May 25, 2012
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The Rev. Peter Morales, President of The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), was recently with a delegation of Unitarian Universalists visiting the Every Child is Our Child program partners of the UU-United Nations Office (UU-UNO) in Ghana.
Witnessing the on-the-ground impact of ECOC, Rev. Morales marveled at the real difference donor support can make in the lives of Ghanian orphans:
$120! That’s all. A lousy 120 bucks for a whole year. It boggles the mind. At first I thought I had heard wrong. It costs only $120 to send an orphaned child whose parents died of HIV/AIDS to school for a year in Ghana.
Right now our small program, begun by the UU United Nations Office, is supporting just under a hundred kids. However, there are thousands of these orphans who need help in order to get a basic education. Supporting a child in high school (there are only four right now!) costs $250. We buy school uniforms, books, school supplies, shoes and other necessities that make school attendance possible. We also make sure that children and the families they live with are receiving basic medical attention. Continue Reading
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 third delegation begins its journey today, May 25th.
Reflections from this trip, along with blog posts from previous delegations, are available on the Faith Without Borders blog:
Together the people on these delegations grew in understanding the complex justice issues related to the US/Mexico border. They also found room for theological reflection about those matters. And, through the eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart connections with people living in this context, each returned deeply committed to the ongoing religious work for immigration justice.
The participants in this third UUA/UUSC delegation are also faith leaders engaged in diverse ministries: lay and ordained, in both parish and community settings.
In 1939, Waitstill and Martha Sharp left behind the safety of their home in Wellesley, Massachusetts and flew to war-torn Europe. In Nazi-occupied Prague and Paris, in the grim detention camps of Vichy France and on hidden trails through the Pyreenees, they risked their lives to help feed, shelter, and rescue thousands of refugees, including anti-Nazi dissidents and Jews. Why did this Unitarian minister and his social worker wife undertake such a demanding mission? How did they help those in need, and what are their legacies today?
Director Artemis Joukowsky, the grandson of Rev. Waitstill and Martha Sharp, will be hosting screenings of “The Minister’s War” during General Assembly on June 22, 23 and 24, 2012 on The Kax Stage at the Herberger Theater Center (next door to the Phoenix Convention Center) at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm.
All are encouraged to see this inspiring, informative film on how these Unitarian leaders risked their lives for the sake of refugees during WWII. Don’t miss it!
View the trailer and flyer and please spread the word!
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 celebrated 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 was 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!
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!
Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to connect firsthand with social justice leaders on the ground in Africa November 10-20, 2012!
First, you’ll visit the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP), a Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) partner working to overcome gender inequality and secure the human right to water. Experience TGNP in action, meet their grassroots affiliates, and visit the area’s natural and historic sites. Then spend a weekend in Burundi meeting with Rev. Fulgence Ndagijamana and the Assembly of Unitarian Christians of Burundi (ACUB), a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) partner. There, you will witness the new congregation’s local justice work and discuss refugee reintegration and conflict resolution.
Don’t pass up this exciting opportunity to delve into the following:
- Collaborations between UUSC and TGNP that are empowering women and families in Tanzania
- TGNP’s efforts to advance the human right to water and sanitation in the new constitution
- Local activists’ efforts to shape their communities in Zanzibar
- ACUB-initiated projects that help build civil society in Burundi
- Ways that ACUB is raising the visibility of liberal religion
- Effective organizing and transnational movement building in the Global South
Learn more about how you can participate in this unique social justice learning experience!
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 105th 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 Unitarian Universalist Society of Spain. It is to be used during May 2012.
We light this chalice to remember that life is born again every day.
Encendemos este cáliz como recuerdo de que la vida nace de nuevo cada día
—submitted by la Sociedad Unitaria Universalista de España