Scouts (More) Honor(able)

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 24th 2013 // Issues and Trends, Social Justice, soundings, youth // no comments

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BSA welcomes all youth, only some adults At its annual national meeting the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) approved a resolution removing, ” the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.”(1) 60% of 1,400 voting members approved the measure. Afterwards, Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality said,  “Today’s vote ending discrimination of gay Scouts is truly a historic moment and demonstrates the Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to creating a more inclusive organization.” The vote is a significant victory for equality and inclusion in American society, although BSA policy continues to ban adults on the basis of their sexual orientation. Wahls observed,  “(it’s) a tremendous victory toward…

Running for Someone Else’s Life

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 7th 2013 // soundings // no comments

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We re-post an excerpt of this story from the Standing on the Side of Love blog, reminding us how much stronger are the bonds of love than of hate. – Ed. May 07, 2013. This post was written by Helene Newberg. Helene is an avid runner and a member of First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Arlington, Massachusetts. Marathon 2012 In 2012, I was out of town on Patriot’s Day. Watching social media for Boston Marathon news, I started seeing reports that a student was found drowned in a local pond, less than a mile from our house. My heart sank; I did not want to believe that a child maybe from my community could die…

Equal Marriage in Rhode Island

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 3rd 2013 // soundings // no comments

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The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued the following statement applauding the legalization of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. -Ed. Standing on the Side of Equality Today, we celebrate marriage equality in Rhode Island. I want to thank and applaud all who worked tirelessly to secure this victory. Rhode Island now joins nine states and the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is the legal right for all committed couples. In each of these states and the District of Columbia, Unitarian Universalists were at the forefront of the efforts to secure marriage equality. As a religious community, Unitarian Universalists are called to affirm the worth and dignity of every person regardless…

Because You Can’t “Over Engage”

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 2nd 2013 // soundings, Stories and Voices, youth // no comments

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We repost an excerpt of this thoughtful reflection by David L. Odom from our friends at Building Faith on involving youth more fully in congregation life and mission. This post originally appeared on the Duke University Faith and Leadership blog – Ed. Overinvesting in the Young When American congregations hear “overinvest in the young,” they frequently think of stretching the budget to hire a full-time youth minister or find some other way spend more money on high school students. Unfortunately, youth ministries are often segregated from the rest of the church. Pouring money into a typical youth program can result in young people being more lavishly entertained and, at the same time, more isolated. “Overinvesting”…

Approaching Inclusion and Equality

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 2nd 2013 // Issues and Trends, soundings // no comments

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Today the barrier against openly identifying as LGBTQ in professional sports in the United States fell when a current player, twelve-year veteran of the National Basketball Association affirmed his homosexual identity. Throughout the recent months we have followed the evolution of Marriage Equality, and reform of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) exclusionary policy banning participation of people who identify as LGBTQ. The BSA is set vote on the issue in May, and the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to rule in June. – Ed.   Jason Collins is the first athlete from one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) to openly identify as homosexual. In…

Because You Can’t “Over Engage”

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 1st 2013 // soundings, youth // no comments

We repost an excerpt of this thoughtful reflection by David L. Odom from our friends at Building Faith on involving youth more fully in congregation life and mission. This post originally appeared on the Duke University Faith and Leadership blog – Ed. Overinvesting in the Young When American congregations hear “overinvest in the young,” they frequently think of stretching the budget to hire a full-time youth minister or find some other way spend more money on high school students. Unfortunately, youth ministries are often segregated from the rest of the church. Pouring money into a typical youth program can result in young people being more lavishly entertained and, at the same time, more isolated. “Overinvesting”…

Approaching Inclusion and Equality

Written by T. Resnikoff // April 29th 2013 // soundings // no comments

Today the barrier against openly identifying as LGBTQ in professional sports in the United States fell when a current player, twelve-year veteran of the National Basketball Association affirmed his homosexual identity. Throughout the recent months we have followed the evolution of Marriage Equality, and reform of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) exclusionary policy banning participation of people who identify as LGBTQ. The BSA is set vote on the issue in May, and the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to rule in June. – Ed.   Jason Collins is the first athlete from one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) to openly identify as homosexual. In…

A Shelter in the Storm

Written by Carey McDonald // April 19th 2013 // soundings, young adults // no comments

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On Tuesday night I, like the rest of this city and the country, was struggling with what do in the wake of the tragic bombings of the Boston Marathon. Boston is my adopted hometown for now, and I felt a very strong connection to Monday’s events, even though I did not personally know anyone who was injured. I’ve walked down Boylston St. where the bombs went off many times, and could easily have made a fateful decision to go down to watch the marathon that day; also, a young boy who was killed lived only a few blocks from me. So I attended one of the candlelight vigils that were blossoming around the city in…

The Ascending Spirit of Unitarian Universalism

Written by T. Resnikoff // April 18th 2013 // soundings // no comments

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UUism on CBS News CBS News spoke with UUA President Peter Morales, the Rev. Fred Small of First Parish Cambridge, and Boston area UUs about Unitarian Universalism for “Religion and Spirituality in a Changing Society“. The program airs on CBS affiliates at various dates and times across the country. It can also be streamed here. Morales and Small share their experience of the growth of UUism in the face of the decline of other organized religions. From the CBS press release: While we live in the most religiously diverse country in the world, attitudes towards religion and spirituality are in the midst of great change.  A newly released survey by researchers at the University of…

We Know This

Written by Carey McDonald // April 16th 2013 // soundings // no comments

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This pastoral message is from Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, on the tragic events in Boston yesterday. -Ed. Sadly, we are once again witnesses to senseless violence. New images of suffering, panic, and heroism burn themselves into our memory. Shock mixes with grief, disbelief, compassion and anger. Monday’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon occurred just blocks from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) headquarters. As far as we know, all our staff are safe. Our prayers go out to the families of those who were killed and to all who have been injured. Beyond the physical injuries, many have been traumatized here and across the country. At times…