September 9, 2011
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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.
Each week the UU-UNO will be posting readings that you can use in your UN Sunday service focusing on this year’s theme: Empower Women for a Better World. View this week's reading by Rev. Shawn Newton.
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.
Beginning August 5, 2011, Erik Mohn, UUA Young Adult Spirituality & Service Consultant, began a 24-day journey to Ghana where he volunteered in a health clinic, a school, and an orphanage through Amizade, a global service learning organization. Here he reflects on the experience:
Honestly, my trip to Ghana feels like a dream. It feels so real, and then so unreal at the same time. Even when I look at the pictures from my trip, I can’t believe I was actually there. From bartering in the market place, to roaming the jungle on a canopy walk, to weighing babies in the health clinic, to being chilled by the feeling of death in a slave dungeon, to eating fufu and banku on a bench in a back alley, to washing my own clothes, to debating gay marriage with the village chief, to taking river showers, the list of wild and life changing experiences is endless and my feelings and thoughts about them keep expanding daily. Continue Reading
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) partnered on a joint volunteer trip to Haiti for youth and young adults, which ran from August 20 through August 27.
Trip participants and attending staff shared their reflections of the experience on the Faith Without Borders blog.
The participants worked with the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP), a national grassroots movement that trains and empowers small farmers to improve their lives and support their livelihoods in Haiti. Participants learned from MPP leaders and lent some muscle power to an eco-village project, which provides homes and sustainable livelihoods for 40 families displaced from Port-au-Prince by the earthquake.
With several service learning opportunities abroad, there are numerous ways for UU seminarians to connect to the basic tenets of UU faith and ministry while gaining an international perspective.
This year's Tsubaki Grand Shrine Seminarian Scholar, Christian Schmidt, blogged from Japan last week:
In my first three days here, I have been given Shinto priest clothing to wear, been introduced to the shrine’s ceremonies, and worn a loincloth while shouting at the top of my lungs and then standing under a freezing-cold waterfall. Continue reading
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.
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 email@example.com. 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!
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 97th 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 Unitarian Universalist Association. It is to be used during September 2011.
Somewhere in Berkeley and in Boston and in Bujimbara,
someone lights a chalice, and its light shines on freedom;
Somewhere in Kansas City and in Koloszvar and in Kampala,
Someone lights a chalice, and its light illumines truth;
Somewhere in Tierra del Fuego, and in Tulsa, and in Honolulu and in Havana,
and in Nashville and in Nantucket and in Nairobi,
Someone lights a chalice, and love is made visible.
Today, we light this chalice and hold in memory,
the many chalices whose steady flames hold us.
Rosemary Bray McNatt
Unitarian Universalist Association
- 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 3-5, 2012: IARF US Chapter Conference: "Faith, Interfaith, and Freedom," Hilton Head, SC
- 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