July 6, 2012
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We are called to cross borders. Unitarian Universalists (UUs) around the world are involved in that work everyday. Some borders are between countries, others are theological. Some borders are marginalizing, and many are fraught with challenges. In celebration of the strength and courage of UUs crossing borders around the world, the Coalition of UU International Organizations was honored to bring Francisco Javier Lagunes Gaitán, leader of Libre Congregación Unitaria de México and Olga Flores, leader of the UU Community of Bolivia, to the 2012 General Assembly.
View the full video (including transcript) of this special international worship service online!
The Half the Sky movement is cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide, the defining issue of our time. Inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, Half the Sky brings together video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to not only raise awareness of women’s issues, but to also provide concrete steps to fight these problems
and empower women. Change is possible, and you can be part of the solution. The Series
The Half the Sky project includes a four-hour television series for PBS and international broadcast, shot in 10 countries: Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S. Traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and A-list celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde, the series introduces women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable — and fighting bravely to change them. Their intimate, dramatic and immediate stories of struggle reflect viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offer an actionable blueprint for transformation. The series will premiere in the United States Oct. 1 and 2, 2012, with international broadcast to follow.
This TV series (and the book) provide a great opportunity for individual Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations to develop greater understanding of the global context of Human Rights for Women. And, with that great understanding, to pursue action steps in many ways – including partnering with the UU Holdeen India Program (donate) and the UU United Nations Office (donate) – both of which are actively engaged with partners around the world fighting for Human Rights for Women.
The 1568 act of the parliament of Transylvania, called the Diet of the country, declared legal protection for the freedom of conscience and religion in a way that was unknown before in the world. This declaration laid the foundation of the only religious denomination established on Hungarian land: the first Unitarian church in the world. At the same time, the law transformed Transylvania into a home for the religious freedom and tolerance of its times.
After being persecuted throughout four hundred years for believing differently, and finally being cut up in parts in its organization by the treaty of Trianon in 1920, the conditions of the European Union in the 21st century brought new possibilities for the structural unification of the Unitarians in the Carpathian basin. Benefiting from these national and international chances, and being encouraged by the heritage of the 450 years of their history, the authorities of the Unitarian churches in both Transylvania (Romania) and Hungary decided to unify their organizations to recreate the institutional and spiritual unity of the Hungarian Unitarian Church. In this appellation, Hungarian is not a reference to a country, but rather the description of its members’ ethnicity, language and culture. Continue Reading
Each year, the Prague Unitarian Congregation holds a traditional Flower Communion, a ceremony which was established by the founder of the religious society, Norbert Fabián Čapek. This year it was held on June 10th, at the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Czech Unitarianism. Thanks to this, several foreign hosts came – to be more exact, four official hosts. Specifically it was Rev. Eric Cherry (Director of International Resources at the Unitarian Universalist Association), Rev. Bill Darlison (Vice President of British Unitarians), Rev. Steve Dick (Executive Secretary at the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists) and Freya Bednarski-Stelling (Ambassador of German Unitarians). The ceremony was lead by Rev. Petr Samojsky, minister of the Prague Unitarian Congregation, and Rev. Mark Shiels, minister of the English-speaking branch of the Prague Unitarian Congregation.
Because of the anniversary, which underlined the ceremony, special attention was given to the music. Throughout the ceremony we could hear the composition of the Czech organist and composer Karel Loula, created especially for this occasion, and performed by the combined strength of the Uni-Sono choir and the Church Choir of the Holy Spirit accompanied by the Orchestra di Spirito, including the recently acquired pipe organ. Continue Reading
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 107th in its monthlyseries of global chalice lighting readings. Congregations worldwide are invited toparticipate.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 congregationsaround the world.
We ask each congregation to use the reading for at least oneworship service in the designated month, identifying it as the “Global ChaliceLighting” for that month and naming the group which submitted it.
Readings willbe circulated in English and, where different, in their original language.It is hoped that the ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Project will enhance the worshipexperience in our congregations and raise awareness of the international dimensions of ourreligious movement. This Global Chalice Lighting is submitted in Danish and English by theDanish Unitarian Church. It is to be used during July 2012.
Overvæld ingen med flotte gaver.
Små ting får ofte megen ros.
Med et brød til deling og en kop sendt rundt fandt jeg venskab.
Load no one with lavish gifts.
Small presents often win great praise.
With a loaf cut and a cup shared I found fellowship.
from the Hávamál (Sayings of the Vikings)submitted by the Danish Unitarian Church
- July 7-14, 2012: National Youth Justice Summit
- July 16-19, 2012: Interfaith Youth Core: Interfaith Leadership Institute, Philadelphia
- July 17, 2012: International Justice Day
- August 6, 2012: Hiroshima Day
- September 18-27, 2012: UUPCC Third Annual Transylvania Fall Quilting Retreat
- September 21, 2012: International Day of Peace
- October 4-7, 2012: ICUUW: Women's Convocation in Transylvania
- October 5-8, 2012: BorderLinks Trip to Arizona/Mexico
- October 26-28, 2012: European Unitarian Universalist Fall Retreat in Oberwesel, Germany
- October 28, 2012: UN Sunday
- November 10-20, 2012: UUA/UUSC Supporter Journey to Tanzania and Burundi
- November 20, 2012: Universal Children's Day
- November 26-December 5, 2012: UU Holdeen India Program: Justice for Rural India
- December 1-9, 2012: Habitat for Humanity International: Building Louder Advocacy in Nicaragua
- February 15-23, 2013: Sienna Project: Building Schools in Guatemala
- March 5-13, 2013: NE India & Khasi Hills Pilgrimage