Hanging On By Their Faith

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // July 30th 2015 // Featured Young Adults, Issues and Trends, Social Justice // no comments

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UU young adult activist suspends herself to slow arctic oil drilling “This is a personal issue for me because of my faith; I’m actually a Unitarian Universalist seminarian,” begins Elizabeth Mount explaining why they’re willing to dangle from a bridge for an uncertain length of time above the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.  Elizabeth is part of a group of Greenpeace activists using their bodies to stop an ice-breaking ship called the Fennica from leaving for the Arctic to assist with Shell Oil’s drilling operations there. “I want Shell to know that human lives are more important than profits,” this UU young adult states in their video on the issue.  The activists hope to send a strong…

Service and Community

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 28th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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KATHY by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki   Kathy Glatz First Unitarian Society of Denver “After being raised Catholic and having 30 something years of agnosticism, I was in a life-threatening car accident. And, I pondered, ‘why did I live?’ In my pondering my dear friend Jan Owen said, ‘Well, come to church with me.’ She was with First Unitarian at the time and it, uh, just felt right.” And so, in 1999 Kathy went to church. On #LivingUU Kathy Glatz is covered in buttons. From “End Israeli Apartheid” to “Migration is Natural” to an image of the word “Racism” underneath a big red prohibition sign that carves through the letters. Service. Kathy is clear and…

Little Separation Between UU Principles and Life

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 24th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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BRIAN by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki   Rev. Brian Ferguson Minister San Marcos UU Fellowship San Marcos, TX Rev. Brian Ferguson sauntered through GA wearing a pair of very cool shoes. Much to the chagrin of their daughter Isla, Brian and his partner Natalie actually picked up matching pairs of these hand-painted deluxe kicks at Austin’s annual “Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.” Reflecting on their bowling-shoe-like appearance Brian mused: “Why don’t people wear bowling shoes more often? They are just great shoes.” Agreed.   On #Living UU “As a UU minister there seems to be very little separation between my UU principles and my life. But every so often it does fall-out. I always like what Martin…

Another Week of Injustice

Written by Elizabeth Nguyen // July 23rd 2015 // Contact Us, Issues and Trends, Mosaic // no comments

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Another Week of Striving to Overcome Injustice This week has us grieving yet more murders of unarmed black and brown people, asking what happened to Sandra Bland and India Clarke? Kenny Wiley responds to #IfIDieInPoliceCustody offering, “We are all gifted, and we are all flawed. I can speak and write well, and I also have depression and let friends and family down all the time. I should not need to be perfect in order to matter. Sandra Bland was not perfect, and she mattered.”   What does healing or resilience, self-care or survival even begin to look like in the face of this state of emergency, as organizer Tia Oso called it when she interrupted the Netroots conference? Some brilliant folks…

Lead the UU-UNO 2016 Spring Seminar

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 22nd 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Youth // no comments

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AWESOME CONFERENCE SEEKS YOUTH DEAN! Take the lead in social justice advocacy on an international scale as Youth Dean of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) Intergenerational Spring Seminar! The Intergenerational Spring Seminar is an opportunity for youth and adults to collaboratively engage  on an issue of global concern and learn how to take action. The theme of the 2016 Spring Seminar, held April 7-9, 2016 in New York City, is Income Inequality. (Youth Deans will arrive on April 6.)   The UU-UNO seeks 2 passionate youth, one to serve as a Senior Youth Dean (a 1-year position) and one to serve as  Junior Youth Dean (a 2-year position). Learn more about Spring Seminar…

It’s Just Sort of Inclusion Right Away

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 22nd 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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NANCY by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki Nancy Stevens Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon “I was invited to join the UU Fellowship in Frisco, CO in 1996 and my friend said, ‘This is a church for the non-religious’ and I said, ‘Oh that would be me!’ So I started that in ’96. And I’ve been part of three different fellowships since then.” Nancy Stevens’ heart grows bigger by the second as she shares how her UU communities have impacted her life. “A big thing for me – I get all teary here – um, that the LGBT community is welcome in this fellowship. It’s not very often that we’re accepted. It was so neat to…

Youth Lead Support for Black Lives Matter

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 14th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Social Justice, Stories and Voices // no comments

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Action of Immediate Witness is Immediately Acted Upon Leading up to General Assembly 2015, Unitarian Universalists across the nation were asking the question “How will General Assembly respond to BlackLivesMatter?” The answer was already in the works. Isabelle and Kara, the Business Managers of the General Assembly Youth Caucus, spent the two months leading up to General Assembly building coalitions and consulting with members of Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) and Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) to draft the Action of Immediate Witness. On  June 25, during their business meeting, the General Assembly Youth Caucus unanimously voted to sponsor and support the “Support the Black Lives Matter Movement” Action of Immediate Witness (AIW). They also…

A Both/And Kind of Love

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // July 9th 2015 // Issues and Trends, UUA // no comments

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I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: Unitarian Universalism is a both/and faith. Both/and can be hard. It’s difficult to feel two emotions at once, to hold two positions at once, to affirm multiple realities at once. But if anyone can do it, I believe that UUs can. Friday June 26th 2015 was surely a both/and day. It was both the day that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) guaranteed the rights of same-sex couples to have their marriages legally recognized in all fifty states and it was the day of Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral. A day of celebration and of mourning. That day I woke up to a text from my UU…

Rebuild the Churches. Black Lives Matter. Go USA.

Written by Elizabeth Nguyen // July 3rd 2015 // Issues and Trends, Mosaic, Social Justice // no comments

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This week: black churches burned, our the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association passed an Action of Immediate Witness in support of the Black Lives Matter movement calling for “police reform and prison abolition, which seeks to replace the current prison system with a system that is more just and equitable.” And I wore the flag of the United States of America. As I look out over July 4th, I feel the same discomfort and complexity I’ve always felt about belonging to the red white and blue – this nation where I was born and gives me the privilege of that USA passport; this country that opened its arms to my father when he immigrated…

My Own Little Blue Boat

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 2nd 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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BEAR by Beth Cortez-Neavel ecortez.neavel@gmail.com @ecortez_neavel Though below me, I feel no motion Standing on these mountains and plains Far away from the rolling ocean Still my dry land heart can say: Bear Amezcua-Waters is 32 years old. He lives in Austin, Texas with Gil, his husband. They both recently began attending the First UU Church of Austin. Bear shared his story with me and @KristenPsaki, on the first evening of General Assembly. For all three of us it was our first GA conference, and we were all happy to connect to friendly faces through Bear’s gracious telling. Bear grew up to a body-building mother, now passed, who taught him in the ways of the…