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Unitarian Universalists in the media

A frequently updated guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other sources around the web.

The economic impact of marriage equality, and more UUs in the media

UU church part of California’s booming same-sex marriage business

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church of Pasadena, Calif., was featured in a piece about the economic impact legalizing same-sex marriage in that state is likely to have. One economist said that over the next three years more than 50,000 same-sex couples will get married, injecting about $64 million in revenue into the state’s economy. (Daily Breeze – 1.12.14)

The Muncie, Ind., city council unanimously passed a resolution opposing a ban on same-sex marriages in that state. Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Muncie, including president Bill Frederick, had spoken out in support of the resolution. (Star Press – 1.14.14) Members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Plymouth Congregational Church of Fort Wayne, and at least eight other area congregations, held a joint worship service to pray that state legislators would not pass a ban on same-sex marriage. (Journal Gazette – 1.13.14)

Raising the minimum wage, sex-ed controversy, and more

In a story about different ideas around raising the minimum wage, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, Mo., is quoted about her church’s support for such a raise. (Columbia Daily Tribune – 1.11.14)

A Phoenix-area school district is considering a proposal by Planned Parenthood to offer sex-education curricula, based in part on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Our Whole Lives” program, and is meeting with some controversy. (Ahwatukee Foothills News – 1.10.14)

The Rev. Mel Hoover and the Rev. Rose Edington are retiring as co-ministers of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Charleston, W.Va., after a decades-long career that has taken them through several denominations and states. (West Virginia Gazette – 1.10.14)

The Cache Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Logan, Utah, is hosting a youth resource center for those struggling with homelessness or suicidal thoughts. (Cache Valley Daily – 1.10.14)

The Rev. Nancy Pelligrini, a former CIA analyst, was featured for her story as she took a new job as chaplain at a hospital in Charleston, S.C. (Post and Courier – 1.11.14)

Liberal religious values on the airwaves, and more UUs in the media

A loud voice for liberal religion

All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Okla., was featured on the radio show “State of Belief” for its prominence as a progressive religious voice in a generally conservative area. (State of Belief – 1.4.14)

UU ministers in the public eye spark controversy, and more

The Rev. Andy Pakula, minister of New Unity, a Unitarian congregation in London, gave his own thoughts about the recent controversy in which he was barred from giving the “Thought for the Day” on a BBC radio show since that slot is reserved only for those who believe in God. (The Guardian – 1.6.14)

Some readers were upset that a religion column for Christmas in a local paper featured the Rev. Scott Alexander, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach, Fla.. (tcpalm.com – 1.4.14)

All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C., was lifted up as an example of a diverse congregation by a visitor from Wisconsin. (The Cap Times – 1.7.14)

The Rev. Charlie Davis of the Unitarian Universalist Church of West Lafayette, Ind., was one of several religious leaders who contributed to a piece about recommended spiritual reading in the new year. (jconline.com – 1.3.14)

The Unitarian Meeting House in Madison, Wisc., was listed as one of many examples of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, himself a Unitarian, in that area. (Times Dispatch – 1.5.14)

Unitarian Universalism continues to come up as a comparison point to new atheist churches like the Sunday Assembly and Godless Revival, a split-off group from Sunday Assembly. (CNN.com – 1.4.14)

A Unitarian day on British radio, and other UUs in the media

Unitarians spark controversy at BBC

Unitarian Tim Berners-Lee, known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, was guest host of a popular British radio program, BBC Radio 4’s “Today,” and sparked a mini-controversy when he invited the Rev. Andy Pakula, a Unitarian minister and atheist, to give the show’s daily thought, a short religious segment. Producers stopped that, saying that the slot is reserved for those who believe in God. Pakula instead was given a different segment, and another Unitarian minister, the Rev. Jim Corrigall, gave the official “Thought for the Day.” (Guardian – 12.16.13, Telegraph – 12.27.13)

Congregations support community, sinkholes close church, and more

The Community Harvest Community Garden at Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Plano, Tex., was featured for its work in sustainable, environmentally friendly gardening. Half of the produce grown is given to a local food bank. (Dallas Morning News – 1.2.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango, Colo., and a local Methodist church are working together to host a winter shelter program for homeless families, called Winter Haven. (Durango Herald – 12.31.13)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs has been forced to move out of its building after sinkholes were discovered beneath it. (tampabay.com – 12.26.13)

The Rev. Jennifer Kelleher will be installed as minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, N.J., on January 12. (NJ.com – 01.02.14)

The Marietta Times profiled Nahum Ward, who founded what is now the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, Ohio, in 1855, among many other accomplishments in his life. (Marietta Times – 12.28.13)

A ‘hot’ Rhode Island minister and church, and more UUs in the media

Minister, church named ‘Who’s Hot?’

The Rev. James Ford and First Unitarian Church of Providence, R.I., are hot! A local news source named them to the “Who’s Hot” in Rhode Island politics for their efforts in leading a boycott of a local hotel that they say is not providing its workers an adequate wage or other compensation. (Golocalprov – 12.13.13)

More news of politically active UUs:

Shari Pollesch, a member of Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton, Michigan, announced she will run as a Democrat for state senate. (Hartland Patch – 12.17.13)

Many UUs were among religious leaders in all 50 U.S. states who published op-eds in recent months calling for a government report on torture to be released. Click here to read the pieces published in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and a national blog. (Anchorage Daily News – 11.12.13, Daily Camera – 11.4.13, Delaware online – 11.7.13, Honolulu Star Advertiser – 9.25.13, Rockford Register Star – 10.4.13, Kansas City Star – 12.15.13, Nevada Reno Gazette-Journal – 12.4.13, Bismarck Tribune – 11.23.13, Utah Deseret News – 10.16.13, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – 11.10.13, The Hill – 5.23.13)

The Rev. Aaron Payson, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, Mass., spoke out to a government committee against the practice of shackling incarcerated women while they are giving birth. (Worcester News Telegram – 12.14.13)

Aetna is being sued over claims that it misled shareholders in an attempt to get resolutions, one of them brought by the Unitarian Universalist Association as part of shareholder advocacy, that it be more transparent about its political contributions. (Courthouse News Service – 12.10.13)

Winter snow shoveling, and UU connections to Christmas

Sam Griffith, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s operations staff, was photographed shoveling snow from in front of the UUA’s Boston headquarters. (Boston Globe – 12.16.13)

A piece highlighted Harvard University’s historical connections to popular Christmas songs, many of them also connections to Unitarianism. Harvard Divinity School was once the primary training ground for Unitarian ministers. The Rev. Andrew Millard of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula in Newport News, Virginia, also highlighted Unitarian and Universalist connections to Christmas. (Harvard Gazette – 12.17.13, Daily Press – 12.15.13)

Thoughts on Hermione Granger, and more

UU Chris Crass wrote about the importance of Hermione Granger, a lead character in the Harry Potter movies and books, as an example of feminist leadership. (Rabble.ca – 12.17.13)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton, N.Y., opens its kitchen and social hall to a program called “Campus Kitchens,” in which college students provide a meal for those in need. (North Country Public Radio – 12.16.13)

Holiday break

Season’s greetings from UU World. Our offices will be closed for the holidays December 24 to January 1. UUs in the Media will return on January 3. See you next year!

Newtown shooting remembered, and other UUs in the media

Minister speaks about shootings at Sandy Hook

The Rev. Josh Pawelek, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society East in Manchester, Conn., appeared on NPR’s “On Point” to talk about the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. (WBUR – 12.12.13)

Historic quilt discovered, dead honored

A 115-year-old quilt was found in the archives of First Unitarian Church of Omaha, Nebr., when members were looking for items to include in a fundraising auction. The quilt will be going to a local museum. (SFGate – 12.7.13, Journal Star – 12.7.13)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, Calif., and its Lift Up Your Voice advocacy ministry held a ceremony to honor homeless people who have died. (Ventura Breeze – 12.9.13)

Christine Keith, who had been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing, Mich., was killed along with her son by her husband, whom she had recently filed for divorce from, police said. (Times Herald – 12.6.13)

Church property destroyed, and more

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton, Fla., is looking for a driver who destroyed the church’s sign. A surveillance video shows the driver examining his car for damage and then driving off. (CBS 12 – 12.6.13)

A rainbow flag at the Foxborough, Mass., Universalist Church was vandalized. (Sun Chronicle – 12.11.13)

The Rev. Tim Barger, who works as religion editor of his local newspaper, wrote his weekly column about his ordination to the ministry, which was last weekend. (Toledo Blade – 12.7.13)

The band Mumford used the Unitarian Univeraslist Fellowship of Ames, Iowa, to record its album because “it is acoustically a really beautiful space, and they have a really nice piano in there.” (Iowa State Daily – 12.5.13)

Bennett Rushkoff, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville, Md., is running for state office. (Gazette – 12.9.13)

Giving to good causes, and more UUs in the media

‘Reverse offering’ empowers congregants to give

The Unitarian Universalist Area Church in Sherborn, Mass., and its minister, the Rev. Nathan Detering, were featured in a piece about the church’s “reverse offering,” in which congregants are given money to go do good in the world, something several UU churches have started doing in recent years. (WBUR – 12.3.13)

A number of stories mentioned Unitarian Universalism in reference to the recent passage of legal same-sex marriage in Hawaii. (Washington Times – 12.2.13, Honolulu Civil Beat 12.2.13, The Review – 12.2.13) Those included stories about the wedding of the Rev. Jonipher Kwong, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, and Chris Nelson, which was among the first same-sex weddings in the state. (West Hawaii Today, 12.3.13, Hawaii News Now – 12.2.13)

The First Unitarian Church of Alton, Ill., is one of only a few churches in its area that have publicly welcomed same-sex couples to marry there. (bnd.com – 11.30.13)

Churches honor World Aids Day, and teens’ art featured

Several UU churches were featured for their work honoring World Aids Day. (Herald-Sun – 12.1.13, KREX – 12.1.13, KAAL – 12.1.13, WIBW – 12.1.13)

Art made by teens who are part of U-Night, a youth outreach program of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Ephraim, Wisc., will be shown in an exhibit at the church. (Green Bay Press Gazette – 11.26.13)

The Woodinville, Wash., Unitarian Universalist Church allows people experiencing homelessness to camp on their property and provides a fire ring during cold weather. (Seattle Times – 12.4.13)

International UUs speak out on social justice, and more

The Rev. Frances Deverell, president of the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, spoke in a radio interview about her work. (rabble.ca – 11.27.13)

Methodius Kusumahadi, former chief representative to Indonesia for the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada, spoke out for foreign non-governmental operations doing good work in his country. (Jakarta Post – 12.2.13)

The Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann was installed as minister of the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson, Mass., where she has previously served as director of religious education and as associate minister. (Community Advocate – 12.2.13)

A piece recounted the Unitarian minister Thomas Starr King’s role in rallying support and money for the United States Sanitary Commission, the forerunner of today’s Red Cross, during the Civil War. (SFGate.com – 11.29.13)

Honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance, and more UUs in the media

UUs, congregations take time to remember transgender victims

UUs and congregations involved in observing Transgender Day of Remembrance this week were featured in several pieces here, here, and here. (Washington Blade – 11.18.13, Fairfield Daily Voice – 11.20.13, Gazette – 11.14.13)

Unitarian Universalists were among those speaking out against a Catholic bishop who planned a ceremony to “exorcise” same-sex marriage as Illinois’ lawmakers moved to legalize the practice. (wics.com – 11.15.13)

Several UU clergy were part of an interfaith group of religious leaders which is opposing a proposed law that would ban same-sex marriage in Indiana. (Wish TV – 11.18.13)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, Missouri, was highlighted for the work of its Green Sanctuary team in implementing environmentally friendly practices at the church and in the community. (KOMU – 11.16.13)

The Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper, assistant minister of the UU Congregation of Asheville, N.C., was the subject of a profile that included her work in the Moral Mondays protests in that state. (Urban News – 11.14.13)

An alternative gift, a new minister, and more

The Unitarian Church of Barnstable will host an alternative gift fair, in which people are invited to buy gifts or services from local non-profits that will be given to those in need. It’s modeled after a similar project at the Falmouth Unitarian Fellowship. (Barnstable Patriot – 11.15.13)

The Rev. Karen Brammer is the new minister of the Fourth Unitarian Universalist Society in Mohegan Lake, N.Y. (Putnam County News – 11.13.13)

A piece profiled Unitarian minister Jack Zylman, who was a prominent civil rights activist and anti-Vietnam war protestor. (al.com – 11.15.13)

The Rev. Jeffrey Barz-Snell, minister of the First Church in Salem, Unitarian, co-authored an opinion piece about a plan for a gas-powered electric plant. (Salem News – 11.20.13)

Happy Thanksgiving!

UUs in the Media will not be published next week. Happy Thanksgiving!


Congregations dive into racial issues, and more UUs in the media

Two All Souls and two stories about racial encounters

A radio story last month featured All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Okla., prominently, discussing how the church has succeeded and struggled in its efforts to integrate racially. (State of the Re:Union – 10.15.13) See UU World‘s Fall 2009 story about All Souls here.

All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C., is the subject of a story about Eleanor Roosevelt and how she encountered racial diversity in its facilities. (Times Herald – 11.9.13)

The Jericho Road Lawrence project, which was started by members of the North Andover North Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in North Andover, Mass., was highlighted for its work in promoting diversity on non-profit boards in their community. (Boston Globe – 11.14.13) UU World profiled the original Jericho Road partnership in Spring 2010.

Pieces here, here, and here about the Sunday Assembly, a new atheist church, mention Unitarian Universalism as a comparison or alternative, as does UU minister and religion writer Tim Barger in his weekly column. (The American Prospect – 11.8.13, Collegiate Times – 10.11.13, New Republic – 10.11.13, Toledo Blade – 11.9.13)

Supporting a local Muslim group, stolen quilts, and more

The Rev. Carie Johnson, of the Universalist Unitarian church in Augusta, Maine, spoke in support of a Muslim group’s plan to build a mosque in her city. The plan was approved by local officials. (Kennebec Journal – 11.13.13)

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Duluth, Minn., would like to see two quilts that were stolen from inside the church returned. One of the theft victims isn’t even upset about it—she wants the quilts back for sentimental reasons, but offered to make a new quilt for anyone who returns them. (Duluth News Tribune – 11.9.13)

Unitarian Universalists were among a group of people praying outside the Environmental Protection Agency, urging that group to cut the emissions that coal plants are allowed to produce legally. (Daily Caller – 11.8.13)

Judith Zimmerman will become the first minister ever ordained by the UU Church of Washington County, Oregon, tonight. (The Oregonian – 11.10.13)

Church ‘Walks on the Wild Side’, and more UUs in the media

Church honors Lou Reed, and stained glass comes home

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Pakula of the Islington (England) Unitarian Church, hosted a memorial service for the rock artist Lou Reed at his church. (Islington Tribune – 11.1.13)

A three-panel set of stained glass windows made by the La Farge company that were part of two Unitarian churches, in Roxbury and then Amherst, will be on display in a museum exhibit in Boston soon. (Art Fix Daily – 11.4.13)

UUs rally lawmakers, church gets grant for food pantry, and more

The Rev. Erik David Carlson was interviewed about Illinois’ move to allow legal same-sex marriage. (WTVO – 11.5.13)

The Rev. Dawn Cooley was mentioned for her work in leading a rally that aimed to convince lawmakers not to infringe upon reproductive rights in Kentucky. (WKMS – 11.2.13)

The Rev. Cynthia Cain was among a group opposing a proposed pipeline, also in Kentucky. (Associated Press – 11.5.13)

The Murray Unitarian Universalist Church in Attleboro, Mass., received a $2,500 grant for its food pantry, which serves hundreds of people in its community. (Sun Chronicle – 11.2.13)

Rachel Zahnd, a member of the Juneau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, wrote about her church’s annual Day of the Dead service. (Juneau Empire – 11.3.13)

Bill Schulz, president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, expressed his concerns that people seeking asylum in the United States are instead being treated as criminals. (Christian Science Monitor – 11.4.13)


Marriage equality banner is stolen, and more UUs in the media

Church is vandalized, and more marriage equality news

A “Marriage Equality Now” banner was stolen from the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, Ohio, in what church leaders, including the Rev. Kathleen Rolenz, are calling an act of vandalism. (Fox 8 – 10.23.13, Cleveland.com – 10.23.13)

The Rev. Jonipher Kwong testified before Hawaii lawmakers in support of marriage equality in that state. (Honolulu Magazine – 10.28.13)

The Unitarian Universalist Association has signed on in support of cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Hawaii. (Enews Park Forest – 10.28.13)

The Rev. John G. Pastor, who serves as a hospice chaplain and parish minister, was quoted about the increased amount of interest in hospice care after an assisted suicide proposition was defeated last year in Massachusetts. (News Telegram – 10.25.13)

The Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, minister of Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, Md., joined a local rabbi in supporting a group of sanitation workers who are striking for better working conditions. (Washington Post – 10.29.13)

The Rev. Kent McKusick discussed his life’s journey and and where’s he come to as he was recently installed as the minister of the UU Fellowship of Ames, Iowa. (Ames Tribune – 10.28.13)

A UU speaks about her journey, and more

Joelle Renstrom discusses growing up in a mixed-faith household, attending her childhood UU church, and why Unitarian Universalism is the right place for her in a personal reflection. (killingthebuddha.com – 10.22.13) An earlier version of this piece was highlighted in a UUs in the Media column in 2007.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Schenectady, N.Y., will see a reprieve from a lien that had been filed against it for back taxes it had owed because of a failure to renew its non-profit status. A law passed last week removed the taxes and the lien, as well as those of other non-profit groups. (Daily Gazette – 10.22.13)

The East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland, Ohio, is displaying life-size figures on its front lawn, representing local women who have been killed in domestic violence incidents. (News-Herald – 10.29.13)

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