UUA building sale part of larger trend, and other UUs in the media

UUA building sale fits larger trend among religious organizations

New York Times reporter Michael Paulson sees the Unitarian Universalist Association’s sale of its headquarters buildings in Boston and planned move to a smaller headquarters as fitting a larger trend among religious groups across the United States. Paulson connects this trend to the increasing secularization of American society. (The New York Times – 3.15.14)

Anniversaries mark historic Unitarian Universalist ties

Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church in Grosse Pointe, Mich., will commemorate its 75th anniversary with a special worship service, dinner, and life-size timeline of their membership. Members say they are proud that their congregation has stood for love and justice throughout its history.(Grosse Point News – 3.20.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Athens, Ga., will celebrate its 60th anniversary all year long with festivities that include a special Diamond JUUbilee service. They hope the year-long celebration will help them fully capture their congregation’s long history of faith and justice work. (Athens Banner-Herald – 3.13.14)

Staff at the Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center in Lanoka Harbor, N.J., are already considering plans for a 250th anniversary celebration of Universalism in America in 2020. The center, a destination for a broad range of religious and secular groups, is located at the birthplace of American Universalism. (Asbury Park Press – 3.15.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Md., will celebrate the first anniversary of its AWAKE ministry with a gospel festival featuring the church choir and a number of prominent local gospel singers. Associate Minister the Rev. John Crestwell said his ministry uses music to continue the church’s history of building a beloved community. (CapitalGazette.com – 3.15.14)

More news from UU congregations

The North Parish of North Andover, Mass., has been growing beyond the limits of its existing building for several years. They have begun construction to expand their building to keep all church activities under one roof and hope to have it completed by September. (Eagle-Tribune – 3.18.14)

After agreeing that the announcements in their church’s newsletter are often seen elsewhere, the Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing in Titusville, N.J., ended the newsletter and created a quarterly feature magazine instead. The magazine profiles the inspiring work of members and groups in the congregation. (examiner.com – 3.16.14)

As part of the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend, the Unitarian Universalist Society in Stamford, Conn., held an interfaith vigil to honor the memories of those who have died due to gun violence, and to voice support for reviving gun-control legislation in the state. (Stamford Advocate – 3.16.14)

Carrying a large, gold Standing on the Side of Love banner, members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, Mass., joined the Peace Parade in South Boston, which follows the same route as the St. Patrick’s Day parade. They attended to highlight the importance of achieving full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. (The Marblehead Reporter – 3.17.14)

When reporter Doug Erickson interviewed Steve McConkey, head of a Christian athletic organization, on his opposition to gay and lesbian athletes competing in the Olympics, the Rev. Michael Schuler of the First Unitarian Society in Madison, Wisc., responded with polite criticism to the story. Erickson took Schuler’s words seriously and filed a second, clarifying story. (Wisconsin State Journal – 3.17.14)