Minister earns activist award, and other UUs in the media

Michigan minister earns social justice award

The Rev. Bill Freeman, minister of Holland’s Interfaith Congregation and Harbor UU Church in Muskegon, Mich., will receive Holland’s Social Justice Award in the area of government and community relations. Freeman, who was jailed in 2011 for trespassing at City Hall during a protest for gay-rights, said he was honored, but “would gladly trade the award for the City Council to support gay rights.” (Grand Rapids Press – 12.31.12, 10.19.11)

Milestone marriages

Thanks to Washington State’s new same-sex marriage legislation, the Rev. Laura Shennum of the Cascade UU Fellowship in East Wenatchee was able to perform a wedding for two women who have been together 20 years, and grant them the same legal privileges as a married heterosexual couple. (The Wenatchee World – 12.29.12)

On Saturday, the Rev. Todd Eklof, minister of the UU Church of Spokane, Wash., performed his first marriage ceremony in almost a decade. In 2004, while a part-time minister at a church in Louisville, Ky., he announced that he wouldn’t perform marriages until same-sex couples could wed. (Salon – 12.27.12)

A sermon on violence, celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation, and more

The Hopedale Unitarian Parish in Hopedale, Mass., had a sermon on guns and violence in American society at a joint service with the First UU Church of Milford and the Unitarian Congregation of Mendon and Uxbridge. (Milford Daily News – 12.29.12)

On New Year’s Day, the Murray UU Church in Attleboro, Mass., heeded the call of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee of Greater Attleboro to participate in publicly marking the 150th anniversary of the moment that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and became effective on Jan. 1, 1863. (The Sun Chronicle – 1.2.13)

Despite uncooperative weather, the First UU Society of Marietta, Ohio, with the Marietta Rowing and Cycling Club put together the 17th annual Marietta Holiday Lights Bicycle Tour, with cyclists riding through the city’s decorated downtown streets and neighborhoods before ending at the church for refreshments. (Parkersburg News – 12.27.12)

Members of the UU Fellowship of Kamloops, British Columbia, have chosen to take a stand against the proposed construction of the Ajax mine. (Kamloop’s Daily News – 1.4.13)