philippines and register online today!
VIII. ICUU Global Chalice Lighting - August 2011
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 96th 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 German and English by the Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft. It is to be used during August 2011.
Manchmal ist unsere Vision
von Mitgefühl und Gemeinschaft
größer als unser Herz.
Unsere Hoffnung auf eine gerechte Gesellschaft,
die sowohl frei als auch verantwortlich ist,
geht oft hinaus über das, was wir gerade selbst dazu beitragen.
Dennoch - mögen wir uns niemals durch Fehlschläge oder Misserfolge
davon abhalten lassen, tatkräftig zuzupacken,
und immer und immer wieder zu versuchen
die Hoffnungen und Träume unserer Gemeinschaft zu leben.
Möge das Licht dieser Flamme uns den Mut für die Reise geben.
Sometimes, the vision we share
for compassion and community
is bigger than our actual hearts.
Often, our hopes for a just society
that is both free and responsible
exceeds what we actually do to create it.
But may we never let our failing and floundering
keep us from seeking, again and again,
to live out in concrete deeds
the hopes and dreams of our collective heart.
May the light of this flame give us courage for the journey.
Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft
- September 8-19, 2011: UUPCC Transylvania Quilting Retreat - Part 2
- September 28-October 4, 2011: Spiritual Journey in Tierra de Fuego, Argentina
- October 23, 2011: United Nations Sunday
- November 4-6, 2011: European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Fall Retreat, Oberwesel, Germany
- January 30-February 6, 2012: UUPCC and ICUUW Philippines: Culture, History, Partnership, and Women’s Livelihood
- February 7-12, 2012: ICUU Gathering in the Philippines
- March 13-21, 2012: UUPCC NE India & Khasi Hills Pilgrimage
- April 14-26, 2012: UUPCC Transylvanian Pilgrimage
- April 20-22, 2012: European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Spring Retreat, Rolduc, Netherlands