Zach Wahls back in the spotlight, and other UUs in the media

Zach Wahls in the spotlight again

It has been quite a year for 20-year-old Iowa UU Zach Wahls. After a video of his testimony before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee about the normalcy of his two-mom family become an internet sensation, he was interviewed in newspapers, on MSNBC’s The Last Word, and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Just as his life was starting to quiet down, promoted his video again on November 30, setting off a second wave of internet fame that bumped viewership of his YouTube video to more than 10 million. The Washington Post has a new interview with Wahls, and both The Advocate and Time have articles about his second round of celebrity. Wahls wrote an essay reflecting on his UU upbringing and his experience before the Iowa House in UU World‘s Winter 2011 issue, just before the new media frenzy started.

And just in case all of that media attention wasn’t enough, Salon named Wahls one of its “Sexiest Men of 2011.” Congratulations, Zach!

Occupy movement still going strong

Churches, including the First Unitarian Church of Portland, Ore., are working to help the Occupy movement in the face of city crackdowns and cold weather. (Washington Post – 11.29.11)

A UU church offered its kitchen for cooking and storing food so that Occupy demonstrators in Augusta, Maine, could have Thanksgiving dinner. (The Republic – 11.23.11)

The eco-preserve of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, Fla., is the new gathering place for the local Occupy movement. (WINK News – 11.18.11)

First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, located near Boston, said that despite supporting the movement, it will not be hosting Occupy JP’s campers on its lawn. (Jamaica Plain Gazette – 11.29.11)

The Rev. Eleanor Rice, of the Springfield, Vt., UU Church, co-organized a local Occupy event that attracted 50 people and a goat. (Rutland Herald – 11.23.11)

Teaching sex-ed, UUs donate their weight in food, and more

Page 2 of a lengthy New York Times Magazine article on sex-ed includes references to UU-created sexuality education curricula About Your Sexuality and Our Whole Lives. (New York Times – 11.16.11)

See also: Forty years of UU sexuality education (UU World – Winter 2011)

Organizers got creative during this year’s food drive at South Church, UU, in Portsmouth, N.H., challenging members to donate their weight in food. And they did, bringing in more than 8,000 pounds of food. (Foster’s Daily Democrat – 11.21.11)

Members of the All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Okla., voted to accept a gift of property that will help the nation’s largest UU church return to a downtown location after more than fifty years. (Tulsa World – 11.22.11)

First Unitarian Society in Madison, Wisc., has had such success working with microfinancing that members have created an online microfinance starter kit to inspire and help other groups that want to join the movement. (Wisconsin State Journal – 11.20.11)

The UU Church of Halifax, Nova Scotia, decided to host a Blue Christmas service, which recognizes that the holiday season isn’t a joyous time for everyone. (Halifax News Net – 11.29.11)

Ithaca Journal‘s “Then & Now” column looks at two Unitarian churches designed by architect William H. Miller in the 1800s. (Ithaca Journal – 11.25.11)