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Unitarian Universalists in the media

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

Minister works as abortion clinic escort, and other UUs in the media

Minister discusses work as an abortion clinic escort 

The Rev. Kathleen Green of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, N.J., explains that she does the difficult work of supporting women trying to enter abortion clinics because, as a progressive person of faith, she knows that injustice is overcome only when we each speak out against it. (Center for American Progress - 5.1.14)

Clergy support expanded Medicaid, LGBTQ rights

Attending a rally at the Missouri State Legislature, where 23 clergy members were arrested, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia said that faith leaders were there to support the inherent worth and dignity of all people by urging the legislature to expand Medicaid coverage. (KBIA.com - 5.6.14)

The Rev. Art Lester, minister of the Croydon Unitarian Church in London, England, joined with other faith leaders in a One Love event to stand in opposition to homophobia and transphobia and mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. (PinkNews.co.uk - 5.8.14)

The efforts of Bruce Knotts, director of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s UU United Nations Office, to support religious freedom internationally are highlighted in the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. (San Diego Gay & Lesbian News - 5.8.14)

Another way to include unaffiliated young people

Dan McKanan, Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity at Harvard Divinity School observes that, in his experience, many religiously unaffiliated young people may join a task-oriented justice group sponsored by a religious movement even if they are not comfortable joining a religious organization. (Harvard Gazette - 5.2.14)

News from UU congregations

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester, N.H., is organizing a Cans of Nothing drive to raise funds for the New Hampshire Food Bank. They will give out empty cans at the church to represent the realities of hunger that many of the state’s residents experience and ask people to return the cans filled with money. (New Hampshire Union Leader - 4.30.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, Mass., recently celebrated the 29 years that their uNi Coffeehouse Concert Series has served as a pillar of the local folk community. (The Republican - 5.7.14)

The UUA will be closed Friday, May 16 while we move into our new headquarters at 24 Farnsworth Street. UUs in the Media will return on Friday, May 23.

Suing N.C. for religious freedom to marry, and other UUs in the media

UU ministers, couples join lawsuit brought by United Church of Christ

Two Charlotte-area Unitarian Universalist ministers joined the United Church of Christ’s recent lawsuit against the state of North Carolina challenging a law that criminalizes the religious solemnization of weddings without a state-issued marriage license. (New York Times 4.28.14)

The Rev. Robin Tanner of Piedmont UU Church in Charlotte, N.C., joined the United Church of Christ and ministers of other denominations to affirm her religious liberty to perform marriages for same-sex members of their congregation. The Rev. Mark Ward of the UU Congregation of Asheville has also joined the lawsuit. (Charlotte News & Observer 4.28.14)

In light of the North Carolina lawsuit, Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern considers the lack of response from American conservatives. Stern notes that the religious right was also not upset by efforts of Unitarian Universalist ministers to marry same-sex couples in New York in 2004, risking arrest a statute similar to that in North Carolina. (Slate 4.28.14)

In addition to clergy members who have joined together in the lawsuit against the state of North Carolina, a number of the plaintiffs are same-sex couples who live in the state. Included among them are Unitarian Universalists Carol Taylor and Betty Mack, a committed couple of 41 years. (The Citizen-Times 4.28.14)

See also:

  • “Defending True Religious Liberty: Church Files Lawsuit in Support of Marriage Equality,” Huffington Post 4.28.14
  • “Religious Freedom Wars: Why the UCC’s Lawsuit Against NC Gay Marriage Ban Matters for Every American,” Huffington Post 4.30.14

Dear Abby and the Unitarian Universalist option

In response to a column in Dear Abby in which an atheist described feeling coerced into attending the church services of their spouse, many readers suggested that a Unitarian Universalist congregation would be a welcoming place for the couple. (Dear Abby 5.1.14)

News from UU congregations

Thirteen paintings from the UU Church of Tarpon Springs, Fla., will debut as part of a special exhibition of the work of renowned landscape artist George Inness, Jr. The congregation have been careful stewards the works ever since Inness, Jr. painted them a triptych to replace windows destroyed in a 1918 hurricane.  (TBNweekly.com 4.29.14)

Youth from the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship in Carbondale, Ill., will sleep outdoors in a “Cardboard City” as part of the congregation’s annual fundraiser serving local organizations that help the homeless.  The event also raises awareness among middle and high school students of the difficult realities of homelessness. (The Southern Illinoisan 4.27.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey is sending letters to the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging them to use alternative forms of detention and provide better treatment of detainees in immigration detention centers. (The Paramus Post 5.2.14)

UUs active as environmental stewards, and other UUs in the media

Green Sanctuaries, other environmental justice activities make news

Continuing its longstanding work as a Green Sanctuary, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga, Tenn., took the opportunity on Earth Day to install twelve solar panels on the roof of their church building. (The Chattanoogan - 4.22.14)

After three years of planning and implementing earth-friendly practices in their congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster, Pa., was happy to celebrate Easter and Earth Day as a newly certified Green Sanctuary congregation. (LancasterOnline.com - 4.19.14)

Unitarian Universalist churches in Barnstable, Brewster, and Falmouth, Mass., have joined together to reduce the use of environmentally harmful plastic bags in their community. The group has held a film screening about the issue and is now partnering with a local grocery store chain to encourage the use of reusable bags. (Cape Cod Today - 4.18.14)

UUs support Va. marriage equality, and more stories of witnessing for justice

Continuing their work opposing oppression, the First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, Va., partnered with the group People of Faith for Marriage Equality for a rally to show their support for the rights of same-sex couples to marry in their state. (The News & Advance - 4.16.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Ephraim, Wisc., showed Robert Reich’s award-winning film Inequality for All, and the former U.S. Secretary of Labor joined the congregation on a conference call panel discussion after the screening. (Green Bay Press Gazette - 4.22.14)

The Rev. Matthew Johnson of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, Ill., joined others in a recent community meeting to voice their support for a progressive system of taxation at the local level and a raise in the minimum wage. (WREX.com - 4.25.14)

As the National Rifle Association prepared to hold its annual convention in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., the Rev. Bruce Russell-Jayne of All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis joined with the group Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence to protest the convention. (WIBC.com - 4.24.14)

More news from UU congregations

After an expansion and renovation project nearly doubled the congregation’s size, members of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, Mass., were excited to move in this week. The new building expands the space for religious education and is fully accessible for people with disabilities. (Daily Hampshire Gazette - 4.24.14)

The historic Unitarian Church in Keokuk has made the Preservation Iowa 2014 list of the top six most endangered properties in the state. The church is the oldest standing church in Keokuk and was the religious home for many prominent early citizens of the city. (Daily Gate City - 4.23.14)

A dozen paintings by George Inness, Jr. were removed from the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tarpon Springs, Fla., after several sink holes were discovered on the church’s property which put the sanctuary at risk and the famous paintings which were housed inside for decades. (Tampa Bay Times - 4.21.14)

Read more about the paintings: “Home of the Inness Jr. paintings” (UU World – Summer 2013)

Humanism and the future of Unitarian Universalism, and other UUs in the media

Humanism is losing ground to ‘anythingism’

In her interview with Religion News Service, Maria Greene of the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association (UUHA) says that an important goal of the UUHA in its future work is to be a bridge between the broader secular movement and Unitarian Universalism. (Religion News Service - 4.10.14)

Remembering the Boston Marathon bombings

Across the city, Bostonians observed a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of last year’s Boston Marathon Bombings. In Dorchester, Mass., the Rev. Arthur Lavoie talked with fourth grade children about understanding and forgiveness as they remembered the tragic events of that day. (The Boston Globe - 4.15.14)

More news from UU congregations

The Rev. Georgette Wonders, who died last week from injuries sustained in a car accident, was honored by her congregation, Bradford Community Church UU in Kenosha, Wisc., as an advocate for the less fortunate and a leader in bringing diverse groups together in the community. (Kenosha News - 4.14.14)

Members of First Parish Church in Taunton, Mass., are filling and giving out “blessing bags” with basic sanitary items, snacks, and personal messages of faith and support as part of their ministry to support homeless members of their community. (Taunton Daily Gazette - 4.13.14)

The United Way awarded the Sanford UU Church in Sanford, Me., a one-year grant of $3,000 to further their work on the Corner Cupboard program, which provides basic necessities to members of the community who are financially struggling. (Sanford News - 4.10.14)

Shea Winterberger attended a recent UUA district youth convention and was moved by how they interpreted their theme of “BeYOUtiful” by practicing radical inclusivity and honoring the inherent worth and dignity of all participants throughout the event. (Juneau Empire - 4.13.14)

For Nebraska college student Schuyler Geery-Zink, her campus ministry group, Unitarian Universalists of UNL, provides a supportive space at her school to explore diverse topics and have open conversations with people of differing beliefs. (Daily Nebraskan - 4.14.14)

Despite a stay on the U.S. District Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Michigan, many businesses and other groups in the state are preparing for nuptials to begin. Unitarian Universalist Karen Ryan plans to reopen her wedding chapel and hold services officiated by the Rev. Keven Tarsa. (The Detroit News - 4.12.14)

The Rev. Ann Schranz of the Monte Vista UU Congregation in Montclair, Calif., supports the work of Sister Simone Campbell and NETWORK to raise awareness of the importance of paying taxes as a way of showing how a society funds what matters. (Daily Bulletin - 4.11.14)

Accotink UU Church in Burke, Va., hosted a number of community leaders, from a member of the Sentencing Project to local law enforcement to the executive director of OAR, a group that assists former prisoners, to discuss the pressing issue of mass incarceration. (Connection Newspapers - 4.10.11)

Wisc. minister dies after car accident, and other UUs in the media

Rebuilding taught congregation resiliency

After a fire in 2011 destroyed much of their church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, Me., celebrated the completion of their new building last week. Participants were moved by how well the congregation came together throughout the rebuilding process and showed how resilient they really were. (WLBZ2 - 4.7.14)

With more than $1 million dollars donated to the capital campaign after the fire burned their building, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick was proud to show off their new 21st century church, which includes pieces of the old church and a broader emphasis on accessibility. (The Forecaster - 4.3.14)

Minister dies from injuries in drive-through accident

The Rev. Georgette Wonders, minister of the Bradford Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Kenosha, Wisc., died April 11 from severe head injuries she sustained in a freak accident at a drive-through restaurant earlier in the week. (Kenosha News – 4.11.14)

See also: “Freak accident in fast food drive-through badly injures Kenosha minister” (WISN 12 - 4.10.14), “Local minister critically hurt in freak accident” (Kenosha News – 4.9.14).

More news from UU congregations

Current and former members of the Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church in Sanford, Me., will travel from across New England to join together in a reunion celebration. With no particular agenda, the reunion will be an opportunity for guests to share music, memories, and camaraderie. (Weekly Observer - 4.3.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Summit, N.J., will honor Earth Day this year with a free environmental film series that will include a question and answer session following each movie. Members hope the series will help inspire people to care about their food, water, and air. (Independent Press - 4.4.14)

The Rev. John Crestwell Jr. is profiled for his innovative AWAKE Ministries at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Md. In the interview, Crestwell shares insights on how his early upbringing, seminary education, and the region in which he lives have all shaped his approach to ministry. (CapitalGazette.com - 4.6.14)

In their series on immigration, Public Radio International profiles the Rev. Cheng Imm Tan on her first days in America after emigrating from Malaysia. After overcoming a number of initial cultural shocks and difficulties, Tan eventually moved to Boston and became a UU minister and the founding director of the Office of New Bostonians. (Public Radio International - 4.3.14)

A member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Baton Rouge, La., reflects on the circular window in her church’s building and how it has helped guide her spiritual journey during Sunday worship services. (The Advocate - 4.9.14)

The Rev. Jeff Liebmann of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland, Mich., takes an in-depth look at how the family that owns Hobby Lobby, the recent defendants in the U.S. Supreme Court case regarding insurance coverage for contraception, acts upon their religious values through their business. (Midland Daily News - 4.5.14)

The Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church in East Melbourne, Australia, is speaking out against a shift in national public policy in that country that it sees as undermining public protections in a variety of areas, from health care to consumer protections to labor laws. (The Age - 4.9.14)

Updated 4.12.14.

British Unitarians welcome marriage equality, and other UUs in the media

UK Unitarian leader remembers history of support

When same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales, Derek McAuley, chief officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, took the opportunity to celebrate the many decades of support Unitarians have given to same-sex marriage. (PinkNews.co.uk - 3.29.14)

Other stories of UU justice work

After Michigan’s governor would not recognize same-sex marriages carried out while that state’s ban was ruled unconstitutional, the Rev. Cynthia Landrum, of the Unitarian Universalist Church of East Liberty, announced that she refuses to sign any marriage license until all couples are legally able to wed in her state. (mlive.com - 3.28.14)

Living out their church’s vision of being the change they wish to see in the world, volunteers at the Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church in Sanford, Maine, have run a successful non-food pantry from their church for the past eight years. (Weekly Observer - 3.27.14)

A group of women from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fullerton, Calif., joined the Fast for Families campaign in support of comprehensive immigration reform. They donned their gold Standing on the Side of Love T-shirts as they rallied outside of their local representative’s office in Brea, Calif. (Orange County Register - 4.1.14)

The Rev. Kierstin Homblette of First Unitarian Society of Denver is one of several Unitarian Universalists across the country who wrote to their local media to show their support as people of faith for widespread access to contraception while the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. case. (The Denver Post - 3.28.14)

Other Hobby Lobby letters include:

“Letter to the Editor: Hobby Lobby should provide birth control to employees” (Naperville Sun - 3.14.14)

“Corporations are not churches” (The Record - 3.18.14)

More news from UU congregations

Members of Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Marysville, Wash., joined several other area churches in showing their support for those affected by the recent mudslides. They lit candles of concern and remembrance for them during Sunday services. (HeraldNet - 3.28.14)

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin, Ill., is helping to organize an interfaith earth fair in honor of Earth Day this month and to help get their community involved in caring for the earth. One goal of the fair is to show other faith groups how to make their places of worship greener. (The Beacon-News - 3.27.14)

More than 200 quilts have been made for cancer patients this year by the Quilt Project, supported by members of the Unitarian Universalist Area Church at First Parish in Sherborn, Mass. Using donated materials, quilters create brightly colored quilts and send them to area treatment centers. (The Dover Sherborn Press - 3.27.14)

After 100 years in its current building, the Unitarian Church of Quincy, Ill., celebrated its long life as a congregation and a rededication of its building with a special worship service. Elder members honored in the service felt the church was part of their personal heritage. (KHQA - 3.30.14)

Newly installed minister the Rev. Mara Dowdall says that her experience with political work informs her goals as minister of First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, Vt. She hopes to reach out to young adults in her community to provide them the support she knows is needed at this time in their lives.  (Burlington Free Press - 3.26.14)

UU clergy prominent in Michigan marriage equality, and other UUs in the media

UU ministers across Michigan married dozens of same-sex couples

The Rev. Dr. Claudine Oliva of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Flint, Mich., was eager to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples and was also hopeful about having her own union be recognized by the state. (minbcnews.com - 3.24.14)

Once Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage was struck down, the Rev. Yvonne Schumacher Strejcek of the Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton, Mich., planned to conduct same-sex weddings in her church and affirmed that the court’s ruling should be the final word on the issue. (Daily Press & Argus - 3.23.14)

The Rev. Bill Freeman of Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Muskegon, Mich., was ready to marry as many same-sex couples as possible once the state’s ban was overturned. He performed many individual and group wedding ceremonies last Saturday. (WZZM 13 - 3.22.14)

The Rev. Kathryn A. Bert of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing, Mich., was thrilled to perform wedding ceremonies at the local courthouse, especially a ceremony for two longtime members of her church. (Lansing State Journal - 3.23.14)

The Rev. Kimi Riegel of Northwest Unitarian Church in Southfield, Mich., helped marry hundreds of couples at a courthouse in Oakland County, Mich., and said that she had been waiting her whole ministry for this opportunity. (pridesource.com - 3.22.14)

The Rev. Cynthia Landrum of the Unitarian Universalist Church of East Liberty in Clarklake, Mich., married couples at the Washtenaw County Building in Ann Arbor on Saturday. (The Detroit News - 3.21.14)

The Rev. Jeff Liebmann of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland, Mich., was prepared to marry same-sex couples but was unable to do so due to the Attorney General’s stay of the U.S. District Court’s ruling. (mlive.com - 3.22.14)

After Michigan Attorney General Bill Shuette issued a stay on the overturned ban on same-sex marriage, the Rev. Colleen Squires and the Rev. Fred Wooden and their congregations joined a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., to voice their hope to marry same-sex couples legally very soon. (mlive.com - 3.23.14)

Other Michigan marriage equality stories include:

“Mich. won’t recognize first wave of gay marriages” (The Boston Globe - 3.24.14)

“Watch same-sex couples marry in Muskegon County” (mlive.com - 3.22.14)

“Pastor Bill Freeman’s performance of same-sex marriages culmination of years of ministry, advocacy” (mlive.com - 3.22.14)

Environmental and reproductive justice work highlighted

A Unitarian minister in the Khasi Hills of India perseveres in the lonely work of opposing limestone mining in that region because of his people’s deep reverence for nature. He says he understands that their tribal culture makes it difficult for others to oppose fellow clan members and join him in this important work. (The New York Times - 3.19.14)

As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the contraception coverage case, Sebelius v Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., the Rev. Angela Herrera of First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, N.Mex., shared with her congregation and the public her personal experience of once being in urgent need of contraception, in order to highlight the importance of having widespread access to these resources. (National Journal - 3.25.14)

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)

Remembering civil rights heroes, and other UUs in the media

Minister who survived attack honors James Reeb

The Rev. Clark Olsen joined members of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C., to honor the memory of the Rev. James Reeb who died in Selma, Ala., 49 years ago while participating in the historic civil rights march held there. Olsen survived the attack that killed the Rev. James Reeb. (wjla.com - 3.9.14)

Viola Liuzzo will be among the women honored at the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame for the significant roles they played in the struggle for civil rights. Randy Block, of the Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network, also hopes that less visible women like Nellie Cuellar will become more well-known through such exhibits. (Detroit Free Press - 3.9.14)

Rethinking worship for non-UUs, helping the homeless, and more

Members of the lay-led Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bismarck, N.D., have started a new service series to respond to our denomination’s call to become more inclusive to the wider community. The new services will be held on Wednesdays and focus on learning and discussion of different religious and philosophical traditions. (Bismarck Tribune - 3.8.14)

Faced with the difficult situation of offering adequate help to the homeless population coming through her church’s doors, the Rev. Christana Wille McKnight of First Parish Church in Taunton, Mass., partnered with another local minister to support his existing outreach ministry and help those in serious need in their community. (Taunton Daily Gazette - 3.7.14)

Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church in Woodinville, Wash., is hosting a homeless camp called Camp Unity for the fifth time. The camp provides housing for people not served by existing state programs, and the congregation has been grateful for their help in maintaining and repairing the church. (The Woodinville Weekly - 3.11.14)

Despite the generally conservative culture in Mississippi, some towns in the state have passed resolutions supporting full equality for all in their community, including Oxford, Miss. A divinity school student and member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oxford, Gail Stratton, feels welcome and supported there. (hottytoddy.com - 3.11.14)

After a so-called Arizona-style anti-gay bill was introduced in Mississippi, leaders in the state are divided over whether to support it. The Rev. Todd Allen of Our Home Universalist Unitarian Church in Ellisville, Miss., sees the law as a clear way for businesses to use their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and lesbians. (Edge Boston - 3.8.14)

Christine Bailey, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, Calif., organized a multi-faith exploration of a spiritual and moral response to climate change because she sees our actions or inaction on this planet as the greatest moral issue of our time. (The Sacramento Bee - 3.14.14)

When Megan and Daniel James were invited to talk with the youth at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society’s Our Whole Lives class in Middlebury, Vt., they were impressed by the maturity of the group of 12- to 15-year-olds and their comfort with asking questions in a probing, but respectful way. (kidsvt.com - 3.4.14)

First Unitarian Church of Seattle’s early building is profiled for its unique construction and the special role the space played with the congregation and other entities for dramatic plays and concerts, which is a tradition that continues in the church’s current building as well.  (The Seattle Times - 3.7.14)

Dropping love bombs, and other UUs in the media

UU youth get their congregation involved in random acts of kindness

Youth from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse, Wisc., are leaving handmade gifts around their community as a way to spread kindness, peace, and joy to others. With the help of their congregation, they have “love bombed” their local city hall, nursing homes, and hospitals. (News8000.com - 3.3.14)

Supporting expanded health insurance coverage, and more

As part of ongoing “Truthful Tuesday” protests of South Carolina’s refusal to expand Medicaid, 11 people were arrested for blocking the entrance to a Statehouse parking garage. The Rev. Pat Jobe of the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Greenville, S.C., was among those arrested. (943wsc.com - 3.5.14)

In letters sent to members of the Florida Legislature, the Rev. Wayne Robinson, recently retired from All Faiths Unitarian Congregation in Fort Myers, Fla., urged them to show mercy and provide health coverage to Floridians too poor to qualify for subsidized plans under the Affordable Care Act. (Health News Florida - 3.3.14)

Lyn Betz, an intern minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord, Ma., shared her experience obtaining affordable health insurance under the new Affordable Care Act after spending years struggling to get coverage on the open market because of a pre-existing condition. (Concord Monitor - 3.2.14)

The Rev. Kit Ketcham of the Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Astoria, Ore., shares her personal journey in understanding and embracing LGBTQ friends and loved ones and how it inspired her passionate advocacy for helping them attain equal rights. (The Daily Astorian - 2.28.14)

The Rev. Terence Ellen of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Greater Cumberland, in Cumberland, Md., was arrested along with three others during a peaceful protest of a planned liquefied natural gas facility at Cove Point in Southern Maryland. (thebaynet.com - 2.27.14)

Living out their commitment to use their new church building to be of service to the community, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, in Somerville, N.J., has partnered with United Way of Northern New Jersey to provide free  onsite tax-preparation services. (The Messenger-Gazette - 2.28.14)

UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales helped Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Appleton, Wisc., dedicate their new sanctuary, intentionally expanded to seat 350 so that the congregation could welcome more newcomers. (postcrescent.com - 2.28.14)

Gladys Sanchez will be the new director of religious education at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb, Ill. Born in the Philippines, Sanchez will bring a global perspective and an emphasis on youth engagement in social justice to the congregation’s religious education program. (Daily Chronicle - 2.28.14)

For this year’s birthday celebration of early Unitarian pioneer the Rev. Dr. Joseph Priestley, Unitarian Universalists of the Susquehanna Valley in Northumberland, Pa., have invited members from Mount Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria, Va., to present a special program on Priestley. (The Daily Item 3.4.14)

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