April 6, 2012
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It is our pleasure to announce the formation of the new Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice and our great delight to announce the appointment of the Rev. Kathleen McTigue as its inaugural Director.
The UU College of Social Justice is a formal collaboration of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Its mission is to increase the capacity of Unitarian Universalists to catalyze justice. Building on several years of successful UUA-UUSC partnership, especially in the area of disaster response, the College will combine resources of both organizations to offer current leaders and future activists of any age a broader and more effective portfolio of service learning and justice education experiences.
Our vision is to provide transformative learning experiences that equip our current and future leaders with a deeper first-hand understanding of the roots of injustice, direct experience in successful social change, a deeper grounding in Unitarian Universalism and their own spiritual resources and encouragement to put their own call to justice into action. Beyond the service learning and justice education programs which will serve as the starting point for the College, we aspire over time to assist congregations in discerning their own focus for social justice work, to more effectively harness our collective UU power for change on selected issues of central importance to our faith, and to build our capacity for advancing justice in the local communities we serve.
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 Flower Communion resources 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.
Czech Unitarians Celebrate 90th Anniversary
This year the Czech Unitarians will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the founding the Prague Unitarian Congregation on April 9th.
Upon its founding in 1922, over a thousand people proclaimed out loud: "In love of truth and freedom, and in the spirit of the greatest revivalists of humankind, we join to the service of God and humanity. In the shrine of my conscience I sincerely promise to strive to be a good member of Free Brotherhood." After the proclamation they welcomed each other into membership by shaking hands. This was the official beginning of the organization known today as the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians.
The celebration of the Czech Unitarians emphasizes 90 years of liberal faith in the hard times of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia (1939-1945) followed by forty years of Communist regime (1948-1989). We are also reminded of the movement‘s powerful mission, which emphasizes tolerance and acceptance of each other over differences which put boundaries between us. This notion was put into practice with the creation of the Flower Communion ritual in Prague in 1924 and has since been adopted by many Unitarian Universalist congregations around the world.
This year the Czech Flower Communion will be international and to highlight this interconnectedness, all Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists from around the world are invited to join the Czech Unitarians in this special service. The International Flower Communion will take place in the Unitaria building in Prague on June 10, 2012. A special Flower Communion composition was created for the event by Czech composer Karel Loula, and the service will be recorde/streamed on the web.
If you cannot attend in person, the Czech Unitarians invite Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists from all around the world to send a "virtual flower" – it can be a group photo or a photo from a special event, but the picture should contain a flower, symbolizing the group or individuals. These pictures will be presented during the Flower Communion service together with the flowers brought by participants.
Have your congregation send a virtual flower to the Czech Unitarians as they celebrate their 90th anniversary and view our Flower Communion resources online!
In preparation for Justice GA in Phoenix, Ariz., (June 20-24, 2012) the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) have jointly organized three Service Learning trips to the U.S.-Mexico border with our partner organization, BorderLinks.
The first trip, led by UUA President Rev. Peter Morales, took place successfully in January. A second trip will take place in late April. Rev. Morales encourages UUs throughout the country to participate in one of the Service Learning trips planned for May with BorderLinks.
You can view photos and read blog posts from the January trip on the Faith Without Borders blog.
Through education, meetings with partners, service opportunities, and theological reflection, participants will grow in understanding the human rights issues at stake on the U.S./Mexico border and return to their homes informed and inspired to be leaders for Immigration Justice.
The deadline for registering for the May trip is April 10th! Please consider joining us for this incredible opportunity!
Learn more about how you can join one of the Borderlinks trips to the U.S./Mexico border!
This year’s seminar Beyond Borders: Breaking Barriers of Race and Immigration will take place from April 12–14 with sessions at the UN Headquarters, the UN Church Center, and the Salvation Army.
Youth will arrive on the evening of April 11th and be hosted at the All Souls NYC congregation located at 1157 Lexington Ave.
Register online today!
Donate to the SEMINAR SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Print and distribute the SEMINAR FLYER
Panel Topics Include:
- Youth on Education Polices
- Climate Change Refugees
- Interfaith Reflection on Racism and Anti-immigration Sentiment
- Trafficking and the Vulnerable
- Women in Immigrant Communities
- Media, Art, and Freedom of Expression
APPLY to lead this year’s spring seminar! The UU-UNO is currently accepting applications for Youth Advisors, Head of the Youth (HOTYs), Collaboration Group Leaders, and Travel Squad Leaders.
Scholarship Application for Youth and Young Adults of Color
The UU-UNO also has several scholarships for youth and young adults of color to attend the Spring Seminar April 12th-14th. To apply, please fill out the application form and e-mail it to email@example.com, or mail it to 777 UN Plaza Suite 7G, New York, NY 10017, by Friday April 1st.
The UU Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) is a powerful expression of Unitarian Universalism’s commitment to social justice. Since 1984, UUHIP has supported organizations of India’s most vulnerable groups as they seek to advance empowerment and promote equity. It is committed to enabling these groups to transform their social and economic conditions in directions of their own choosing.
Derek Mitchell, Director of UUHIP, will be on a trip to the United States this summer to share stories of social transformation at the grassroots level in India.
Find out where the UUHIP Roadshow will be visiting this summer!
Women and men from around Negros Island and from three continents gathered at Silliman University in Dumaguete, Philippines, on February 6, 2012, to discuss ways that women’s lives are transformed through livelihood opportunities. This one-day gathering was sponsored by the International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women (ICUUW) and the Philippine based Buhata Pinay (Do it, Filipina).
The Rev. Rebecca Q. Sienes, President of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines and president of Buhata Pinay, a women’s empowerment initiative, served as general convenor and also opened the day with an inspiring sunrise worship. Barbara Kres Beach, President of the International Convocation, welcomed the group of more than 50 women and men from all of Negros Island and from Asia, Europe, and North America.
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 104th 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 Church of South Africa. It is to be used during April 2012.
We kindle this light in the centre of our circle.
May it symbolise the light and life and warmth
In the centre of our beings.
May it mirror the light of fellow Unitarians here
And around the world.
submitted by the Unitarian Church of South Africa
- April 12-14, 2012: UU-UNO Spring Seminar, New York City
- April 14-26, 2012: UUPCC Transylvanian Pilgrimage
- April 20-22, 2012: European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Spring Retreat, Rolduc, Netherlands
- April 20-23, 2012: Borderlinks Trip to Mexico
- April 28-May 5, 2012: UUSC-UUA JustWorks Trip to Haiti
- May 25-28, 2012: Borderlinks Trip to Mexico
- June 20-24, 2012: UUA General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ