Minister calls for compassion, and other UUs in the media

Minister urges compassionate treatment of terror suspect’s body

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, a dilemma emerged about what to do with the body of deceased suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. His uncle wanted him buried in Cambridge, Mass., where he’d lived for many years, but city officials and a vocal public didn’t want him, and the funeral home director said he couldn’t find a cemetery that would take the body.

The Rev. Fred Small, minister of First Parish UU in Cambridge, wrote a public letter saying, “Whatever Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s crimes may have been, as a human being he deserves a decent and prompt burial.” Small then appeared on Radio Boston to discuss his controversial point of view. Tsarnaev was eventually buried in a Virginia cemetery. (The Cambridge Chronicle & Tab  – 5.6.13, WBUR – 5.7.13, – 5.10.13)

Google Doodle nominee, senior citizen honoree, and more

A UU homeschooled 8th-grader (Madeleine R.) is her state’s nominee for a Google Doodle competition; her doodle is here.

Betsy Diachun, a leader at First UU Church of Niagara in Niagara Falls, N.Y., was named Senior Citizen of the Year for Niagara County for her tireless volunteer work. (Niagara Gazette – 5.5.13)

On May 1, Colorado’s new civil unions law went into effect and the Rev. Dr. Nori Rost, of All Souls UU Church in Colorado Springs, co-performed a mass civil union ceremony for 17 same-sex couples. (The Gazette – 5.1.13)

The Rev. Dr. Matt Tittle, the new minister of Auckland Unitarian Church in New Zealand, says he is sad to see other area churches welcoming gay members but refusing to perform same-sex marriages. ( – 3.5.13)

The Rev. Allison Miller, of the Morristown, N.J., Unitarian Church, talks about the growing support for same-sex marriage. ( – 5.2.13)

The Rev. Mark Worth retired from his longtime position as minister of the UU Congregation of Castine, Maine. (Castine Patriot – 5.2.13)

The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, of First Unitarian Church of San Jose, Calif., is quoted in an article about a group of 20,000 people marching for immigration reform. (People’s World – 5.3.13)

The Rev. Mark Belletini, senior minister at First UU Church of Columbus, Ohio, spoke at the annual Nehemiah Action Meeting on the topic of immigrant rights. (The Columbus Dispatch – 5.7.13)