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Unitarian Universalists in the media

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

Second day of Knoxville shooting coverage

UU World is tracking the ongoing news coverage of the deadly shootings this past Sunday at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville. Yesterday’s post included the first 24 hours of news coverage; the second 24 hours of coverage appears below.

UU World‘s first news story was published Monday evening: Two Unitarian Universalists killed in church shooting (Donald E. Skinner, 7.28.08). UUA.org coverage continues here. The UUA and the Thomas Jefferson District announced earlier today that they are setting up a Knoxville relief fund. The UUA has also launched a blog to collect condolences and statements of support.

Community vigil and interfaith responses:

Explaining Unitarian Universalism:

The victims:

Criminal investigation:

The Knoxville News Sentinel has set up a special section for its Knoxville Church Shooting coverage.

Two killed in Knoxville church shooting; tenting for Darfur; and more

Two die in shotgun attack on Knoxville church
Breaking news, 7.28.08: Two people are dead and six more were injured Sunday morning when a man opened fire with a shotgun on the congregation at the Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville, Tenn. Approximately 200 people from both UU congregations in the area had gathered for a children’s performance of “Annie Jr.” when a man police identified as Jim Adkisson entered the church and began shooting. The gunman is being held on murder charges. The FBI is investigating the shootings as a hate crime; Adkisson left behind a letter suggesting that he targeted the church due to “‘recent publicity’ the church had received regarding its ‘liberal stance’ on things,” according to WBIR.

Local coverage:

UUA President William G. Sinkford issued a statement about the shootings Sunday afternoon. Members of the UUA Trauma Response ministry and other leaders hurried to Knoxville to assist the congregations. —Christopher L. Walton

Man shoots at UU church in West Virginia
A twenty-year-old Charleston, W.V., man arrested and accused of firing a rifle at the church next door, is being held in jail. The shooting damaged windows and the interior of the UU Congregation Church, according to the complaint filed with authorities. (Daily Mail – Charleston, WV 7.25.08)

Virginia UUs protest execution with inclusive vigil
Following lethal injection of Christopher Scott Emmet, Harrisonburg, Va., UUs hold vigil for the convicted killer, his victim, their families, and everyone involved in the execution. (WHSV – VA  7.25.08)

Tenting for Darfur
UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, Long Island, N.Y., joins 215 other participants in the United Church of Christ’s Tents of Hope project. The UU Service Committee’s Drumbeats for Darfur campaign last year joined the cause of bringing attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur. (Newsday – Long Island NY 7.20.08)

Congregations in the news
New $4.4 million Green Sanctuary opens for Conejo Valley UU Fellowship in Thousand Oaks, Calif., after decades of renting worship space. Rev. Dr. Betty Stapleford is inspired by possibilities that owning a facility will offer the congregation. (Thousand Oaks Acorn – CA 7.23.08)

In this week’s Midweek Musings, Rev. Kathy Reis calls for compassion, understanding, and respect for pregnant teenagers. She is minister of the UU Society of Rockport, Mass. (Gloucester Daily Times – MA 7. 23.08)

The Community Church of Pepperell, Mass., is nearing completion of substantial restoration to sanctuary roof and steeple. The parish shares some history in its UU affiliation. (Nashoba Publishing – Ayer, MA 7.18.08)

The Unitarian Church of Calgary is working on environmental issues through a Green Sanctuary project.
(Calgary Herald – AB, Canada 7.18.08)

Through a UUA partnering program, First Parish in Bedford, Mass., is working on three projects with a Unitarian church in Abasfalva, Romania. (Bedford Minuteman – Concord, MA 7.22.08)

Also in the news
Columnist mentions UUA’s General Assembly vote among the endorsements for HR 676, a bill before the U.S. Congress that would improve Medicare for all.
(Sudbury Town Crier – MA 7.23.08)

Murder suspect arrested, FEMA trailer on tour, and more

Another arrest made in homicide at UU-affiliated housing
Police have arrested the sixth suspect wanted in connection with the June slaying of Roald “Rolly” Hanson, 62, in South Seattle. Both men and another suspect lived at a group home for the mentally ill owned by a housing group affiliated with the University Unitarian Church.
(Seattle Post Intelligencer – WA 7.16.08)

Post-Katrina/Rita FEMA trailer on tour
Trailer makes stop at Shelter Rock UU Congregation in Manhasset, Long Island, where it has been open to the public. A grass-roots organization touring the country uses the unhealthy emergency housing unit to raise awareness of abuse in New Orleans recovery efforts. (Newsday – Long Island, NY 7.13.08) Members of the UU Service Committee invited Derrick Evans, leader of the Gulf Coast Peoples’ Movement for Full and Fair Recovery, to visit the church on his way to Boston. (Newsday – Long Island, NY 7.10.08)

1984 murder victim Charlie Howard remembered
Rev. Richard Forcier, now minister of First Church, Universalist, in Barre, Vt., led this year’s annual tribute in Bangor, Me., to his former parishioner, who was targeted because he was gay.
(WABI – Bangor, ME – 7.13.08)

Ministers and congregations in the news
North Parish Church of Andover, Mass., congregation hosts cultural exchange visitors from Romanian Unitarian church.
(North Andover Citizen – MA 7.17.08)

Burlington, Vt., UU minister accompanies students from South Asia touring local churches. Affiliate minister Rev. Roddy Cleary and Elaine Bomford explain beliefs and history to visitors interested in religious pluralism.
(BurlingtonFreePress.com – VT 7.11.08)

Maryland UU church’s indoor and outdoor mazes offer variety of spiritual benefits.
(Hagerstown Morning Herald – MD 7.14.08)

Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist is among Chicago’s socially active suburban churches.
(Rolling Meadows Review – Chicago 7.10.08)

Christian license plate opposed, immigrant rights, and more

Opposition to “I Believe” South Carolina plates
The Columbia, S.C., chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, led by UU minister Rev. Dr. Neal Jones, has joined with others from within the religious community to seek legal action against the state of South Carolina for a new license plate featuring Christian symbols and a statement of faith. Although approved for production by the state legislature earlier this year, the plaintiffs allege that the new design is a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
(Utne Reader 7.8.08)

Historic Boston UU church in vanguard of immigrant cause
A growing number of churches nationwide support the “New Sanctuary Movement,” begun last year, which champions rights of the vulnerable immigrant population, now estimated at 12 million. However, the Arlington Street Church is among only twelve congregations in the country that have chosen to take the most active role in defending immigrants’ rights.
(The Boston Globe – MA 7.4.08)

Time for a Secretary of Peace?
Karen Goyer, board of trustees president at the UU Fellowship of Salisbury, Md., posts a plea and rationale for a national Dept. of Peace. She believes such a new cabinet post would help achieve non-violent solutions to problems.
(Delmarva Now – Salisbury, MD 7.10.08)

Toward energy independence
Van Jones’s 2008 Ware Lecture at UUA’s General Assembly resonates with multicultural blogger Wayne Dawkins; both spot progress in recent car, fuel trends among American consumers. (PoliticsInColor.com 7.3.08)

Pennsylvania UUs make pilgrimage to Eastern Europe
A group of Main Line Unitarian Church parishioners are making a pilgrimage to the rural village in Transylvania where the Unitarian faith began. The two-week visit is part of a continuing cultural exchange between the Devon, Pa., and Varfalva, Romania, churches and also part of the Main Line church’s 50th anniversary celebration. (Philadelphia Inquirer – Philadelphia 7.3.08)

Also in the news
A churchgoer from Cedar Lane UU of Bethesda Md. reports that their Torture is Wrong banner has been vandalized twice at night.
(Business Gazette – Gaithersburg, MD 7.9.08 )

Rev. Susan Suchocki Brown of First Church, UU, of Leominster, Mass., explores the active and varied nature of blessings in the context of UU beliefs. (Leominster Champion – MA 7.4.08)

Keith Olbermann’s Unitarian roots, the gospel of Springsteen, and more

‘Countdown’ host’s Unitarian roots
Keith Olbermann, the host of MSNBC’s “Countdown,” exposed his Unitarian roots during an interview with actors Jason Bateman and David Cross. At about the 4:19 mark the two actors joked that they were planning to wed at a Unitarian church in California, and Olbermann, long rumored to be a UU, replied: “Oh, good! I was raised in that faith. So there’s just a lot of political talk, there’s no actual religion involved. OK, that’s going to get me in trouble with my ancestors.” (Countdown – 6.24.08)

The gospel of Bruce
The Rev. Jeffrey Symynkywicz, a Bruce Sprinsteen fan and minister of the First Parish Universalist Church in Stoughton, Mass., has written a new book, The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen. Symynkywicz says of Sprinsteen: “His music helps us to make sense of the sometimes tangled, often disparate threads of our lives.” (LA Times – 7.1.08)

General Assembly in the news
Local news coverage of the UUA General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale included an article about the Rev. William F. Schulz, the former president of the UUA who then served 12 years as executive director of Amnesty International USA. (Sun-Sentinel – FL 6.26.08)

Read a profile of Schulz: “High-profile advocate for human rights” (UU World – Winter 2006)

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel focused on youth antiracism workshops at the 2008 General Assembly, but mistakenly described the 3,000 GA-goers as “clergy”—including the teenagers interviewed for the piece. (Sun Sentinel – FL 6.29.08)

The Religion News Service reported on resolutions passed by the General Assembly in support of gay marriage and immigrant rights. (Religion News: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life – 7.1.08.)

Wayne Dawkins wrote from Fort Lauderdale, where he was a GA delegate, on his reaction to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s recent study that found that Americans are more religiously tolerant than some might have us believe. (Politics In Color – Atlanta, GA 6.27.08)

UU conference center receives sizable grant
The Star Island conference center in New Hampshire has received a $100,000 grant from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, N.Y., to make necessary safety upgrades to its grounds and buildings that will allow it to stay open. (Boston Globe – 6.30.08)

See also: Long Island congregation donates $100000 to Star Island (Foster’s Daily Democrat – Dover, NH 6.29.08)

Also in the media:

The UU Fellowship of Santa Cruz County in Aptos, Calif., is one of several UU congregations in the state that has started performing free wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. (Register Pajaronian – Watsonville, CA 7.2.08)

More than 25 members of the Countryside Church UU in Palatine, Ill., marched in the 39th annual Chicago Pride Parade. (Chicago Daily Herald – Chicago, IL 6.30.08)

The UU Church on Nantucket Island, Mass., is hosting a public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights on the Fourth of July. (Nantucket Independent – MA 7.2.08)

Thousands of people from various Christian denominations, including members of the local Unitarian community, took part in the town of Chorley’s annual walking day parade in Northern England. (Lancashire Telegraph – Blackburn, England, UK 7.1.08)

Chris Walton contributed to this week’s blog.

Obama’s universalism, John Adams’s Zionism, and more

Is Obama a ‘Universalist’ or a ‘Christian’?
Conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas thinks evangelicals and most Roman Catholics may question Barack Obama’s avowal of the Christian faith before they vote because Obama’s beliefs seem to include “universalism.” Thomas argues that despite the Democratic candidate’s impressive command of biblical language, he fits the definition of “false prophet” rather than true believer. (Tribune Media Services – Buffalo, NY – 6.16.08)

John Adams’s Unitarian Zionism
In a lengthy Foreign Affairs article that traces the history of American Gentiles’ attitudes toward Israel from the early 19th century to the present, Walter Russell Mead quotes President John Adams, a Unitarian, on the prospect of Jews regaining their own state: “Once restored to an independent government and no longer persecuted,” Adams wrote, Jews “would soon wear away some of the asperities and peculiarities of their character and possibly in time become liberal Unitarian Christians.” (Foreign Affairs – July/August 2008)

Spiritual exploration
Religion reporter Tracy Simmons attempts to understand the non-creedal nature of a “Unitarian Universalist Church,” but says she has yet to visit one. She asks readers to respond to her “Matter of Faith” blog, which includes a link to Connecticut’s UU congregations. (American-Republican – Waterbury, CT – 6.26.08)

Schulz cites progress on human rights
Speaking at the annual UUA General Assembly, the Rev. William F. Schulz, former president of the UUA and former executive director of Amnesty International USA, cites progress on human rights issues in America and abroad. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel – FL – 6.26.08)

Tim Berners-Lee, Internet pioneer
The British Telegraph profiles Internet pioneer and HTML author Sir Tim Berners-Lee, mentioning his Unitarian faith. (Telegraph – UK – 6.27.08)

Clock-tower steward completes Alcatraz triathlon
Jeffrey Ferris—bicycle guru, cancer survivor, community organizer, snow-shoveler, transportation activist, and clock-tower steward of the First Church in Jamaica Plain, Mass.—completed California’s grueling Alcatraz triathlon in enduring, barefoot style. (Jamaica Plain Gazette – Jamaica Plain, MA – 6.27.08)

Cradle UU
UUA General Assembly delegate and journalism professor Wayne Dawkins carries Unitarian Universalism’s non-creedal heritage with pride. Writing about the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, Dawkins believes tolerance is alive and well among many of America’s faithful. (PoliticsInColor.com – 6.27.08)

Congregations in the news

Greener, cleaner
Fairfax County, Va., funded a $60,000 stormwater-improvement project at Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria; the congregation is the county’s first “Green Sanctuary” congregation. The work at the hilltop site is expected to have a positive impact on Little Hunting Creek watershed and ultimately contribute to restoring the health of Chesapeake Bay. (Mount Vernon Gazette – McLean, VA – 6.25.08)

Flooding displaces low-income daycare center
Flooding in Rutland, Vt., host the daycare center temporarily. (Rutland Herald – VT – 6.19.08, 6.27.08)

Matching funds for homeless center
The UU Fellowship of Decatur, Ill., pledged half of the proceeds from the congregation’s Earthstock event to help a homeless day center make up a budget shortfall, joining other church and community groups in the effort. (Herald & Review – Decatur, IL – 6.26.08)

Steady now
The Rev. Diane Teichert arrived 10 years ago at the First Parish UU of Canton, Mass., at a difficult time for the congregation; during her tenure she steadied things within and was active in the larger community as well. She leaves to become assistant minister at the First Parish in Bedford, Mass. (Canton Citizen – MA – 6.26.08)

Sharing history
The Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Provincetown, Mass., has joined with other local organizations to coordinate efforts at sharing the town’s history. (Provincetown Banner – Provincetown, MA – 6.27.08)

The Rev. Dr. Paul Hull of First Church of Christ, Unitarian, in Lancaster, Mass., serves on the town’s “Celebrate Lancaster Committee,” an eight-member board that plans to work with agencies, the town, groups, and sponsors to revitalize the community. (Times & Courier – Lancaster, MA – 6.26.08)

Cultivating the garden
The garden of the UU Church of Buffalo, N.Y., has participated in a popular ornamental Garden Walk event longer than any other garden. (Buffalo News – NY – 6.27.08)

Once and future UK sanctuary
After years of closure and disuse, Todmorden Unitarian Church in Lancashire, England, has been repaired and now hosts bimonthly Unitarian worship services. (Todmorden News – Todmorden, UK – 6.26.08)

Near miss
Lightning missed the steeple but hit a utility pole in front of the Kennebunk, Me., UU church. (Sanford-Springvale Register – Biddeford, ME – 6.27.08)

Chris Walton contributed to this week’s roundup.

California marriages, same-sex parents, Founding Fathers, and more

Marriage in California

Busy time for Kern County UU minister
the Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff of the UU Fellowship of Kern County, (Bakersfield, Calif.) marries many same-sex couples in one of three of the state’s counties that have stopped performing weddings. (abc7news.com – CA 6.16.08) As a show of support, she offers services for free. (San Francisco Chronicle – CA 6.12.08)

Watch the video. (CBS Evening News – 6.17.08)

Many other UU ministers show solidarity and prepare to officiate:

Around the state, celebrating historic day

Advocacy in Humboldt County
Equal marriage activist Jamila Tharp’s renewal of vows ceremony to be the first legal same-sex ceremony in Humboldt County, Calif. (The Eureka Reporter – CA 6.16.08)

See also: Humboldt UU Fellowship, of Bayside, CA, celebrates civil marriage rights for gays. (Times-Standard – CA 6.17.08)

And looking toward November
Amid joyful atmosphere of Sonoma County (Calif.) Pride fair, same-sex marriage, parenting, in California and elsewhere. But locally based Family Policy Council of West Virginia sees the news as negative. (WOWK – Huntington – WV – 6.18.08)

And in other news

General Assembly, incoming
South Florida blog describes UUs as fresh liberal religious voice devoted to social justice and religious pluralism. (MiamiHerald.com – FL – 6.18.08)

Good reception
The Rev. Mark Spivey finds Unitarian audiences exceptionally receptive to his talks to church congregations about homosexuality. (Seminole Chronicle – Oviedo, FL – 6.11.08)

Reaction from Youngstown faithful
First UU Church of Youngstown, Ohio, welcomes gays, but many churches in area see issue differently. (Youngstown Vindicator – Youngstown, OH – 6.16.08)

Ministerial Changes
Nori Rost moves from Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church to All Souls UU, also in Colorado Springs, Colo. Social justice, diverse theology attracted her to Unitarian ministry. (Colorado Springs Gazette – CO – 6.14.08)

Minister of Sharon, MA, Unitarian Church Rev. Deborah Cayer is called to an interim post, in Durham, N.C. (Sharon Advocate – Norwood, MA – 6.17.08)

Outspoken Rev. Virginia Wolf retires from her long involvement with UU Congregation of Eau Claire, Wisc. (Leader-Telegram – WI – 6.17.08)

UU church leaves neighborhood a friendlier place
Treasurer of New Islamic center in Duluth, Minn., thanks UUs (whose building they purchased) for creating receptive environment (see bottom of the story). (Budgeteer – Duluth, MN 6.12.08 registration required)

Gospel of Inclusion
All Souls Unitarian Church to host Bishop Carlton Pearson’s small congregation of liberal Pentecostals. (Tulsa World – Tulsa, OK – 6.14.08)

For better working conditions
Social Justice Ministry of First UU Church of Portland, Ore., advocates for better conditions and fairness to immigrants.
(CAUSA, Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Coalition – Salem, OR 6.10.08)

Protestant decline?
Many mainline Protestant New England churches, including First Universalist of Salem, Mass., remain open but dwindling. Low closures among white-steepled churches not necessarily a sign of health. (Boston Globe – 6.15.08)

Electricity from the sun
UU Church West leads southeastern Wisconsin churches in installing solar panels. Rooftop system is expected to generate fifteen percent of church’s electrical needs.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – WI 6.14.08)

Plans to rebuild
Growing UU Church in New Windsor, N.Y., Unitarian looks to raise funds for new sanctuary after 2006 fire. (Times Herald-Record – Middletown, NY – 6.11.08)

Spiritual leaders of 1776
Scholar Marcia Beauchamp writes that the faith of the founding fathers (like that of UUs today) was informed by humanist teachings and balanced by belief in freedom of religion and conscience, in lengthy review of UU Minister the Rev. Gary Kowalski’s new title, Revolutionary Spirits (Bluebridge Publishers, 2008). (Tikkun Magazine – Berkeley, CA 2008)

Remembering an inspiring leader
Fellow UU reflects on the life and work of Bay Area (Calif.) activist Hal Carlstad one year after his death. (Berkeley Daily Planet – CA 6.17.08)

UU and unique
The Rev. Mary Wellemeyer of the UU Church of Manchester, N.H., shares the history of Nazi victim Norbert Capek’s “Flower Communion”service. (NewHampshire.com – 6.16.08) 


Wal-Mart ruling, JFK’s UU speechwriter, and more

UUA asks for more from Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart board rejects UUA Rev. Jonalu Johnstone’s proposed amendment to include transgender people in their anti-discrimination policy. (Benton County Daily Record – Bentonville, AR – 6.07.08)

The Interweave Continental director had proposed the broader gender identity at the retailer’s annual meeting in Fayetteville. (Miami Herald.com – Miami, FL – 6.5.08)

UU voice in JFK’s speeches echoes in today’s presidential politics
Opinion piece mentions Ted Sorensen’s new memoir, which describes how the author’s UU principles were reflected in JFK’s speeches and continue to inform dialogues on religion and politics. (Wall Street Journal – 6.10.08)

Thoughtful welcome
After 18 months of study, First UU Church of Youngstown, Ohio, publicly welcomes bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people and their families. (Youngstown Vindicator – Youngstown, OH – 6.11.08)

Equal marriage
President Carol Cole-Lewis announces UU Community of Lake County to offer same-sex marriage ceremonies. (Lake County News – Lakeport, CA 6.07.08)

Interfaith pride service a local first
First Parish UU Church in Billerica Center to host town’s first BGLT Pride Interfaith Service. (Billerica Minuteman – Concord, MA – 6.10.08)

Flags witness to cost of war
Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson displays more than 4,600 American flags, one for each military death in Iraq and Afghanistan. (MetroWest Daily News – Framingham, MA – 6.10.08)

The infant brain
How do infants learn social preferences? UU Rev. Hank Peirce of Medford, MA gains insights from his kids, subjects in Harvard research project. (Daily Telegraph, UK 3.4.08)

Amicable new brotherhood
In an unrelated story, the Rev. Peirce says new brand of freemasonry can provide a sanctuary for men. (Boston Herald, Boston MA – 6.10.08)

Hair share
Members from his Unitarian congregation follow son’s gift to his mother in donations for wigs for those who lose hair due to cancer treatments. (Dallas Morning News – Dallas, TX 6.9.08)

New Springsteen biography by UU author
UU minister writes The Gospel according to Bruce Springsteen. The Rev. Jeffrey B. Symynkywicz’s church, the First Parish Universalist in Stoughton, Mass., will hold a book signing later this month. (Stoughton Journal – Raynham, MA 6.9.08)

Rev. Fred Small’s third career brings him back to Harvard Square
After nearly a decade at First Church UU in Littleton, environmental advocate, folk singer, and Unitarian minister Small begins at First Parish in Cambridge, UU in mid-August as Senior Minister. (Daily News Tribune – Waltham, MA 6.10.08)

Great day for a green wedding
Couple active in UU Ministry for Earth committee celebrates environmentally friendly wedding at Channing Unitarian Universalist Church in Edmond, and shares how-to. (NewsOK.com – Oklahoma City, OK 6.7.08)

Bringing in local harvest
UU Community Church of Park Forest serves as drop-off site for local organic farmers to distribute produce to Community Supported Agriculture program participants. (Southtown Star – Chicago, IL – 6.8.08)

The flood, next time?
Kids at Unitarian Church of Staten Island, N.Y., consider how modern Noah might deal with major flood in Manhattan as a way to explore global climate change. (Staten Island Advance – SILive.com – Staten Island, NY 6.07.08)

Houses for Nicaragua
Multigenerational group from UU Church West travels to Nicaraguan village to build houses with Bridges to Community group. (Wauwatosa Now – Wauwatosa, WI – 6.07.08)

Torture awareness, grants and funding, and more

UU churches raise banners, awareness of torture

The UU Congregation of Atlanta is one of two Georgia churches to be the first in the state to subscribe to a June anti-torture campaign, sponsored by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. (Atlanta Journal Constitution – GA 6.4.08)

The Palo Alto, Calif., UU Church is among seven churches participating in “Banners Across America,” the nationwide torture-awareness initiative. (Palo Alto Online – CA 5.30.08)

The banner of the Congregational Unitarian Church of Woodstock, Ill., will proclaim torture “a moral issue.” (Northwestherald.com – Crystal Lake, IL – 5.30.08)

Awards and funding

Star Island receives grant
The Large Grant Program of the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, N.Y., has awarded Star Island $100,000 to upgrade critical safety features required by the town and state to keep the conference center open. (Portsmouth Herald News – Portsmouth, NH 6.3.08)

See also: Star Island snares $100,000 grant (Foster’s Daily Democrat – Dover, NH 6.4.08)

Canadian microcredit inventor
Social justice scholar and former banker Grace Flesher creates and facilitates “Dreams and Dollars,” a Canadian UU curriculum about microcredit. (Western News – London, ON, Canada 6.5.08)

UUA awards Mt. Vernon church for social justice work
The UUA has awarded the Mt. Vernon UU Church of Alexandria, Va., the Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action. (Washington Post – Alexandria, VA 6.5.08)

Also in the media:

UUism

In “Counting Pages,” Allegra Goodman wonders about Unitarianism while growing up Jewish. (New Yorker – 6.9.08)

St. Petersburg, Fla., UU minister the Rev. Manish Mishra describes how disagreements about sexuality are among the reasons people change church affiliation. (Tampabay.com – St. Petersburg, FL 6.6.08)

The Rev. Mary Wellemeyer, minister of the UU Church of Manchester, N.H., writes about UU memorial service traditions. (NewHampshire.com – Manchester, NH 6.2.08)

Women’s issues

Invoking Unitarian Universalism’s long history of ordaining women, the Rev. Carole Yorke speaks out in a letter against a recent Vatican warning about female priests. (TCPalm – West Palm Beach, FL 6.5.08)

The UU Church of Tampa, Fla., is screening locally filmed movie The Abortion Story. (Tampabay.com – St. Petersburg, FL 6.5.08 )

Diversity of homes

Members of First UU Society of Burlington, Vt., opened diverse homes for a fundraising house tour in May. (BurlingtonFreePress.com – Burlington,VT 5.31.08)

A tent city for Olympia’s homeless moves from the Olympia UU Congregation to another church’s downtown property. (The Olympian – Olympia, WA 6.4.08)

See also: Washington church hosts tent city (uuworld.org – 2.23.07)

This week’s “UUs in the Media” blog was written by UU World intern Rosalie Davis.

UUs comment on marriage equality, and more

UUs and same-sex marriage
The Rev. Chris Schriner, minister of Mission Peak UU Congregation in California, writes about the ongoing fight for marriage equality. (The Argus – Fremont, CA 5.24.08)

The Rev. Colleen McDonald of the UU Church in Rockford, Ill., is quoted in this story about California’s recent decision to allow same-sex marriage—and why Illinois isn’t likely to follow in its footsteps anytime soon. (Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL 5.16.08)

The UU Church of Reno, Nev., voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting marriage equality. (KRNV – Reno, NV 5.23.08)

Also in the media:

As a prisoner received a lethal injection, members of the Harrisonburg, Va., UU Church held a candlelight vigil outside in protest. (Harrisonburg Daily News Record – VA 5.28.08)

The Rev. Laurie Thomas, interim minister at the Unitarian Fellowship Church of London, Ontario, talks about the experience of being a minister as a person with a disability. (Londoner – ON, Canada 5.28.08)

The UU Society of Bangor, Maine, has called the Rev. Mary Rebecca Gunn as its new minister. (Bangor Daily News – Bangor, ME 5.24.08)

The UU Congregation of Rock Valley in Rockton, Ill., is preparing to buy the former school building it has leased for three years. (Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL 5.28.08)

A UU religious education teacher is interviewed and the UU faith is discussed in this article about a Scouting For All protest at the national Boy Scouts of America conference. (Gay and Lesbian Times – San Diego, CA 5.29.08)

The UU Congregation of Danbury, Ct., continues to catch the media’s attention for its recent decision to join the New Sanctuary Movement. (Lower Hudson Journal news – West Harrison, NY 5.28.08)

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profiles UU “evolutionary evangelists” the Rev. Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette – Pittsburgh, PA 5.27.08)

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

The Philadelphia Inquirer profiles the UU Church in Cherry Hill, N.J. (Philadelphia Inquirer – Philadelphia, PA 5.25.08)

The UU Fellowship of Marion County, Fla., is holding a dedication service for its new building. (Villages Daily Sun – The Villages, FL 5.24.08)

A town clock, formerly located in the tower of the Unitarian Church on Nantucket Island, Mass., marks its 127th year. (Nantucket Independent – MA 5.28.08)

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