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Unitarian Universalists in the media

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

Forrest Church discusses new book, and more

Forrest Church discusses new book
The Rev. Dr. Forrest Church, author and minister of All Souls Church in New York City, is interviewed on PBS’s Tavis Smiley show about his new book, So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State. Church, whose father was senator from Idaho, is also interviewed in the Idaho Statesman. (pbs.org – 10.25.07, Idaho Statesman – 11.3.07)

UU World‘s Winter 2007 cover story, America’s Founding Faiths, is adapted from Church’s book. You can also read the article online. (uuworld.org – 11.5.07)

UUA’s ad campaign gets media notice
The Dallas Morning News looks at the UUA’s new national advertising campaign, in association with Time magazine, and what it is hoped it will accomplish. (Dallas Morning News – Dallas, TX 11.3.07)

Also in the media:

Former executive director of Amnesty International USA William F. Schulz speaks about torture and its negative impact on the United States. (Nantucket Island Inquirer – Nantucket, MA 11.8.07)

Ronald Blatchley of New Berlin, Pa., portrays influential Unitarian chemist Joseph Priestly as part of a Heritage Day celebration. (Milton Daily Standard – Milton, PA 11.5.07)

A photo exhibition at the UU Church of Las Cruces, N.Mex., explores the many varieties of family. (Las Cruces Sun-News – Las Cruces, NM 11.2.07)

Jim Corrigall, communications consultant to the Unitarians in Britain, writes about his joy at first discovering Unitarianism. (New Statesman – London, England 11.1.07)

Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, Md., hosts a “Green-In” to educate people about the environment. (Business Gazette – Gaithersburg, MD 11.7.07)

The Liverpool Daily Post takes a brief look at the history of Unitarianism. (Liverpool Daily Post – Liverpool, UK 11.6.07)

Chris Walton contributed to this week’s blog.

Spiritual leader, spiritual practices, and more

UU student meets Dalai Lama
Molly Perchlik, a college freshman who attends the UU Church of Bloomington, Ind., had the honor of meeting the Dalai Lama when she volunteered to escort him at an interfaith prayer service. (Muncie Star Press – Muncie, IN 10.25.07)

Robert Fulghum on the power of dance
The Rev. Robert Fulghum, author of such bestsellers as All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, shares his thoughts on dancing as a spiritual practice. (NPR – 10.28.07)

Also in the media:

Former Unitarian minister George Exoo was released from jail after a U.S. magistrate ruled he can’t be extradited to Ireland for a trial concerning his role in the 2002 assisted suicide of a Dublin woman. (Irish Times – Ireland 10.29.07)

Polyamorists, including several members of UUs for Polyamory Awareness, talk about their lifestyle. (Seattle Times – 10.28.07)

The UU Church of Midland, Texas, pursues a Green Sanctuary designation from the UU Ministry for Earth. (MyWestTexas.com – Midland, TX 10.27.07)

The UU Fellowship of Waynesboro, Va., rejoices in its diversity. (Staunton News Leader – Staunton, VA 10.26.07)

Student Chris Dodge opines about the religious and legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage. (Georgetown University The Hoya – Washington, DC 10.26.07)

UU Holley Ullbrich reviews the book The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today by Charles Marsh. (Anderson Independent Mail – Anderson, SC 10.26.07)

The UU Society of Geneva, Ill., hosts a free weekly film series focusing on social justice issues. (Chicago Daily Herald – Chicago, IL 10.26.07)

Congregation recreates Pilgrim walk, and more

UUs follow in colonists’ footsteps
As part of a 375th anniversary celebration of their church’s founding, members of the First Parish Church of Duxbury, Mass., recreate a 9-mile walk that Plymouth colonists made every week to get to church. (Boston Globe – 10.11.07)

Also in the media:

A traditional Transylvanian carved pole at the First Religious Society in Newburyport, Mass., reminds church members of the importance of cross-cultural relationships. (The Daily News of Newburyport – Newburyport, MA 10.20.07)

The Deseret Morning News talks to the Rev. Forrest Church, religious historian and a minister at All Souls Church in Manhattan, about his new book So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State. (Deseret News – Salt Lake City, UT 10.20.07)

Protesters, including the Rev. Bruce Davis of Evergreen UU Fellowship in Marysville, Wash., demonstrate outside of a meeting of the conservative Watchmen on the Walls group. (Seattle Times – 10.20.07)

The Rev. William Schulz, former UUA president and Amnesty International USA leader, opened the Cape Ann Forum season, which discusses the state of U.S. relations with the rest of the world. (Gloucester Daily Times – MA 10.11.07)

The Rev. Kathy Reis of the UU Society of Rockport, Mass., writes about how sometimes denial can set you free just as well as truth. (Gloucester Daily Times – MA 10.24.07)

The UU Memorial Church in Fairhaven, Mass., becomes a Welcoming Congregation. (SouthCoastToday.com – New Bedford, MA 10.19.07)

The UU Congregation of Montclair, N.J., had to evict the Day Nurseries program because it lacked an insurance policy. (Montclair Times – Montclair, NJ 10.12.07)

The UU Society of Rockport, Mass., seeks legal counsel in a dispute with the town over a proposed sidewalk. (Gloucester Daily Times – MA 10.24.07)

Prominent human interest story, death of respected leader, and more

If I Had a Hammer
UU Mona Shaw made headlines after she expressed her displeasure with the quality of Comcast’s customer service by visiting her wrath upon the local Comcast office’s equipment with a hammer. Though not endorsing her actions, Washington Post staff writer Neely Tucker calls Shaw an “avenger of oppressed cable subscribers everywhere.”

See also: “Cable Rage Pushes Granny Over the Edge” (ABC News – 10.19.07)

Remembering Natalie Gulbrandsen
Former UUA President William F. Schulz writes about Natalie Webber Gulbrandsen, fourth moderator of the UUA (1985–93), who died October 17 at age 88. (UUA.org – 10.19.07)

Also in the media:

The UU Fellowship of Huntington, N.Y., as part of the UU Service Committee’s “Drumbeat for Darfur” campaign, is holding a 5K-road race to send a message to the world that the genocide in Darfur must end. (Newsday – Long Island, NY 10.18.07)

Seven Days, Vermont’s alternative web weekly, featured a front-page article about the benefits of the Our Whole Lives comprehensive sexuality education program. (Seven Days – VT 10.17.07)

Fred and Bonnie Cappuccino, a couple who have been honored for their international work with children, talk to the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, B.C., about Child Haven International. (Nanaimo News Bulletin – BC, Canada 10.18.07)

See also: Dedicating their lives to children (UU World – March/April 2004)

The Rev. Kenneth Torquil MacLean, the new minister of the Juneau UU Fellowship, writes about the importance of focusing on “what we are really called to do” and doing it. (Juneau Empire – Juneau, AK 10.12.07)

Men’s News Daily republishes a piece from a UU publication about the Open Hand Project, a meals-on-wheels program that serves HIV-positive people in need. (Men’s News Daily – Guerneville, CA 10.12.07)

The Dallas Morning News laments the end of a 25-year-old concert series at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Texas. (Dallas Morning News – Dallas, TX 10.13.07)

The Rev. Rhett D. Baird, a minister at High Street UU Church in Macon, Ga., arranges to spend his sabbatical working at the Tubman African American Museum as a way of supporting something he cares deeply about. (Macon Telegraph – Macon, GA 10.13.07)

As the Rev. Cynthia A. Frado, senior minister of the UU Congregational Society of Westboro, Mass., prepares to lead a tour in Egypt, she reflects on the connection between religion and culture, and what we can learn from the ancient Egyptians. (Worcester Telegram – Worcester, MA 10.14.07)

The UU Fellowship of Northern Nevada honors prominent Hindu leader Rajan Zed for “his courage and his vision of world community.” (PunjabNewsline.com – Nagar, Punjab, India 10.15.07)

UUA launches ad campaign, and more

UUA launches major ad campaign
The UUA’s newly launched ad campaign, with its provocative “Is God keeping you from going to church?” tagline, gets a story in the San Jose Mercury News. The article also includes a pretty good description of UUism and the difficulties of marketing a faith with such a broad spectrum of beliefs. (San Jose Mercury News – CA 10.8.07)

See also: UUA launches national ad campaign in ‘Time‘ (uuworld.org – 9.28.07)

Also in the media:

The Rev. Gary Kowalski, minister of the First UU Society of Burlington, Vt., remembers murdered college student Michelle Gardner-Quinn and urges people to work to end violence against women. (BurlingtonFreePress.com – Burlington, VT 10.12.07)

The Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church in Louisville, Ky., dedicates a stained glass window to the memory of Conrad Husk who attended the church as a child and who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The window is a replica of one Husk made for his mother, and its installation coincides with the anniversary of his death as well as Mental Illness Awareness Week. (Louisville Courier-Journal – Louisville, KY 10.8.07)

A new UU congregation has started meeting in Socorro, N.Mex., with the help of services from its parent church, First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque. (El Defensor Chieftain – Socorro, NM 10.10.07)

Anthony Padgett, a Unitarian Christian artist, has accused the Tate Modern of religious discrimination and institutional anti-Christian bias. (Guardian Unlimited – UK 10.8.07)

Robert Greene, in the LA Times, compares a new pick-your-presidential-candidate quiz with the Beliefnet.com Belief-O-Matic religion quiz that told him he should be a Unitarian. (Los Angeles Times – CA 10.8.07)

The Milford Daily News profiles the Rev. Patience Stoddard who recently became minister of the First UU Church in Milford, Mass. (Milford Daily News – Milford, MA 10.8.07)

The UU Church of Greater Lansing, Mich., celebrates the 50th anniversary of the merging of the First Universalist Church of Lansing and the Unitarian Fellowship of East Lansing. (Lansing State Journal – Lansing, MI 10.6.07)

The UU Church of Little Rock, Ark., holds its third annual animal blessing service. (Today’s THV – Little Rock, AR 10.7.07)

Urban ministry profiled, atheist politician speaks, and more

‘Even a jail can move on. Same with people.’
Once an inmate, Sam Williams pays a visit to Boston’s former Charles Street Jail, which has been refurbished and reopened as a swanky hotel. Now chief of operations for the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, Williams attempts to help youth make better choices than he did. Exploring the new hotel, he notes that: “Even a jail can move on. Same with people.” (Boston Globe – 10.1.07)

UU atheist politician addresses group at Harvard
US Rep. Pete Stark, the highest-ranking openly atheistic American politician and a UU, recently spoke publicly about his beliefs to an audience of approximately 300. (Record-Harvard Law School – Cambridge, MA 9.27.07)

Also in the media:

Unitarian Universalism gets a sizeable mention in an article about a new study on the importance of spirituality for children. (Waterloo Record – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 9.29.07)

The Revs. John Manwell and Phyllis Hubbell, husband and wife co-ministers of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, Md., are among those expressing disappointment with a recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals to uphold a ban on same-sex marriages. (Washington Blade – Washington, DC 9.28.07)

UUA President William G. Sinkford visits the First Universalist Church of Rochester, N.Y., as the congregation celebrates its building’s centennial. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – Rochester, NY 10.1.07)

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks, Alaska, celebrates its new status as a Welcoming Congregation. (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Fairbanks, AK 10.1.07)

The UU Church of Burlington, Vt., kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness Month with activities and a new banner. (BurlingtonFreePress.com – Burlington, VT 9.30.07)

Robert Meeropol, whose parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were executed during the Red Scare of the 1950s, gives a talk at the Rogue Valley UU Fellowship in Ashland, Ore., on the dangers of “putting civil liberties in the back seat in the name of national security.” (Mail Tribune – Medford, OR 9.28.07)

Differing faiths come between the marriage of a UU and a Mormon. (Salt Lake Tribune – 10.1.07)

The Unitarian Fellowship Church of West Chester, Pa., is one of several groups that work with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which recently received a $40,000 gift that will allow it to break ground on a new housing project. (Quad – West Chester, PA 10.1.07)

Beacon’s blog, UU books in prison, volunteer drivers, and more

A warm welcome
Beacon Press, the trade publishing house of the Unitarian Universalist Association, has launched a blog, the Beacon Broadside. Their inaugural week marks Banned Books Week.

UU books missing from federal prison library list
Unitarian Universalism is notable for its absence from the lists of books approved for chapel libraries in federal prisons. (New York Times – New York, NY 9.21.07) Public outcry has in the meantime resulted in a change of plans. (New York Times – New York, NY 9.27.2007)

Volunteer drivers, dispatchers find rewards in giving
For ten years, members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, N.C., have been offering rides to clients of the Interfaith Assistance Ministry. (Times-News – Hendersonville, NC 9.21.07)

UUA’s new marketing campaign
The Unitarian Universalist Association is launching a national marketing campaign in October, as San Francisco-area UUs also begin a regional marketing initiative. A 30-second TV ad developed for the San Francisco Bay Area campaign is available on YouTube. (uuworld.org – 9.28.07)

The Georgia Mountains Unitarian Universalist Church in Dahlonega, Ga., is featured in an article about the UUA’s upcoming ad campaign in Time and Time.com. (Gainesville Times – Gainesville, GA 9.22.07)

And elsewhere in the media:

A seven-year-old from First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, B.C., demonstrates a meaningful life. (Nanaimo News Bulletin – Nanaimo, BC 9.25.07)

The Rev. Suzanne Paul, minister of the New Hope UU Congregation in Lyon Township, Mich., writes about the afterlife. (South Lyon Herald, MI – 9.20.07)

The Rev. Wayne Robinson of All Faiths Unitarian Congregation in Fort Myers, Fla., is profiled for his leadership of the weekly Wave for Peace demonstration. (Miami Herald – Miami, FL 9.24.07)

New Hampshire Public Radio went looking for Democrats at the First Unitarian Society of Exeter. (New Hampshire Public Radio – Concord, NH 9.21.07)

UUs were mentioned in articles reporting on protests for the Jena 6: the Rev. Lyn Oglesby of All Souls Universalist Church in Shreveport (Shreveport Times – Shreveport, LA 9.21.07) and the Rev. Cynthia Cain of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington, Ky. (The Kentucky Kernel – Lexington, KY 9.21.07)

A Pennsylvania newspaper picked up a story describing the water ceremony at the First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. (The Times Leader – Wilkes-Barre, PA 9.22.07)

The Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, Colo., finishes up their first year of tending an 800-square-foot organic garden. (The Fort Collins Coloradoan – Fort Collins, CO 9.28.07)

Unitarian Universalists continue to support marriage equality, from Denver, Colorado, where a lesbian couple were arrested (The Advocate – 9.26.07), to San Diego (NBC – San Diego, CA 9.26.07), San Bernardino (San Bernardino County Sun – San Bernardino, CA 9.26.07), San Luis Obispo (sanluisobispo.com – San Luis Obispo, CA 9.27.07), and San Franciso (Bar Area Reporter – San Francisco, CA 9.27.07), California, where UUs joined an amicus brief (San Diego Union-Tribune – San Diego, CA 9.26.07), to Baltimore, Md., where UUs reacted in disbelief to recent court rulings. (Washington Blade – Washington, DC 9.28.07)

The Rev. Grace Simons, minister of the UU Fellowship of Stanislaus County is profiled by her hometown newspaper. (Modesto Bee – Modesto, CA 9.22.07)

The Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, Calif., had a water tasting to encourage members to think about where their water comes from. (Sacramento Bee – Sacramento, CA 9.24.07)

Chris Walton contributed to this week’s blog.

UUs support ‘Jena Six’ and more

Louisiana church supports ‘Jena Six’
All Souls UU Church of Shreveport, La., co-hosted an interfaith prayer meeting and service to show support for the “Jena Six,” six black teenagers charged in the beating of a white classmate. On Sept. 9, the church passed a resolution denouncing the judicial proceedings and supporting the students. Members of All Souls also planned to head to Jena on Thursday for a planned demonstration. (Shreveport Times – Shreveport, LA 9.17.07)

See also: Louisiana UUs decry racism in ‘Jena Six’ case (uuworld.org – 9.14.07)

Fulghum discusses life, new book
The Salt Lake Tribune interviews popular author (and UU minister) Robert Fulghum about his newest book and about his propensity for dressing up like a bunny. (Salt Lake Tribune – 9.15.07)

Also in the media:

Youth at the River of Grass UU Congregation in Plantation, Fla., explore their religious roots. (MiamiHerald.com – FL 9.16.07)

The Sun-Sentinel profiles the Rev. Naomi King, minister of the River of Grass UU Congregation in Plantation, Fla. (Sun-Sentinel.com – Fort Lauderdale, FL 9.15.07)

Shree Kumar Rai, who has sought sanctuary inside the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, finds personal escape through painting. (Ottawa Citizen – Ontario, Canada 9.16.07)

The First UU Society of Albany unveils its new 2,500-square-foot community space, a project that cost nearly $3.5 million and has been years in the making. (Albany Times Union – Albany, NY 9.16.07)

See also: Expanded Church Project Displays Commitment to Albany (WTEN – Albany, NY 9.15.07)

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Lafayette, Ind., gets a new building to call home. (Journal and Courier – Lafayette, IN 9.15.07)

The First Universalist Church of Yarmouth, Maine—a town landmark since Civil War times—gets some major repairs. (MaineToday.com – Portland, ME 9.12.07)

The 30 members of the First Parish UU Church in Saugus, Mass., find a temporary home at the UU Church of Wakefield, Mass. (Wakefield Observer – Beverly, MA 9.12.07)

First Unitarian Church in New Bedford, Mass., welcomes a new religious education director. (SouthCoastToday.com – New Bedford, MA 9.15.07)

The UU Congregation of Frederick, Md., welcomes a new minister. (Business Gazette – Gaithersburg, MD 9.13.07)

A special art show at the UU Fellowship of Clarksville, Tenn., encourages people to bring in pieces of art from their personal collections and explain how and why the work affects them. (Clarksville Leaf Chronicle – Clarksville, TN 9.12.07)

First Parish in Lexington, Mass., hosts an educational program on mental health. (Lexington Minuteman – Lexington, MA 9.12.07)

Colorado church damaged in fireworks blaze, and more

Fireworks start blaze, damage church
The UU Church of Greeley, Colo., sustained about $5,000 in damage after fireworks ignited some bushes next to the church. (Denver Post – Denver, CO 9.4.07)

Police arrested a 22-year-old man they believe set off the bottle rocket that started the fire at the Greeley church. He was released on bail but faces a felony arson charge. (Greeley Tribune – Greeley, CO 9.5.07)

UU couples in the news
ONExONE Foundation, a nonprofit group that works to support, preserve, and improve the lives of children, recently honored Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino for their international work with children and women. Fred, a retired UU minister, and Bonnie founded Child Haven International, a nonprofit organization based in Asian countries that assists destitute children and women. They also adopted 19 children from around the world.

See also: Dedicating their lives to children (UU World – March/April 2004)

Husband and wife team Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow travel the country to tell people about “the Great Story,” a religious perspective that is rooted in evolution. (Press & Sun-Bulletin – Binghamton, NY 9.11.07)

See also: Welcome to the Ecozoic Era (UU World – Spring 2006)

Also in the media:

Presidential candidate (and UU) Mike Gravel spoke at the UU Congregation of Greater Naples, Fla. (Naples Daily News – Naples, FL 9.9.07)

The Rev. Kit Ketcham of the UU Congregation of Whidbey Island, Wash., reports that her congregation made the front page of the local paper with this story about the ground-breaking for their new church building. (South Whidbey Record – Whidbey Island, WA 9.12.07)

The Rev. Judith Quarles, minister at the UU Church in Oneonta, N.Y., writes about the school of the spirit. (Oneonta Daily Star – Oneonta, NY 9.8.07)

The Saratogian profiles Unitarian Universalism and the UU Congregation of Saratoga Springs, NY. (The Saratogian – Saratoga, NY 9.7.07)

Neighborhood opposition stalls plans by the UU Fellowship of San Luis Obispo, Calif., to build a new church. (San Luis Obispo Tribune – San Luis Obispo, CA 9.12.07)

This fall, the Vashon Island [Wash.] Unitarian Fellowship will offer local teens the chance to take the popular Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education classes. (Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber – Vashon Island, WA 9.5.07)

Churches call for a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. (Associated Content – Denver, CO 9.6.07)

UU ministers in the media, and more

UU minister performs Iowa’s first same-sex marriage
On August 30, the Rev. Mark Stringer of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines performed the first same-sex marriage in Iowa. But with a stay on the court decision that made it possible, and lawmakers pushing for a constitutional amendment, it may also turn out to be the last. (Radio Iowa – Des Moines, IA 8.31.07)

The Rev. Mark Stringer is also interviewed in this Baltimore Sun article about the decision and in a Gazette article about ministers speaking for marriage equality in Iowa. (Baltimore Sun – 9.1.07; The Gazette – Cedar Rapids, IA 9.4.07)

For more on the Iowa ruling: “UU minister performs Iowa’s first same-sex wedding” (uuworld.org – 9.7.07)

Other ministers in the media
The Rev. Mike Young, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, writes about how learning about other beliefs can help strengthen your own. (Honolulu Star-Bulletin – Honolulu, HI 9.1.07)

The Rev. Karen J. McFarland brings her feminist theology to the Community UUs in Brighton, Mich. (Livingston Daily – Livingston, MI 8.31.07)

The Rev. Carol McKinley, a community minister endorsed by the Olympia, Wash., UU Congregation, writes about the meaning of scriptures and some of the writings that UUs hold dear. (The Olympian – Olympia, WA 9.1.07)

The Rev. Kenneth Torquil MacLean becomes the Juneau UU Fellowship’s first full-time minister. (Juneau Empire – Juneau, AK 8.31.07)

Also in the media:

The UU Church in Greeley, Colo., was damaged in a fire caused by fireworks. (Denver Post – Denver, CO 9.4.07)

The Seattle Times reviews the Rev. Kate Braestrup’s memoir, Here If You Need Me. (Seattle Times – 8.31.07)

CNN has a Q&A with Adam Kalkin, who designs houses made from shipping containers and is currently working on a church for a UU congregation in Vermont. (CNN – 8.30.07)

An interfaith youth camp in Washington State helps kids respect the differences and similarities between their religions. (News Tribune – Tacoma, WA 9.1.07)

A Roxbury, Mass., UU youth group’s hiking encounter leads them to present a service at a Maine church. (Bangor Daily News – Bangor, ME 9.3.07)

Many religious groups, including the UU Congregation of Northwest Tucson, Az., are getting involved in ways to help the environment. (Arizona Daily Star – Tucson, AZ 9.3.07)

Robin [aka Robert] Edgar is contesting a restraining order sought against him by the current minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, the Rev. Diane Rollert. Edgar has held weekly demonstrations outside of the church since his membership was revoked in November 1999. (Montreal Gazette – Quebec, Canada 8.30.07)

A December 7, 2000, story from the Montreal Mirror provides some
background about Edgar’s protests and expulsion from the congregation. (Montreal Mirror – 12.7.00)

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