September 21, 2012
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A Memo: Connecting with Unitarians and UU’s Around the World, Carefully
To: UUA Ministers and Religious Leaders
From: Eric Cherry, UUA International Office
Cathy Cordes, UU Partner Church Council
Jill McAllister and Steve Dick, International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
It is so exciting to see the many ways that our UU faith is connecting around the world – so many congregations and ministers are now making a variety of international connections! We are thrilled that UUA churches and individuals are looking beyond their own doors and even beyond their own geographic communities and connecting. The UUA, ICUU, the UUPCC and other organizations stand ready to support your outreach in a variety of ways. We invite you to contact us at any point where we can be helpful. We are writing today to offer some advice based on our joint experience working with UUs here and in other countries.
Much of this new activity is aided with new communication tools that make contact easier and keeping in touch possible. Social media programs such as Skype and Facebook make it easy to learn of possibilities and to meet people over the internet.
Our UU global community is growing both bigger and smaller! Bigger in the sense that people around the world continue to discover our liberal tradition and establish it in their own countries and regions, and smaller in the sense that it is so easy to connect with each other around the world. This gives us reason to both celebrate and pay close attention, for there are good ways to connect, not-so-good ways to connect, and ways to connect which can cause huge problems. Continue Reading
Elizabeth Nguyen is a third year UU seminarian at Harvard Divinity School. In August 2012 she was the recipient of the UUA’s Tsubaki Grand Shrine Scholarship. Tsubaki Grand Shrine is an ancient Shinto shrine in Suzuka, Japan, and an historic interfaith partner of the UUA. Recently returned, Elizabeth reflects on her experiences in Japan:
I spend my days reading about Shinto, wandering the smaller shrines on the grounds, and soaking up everything I can. I ask the Miko-san, Shrine attendants, to include me in whatever activities I can. They are generous with their time and English and smiles, teaching me how to fold the sacred paper spirals that hang on the ropes all around the shrine, how to clip the evergreen branches for rituals just so. I count fortune papers and serve omiki, the sacred sake, food of the gods. I spend a day at Ise Jingu, a vibrant and significant shrine nearby and another in Kyoto, a whirlwind tour of shrines and temples. There is misogi, the central rite of this shrine, when I join the 50 members of the misogi society who have covenanted to do misogi together, once a month, for two years. We take turns, coming to stand in the waterfall and shout out a prayer for purification. For restoration and letting go, knowing that we are all in need of this renewal, this coming back to nature, awe and harmony. Continue Reading
This year, the Unitarian Union of North East India (UUNEI) celebrates the 125th anniversary of its founding with a series of special events from June 2012 through February 2013.
The Unitarian Church of Madan Laban commissioned and recently unveiled a commemorative statue of Babu Hajom Kissor Singh, the founder of Unitarianism in the Khasi Hills, as part of this year’s festivities (pictured above). The first Unitarian worship service in the Khasi Hills was held in Jowai on September 18, 1887. Rev. Eric Cherry, Director of the UUA’s International Office, is currently in India visiting with our Khasi brothers and sisters and will be present for next week’s official celebration on the 18th.
Earlier this year, the UUNEI hosted a 4K “Quasquicentennial Green Run” to raise awareness around local environmental issues, in celebration of the church’s founding.
Save the Date! The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office invites you on November 3rd to celebrate our 50th Anniversary at the United Nations.
Join us as we celebrate the 50 Years of achievements, 50 years of Human Rights Justice, 50 Years of iconic work at the United Nations
6:30pm to 10:00pm
The Times Center, 242 West 41st Street, New York, NY (Between 7th & 8th Avenue)
Reverend Peter Morales, Gillian Sorensen, Former Senator Adlai Stevenson III, Prof. Maura Roosevelt
Purchase Tickets Online | Donate to the Scholarship Fund
Donate to the Silent Auction | Bid on the Silent Auction
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 year’s UN Sunday: Beyond Borders - Breaking Barriers of Race and Immigration.
The World Congress of Religions 2012 will explore the relevance of religion and spirituality in addressing the critical issues of poverty, the empowerment of women, human rights and peacemaking.
The gathering will bring together engaged leaders, scholars, activists and members from diverse religious and spiritual communities, engaged actors in the local and global interreligious movements, as well as influential policy makers and civil society actors from guiding institutions such as government, business, education, science, media, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The event is inspired and informed by the message of the religious and social visionary, Swami Vivekananda, on the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Save the Date: The World Congress of Religions 2012
November 30, 2012 – December 2, 2012
Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
View the Conference Schedule | Register Online!
The Church of the Larger Fellowship, a unique UU congregation without walls, offers online worship. If you feel like going to church this Sunday (via your computer), click here.
Join us for worship on Sundays at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time, US), with a rebroadcast of the same service on Mondays at 9:00 am (Beta test during September) and 1:30 pm (Eastern Time, US). Although the service is prerecorded, many viewers arrive at the worship link early and stay late, to participate in a live chat. It’s our version of coffee hour!
Take a look at this You Tube video. Hope to see you at worship!
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 109th 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 English and Spanish by the Unitarian Universalist Association. It is to be used during September 2012.
We light this chalice,
symbol of our free faith,
so that we may be reminded
to nurture and care for one another,
and to encourage the spiritual development of each person so we may
grow in strength and courage in order to transform the world through
justice and compassion.
May it be so. Blessed Be. Amen.
Encendemos este cáliz,
símbolo de nuestra fe libre,
para recordarnos a nutrir y criar cada persona,
y a incitar el espiritu de todos,
para crecer en fuerza y coraje,
transformando al mundo a través la justicia y compassion.
Que así sea. Bendecido sea. Amen.
submitted by the Unitarian Universalist Association
- October 4-7, 2012: ICUUW: Women's Convocation in Transylvania
- October 26-28, 2012: European Unitarian Universalist Fall Retreat in Cologne, Germany
- October 28, 2012: UN Sunday
- November 3, 2012: UU United Nations Office 50th Anniversary Celebration, NYC
- November 10-20, 2012: UUCSJ: UUA/UUSC Supporter Journey to Tanzania and Burundi
- November 20, 2012: Universal Children's Day
- November 26-December 5, 2012: UUCSJ: UU Holdeen India Program: Justice for Rural India
- December 5, 2012: UUPCC Virtual Conference Call: UU's in Kenya
- February 1-4, 2013: UUCSJ: BorderLinks Trip to Arizona/Mexico
- February 15-23, 2013: UUCSJ: Sienna Project: Building Schools in Guatemala
- March 5-13, 2013: UUPCC: NE India & Khasi Hills Pilgrimage