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…

A Spiritual Awakening

Written by T. Resnikoff // June 27th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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WESLEY by Kristen Psaki kristen.psaki@gmail.com @kristenpsaki Wesley Botham Unitarian Church Lincoln, NE “Sometime in late high school and early college I was definitely sure I was no longer a Christian.” Wesley Botham grew up in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA Lutheran), which worked for him until it didn’t anymore. “I remember thinking: It would be nice if there were some place, this is a completely absurd thought, but it would be nice if there were some place where you could go and not be a Christian.” Wesley ended up dating someone who invited him to a UU church, but it didn’t stick just yet. A chapter or two down the road Wesley lived…

Radical Inclusion

Written by T. Resnikoff // June 27th 2015 // #LivingUU, Future of Faith // no comments

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LOYCE by Beth Cortez-Neavel ecortez.neavel@gmail.com @ecortez_neavel I was pretty grumpy Thursday by 4 p.m. and rushing out of the #LivingUU “office” to find an empty, quiet couch for a nap. “That outfit is fresh!” the words hit my ears but didn’t quite compute. I stopped. “What,” I asked. “Fresh. I said that outfit is fresh,” she said. Loyce Newton Edwards looked at me. She liked the parachute pants I was wearing. Her compliment completely made my day and broke me out of my afternoon fog like a cup of hot strong coffee. She was wearing a purple feather arrangement in her hair. She looked warm and had a kind, yet imposing demeanor. Loyce said her…

Youth Ministry Project Grants

Written by T. Resnikoff // June 2nd 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Guides and Tools // no comments

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We Want to Give Your Great Idea a Kickstart! Are you a youth starting a service project to serve your congregation or community? Do you have an innovative idea for youth ministry? Are you starting a new program or project that will be useful to share with other congregations and youth groups? Do you have a way to incorporate the UUA’s Common Read into a project for your youth group? You should apply for a Youth Ministry Project Grant! Youth Ministry Project Grants support local projects that offer Unitarian Universalist high-school aged youth opportunities to grow in faith, deepen in spirit, and engage in service and justice work. Projects should support a vision of multigenerational…

Want to Make Some Justice This Summer?

Written by Bart Frost // May 26th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Social Justice, young adults, youth // no comments

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Here is a Chance to Do It! A message from Garner Takahashi Morris of the UU Justice Ministry of California: Hi Friends, The Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California‘s Walking the Walk Leadership Retreat is Saturday, August 8 to Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at beautiful Camp DeBenneville Pines in Southern California.   YOU CAN ATTEND FOR FREE! We are looking for several people who are interested in facilitating justice-centered programming for children and youth over the course of the week.  Your room and board will be covered; this is not a paid position. GOT A GOOD IDEA FOR PROGRAMMING? WE WANT TO HEAR IT! We are also looking for resources for justice-centered programming for kids…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Fourth Universalist

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // May 8th 2015 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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Animating Church Life “We actually had a conversation recently about how we can get more older people to come to our church,” shared Ryan Novosielski, current president of the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City. “I know that’s not a common conversation [in Unitarian Universalist churches] but hey, it’s New York!” Ryan is one of the many young adults serving in leadership at Fourth Universalist, commonly shortened to “4th U.” He helped start the young adult group about five years ago when they lacked critical mass. Now their group tells a very different story. Erin Bigelow, who chairs the Church Council where representatives of each committee meet, and serves on the Transitions and Right Relations Teams,…

#Baltimore Uprising Didn’t Happen Overnight

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 5th 2015 // Issues and Trends // no comments

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Cause and Effect We present a collection of stories adding context and understanding to the #BaltimoreUprising.   The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore What’s crucial to understand, as Baltimore residents take to the streets in long-simmering frustration, is that their general grievances are valid regardless of how this case plays out. For as in Ferguson, where residents suffered through years of misconduct so egregious that most Americans could scarcely conceive of what was going on, the people of Baltimore are policed by an entity that perpetrates stunning abuses. The difference is that this time we needn’t wait for a DOJ report to tell us so. Harrowing evidence has been presented. Yet America hasn’t looked….

A Viral Response to Injustice

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 5th 2015 // Future of Faith // no comments

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A Presidential Call for Religion to Support Equality Former President Jimmy Carter recently wrote that he was severing ties with his church, stating: This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. Explore how Unitarian Universalism and the Unitarian Universalist Association fights for equality. An excerpt of the Religion News Service (RNS)…

The Symptom is Not the Problem

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // April 28th 2015 // Issues and Trends, Social Justice, Stories and Voices // no comments

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It is Overtime to Shift the Paradigm An acquaintance of mine named Molli King is a teacher and yesterday she posted an essay she wrote for an education blog about a school in New York City called Success Academy that had recently been profiled in the New York Times. In her essay she told a story, one that I remember her sharing in person when she still worked at Success Academy, and this story has been rattling around in my brain today. The story is found in her blogpost and I will also recount it here in Ms. King’s words: But of all of the awful stories from my time at Success, none will top the…

Earth Day: 8 Leaders Call on You to

Written by T. Resnikoff // April 22nd 2015 // Future of Faith // no comments

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#Commit2Respond   We re-post this message from the Unitarian Universalist Association and other Unitarian Universalist leaders who urge you to act for Climate Justice starting today.– ed. Today is Earth Day, when people all over the planet celebrate our beautiful, life-giving, and fragile Mother Earth. This year our eight Unitarian Universalist organizations teamed up and created an unprecedented network of concern and action: Commit2Respond. Climate Justice Month, which has been running since World Water Day (March 22), ends today-and we ask you to join us in committing to action in the face of climate change! Saving our biosphere is possible, but it will take a paradigm shift and a revolution of values to get there….