The bad news is that UU World is hardly immune from the economic downturn affecting magazines, nonprofits, and, well, practically everyone else. We’ve cut our budget to help offset a $2 million drop in projected revenue for the Unitarian Universalist Association in the fiscal year that starts in July, scaling back our presence at the General Assembly and transforming InterConnections (our newsletter for lay leaders) into an online-only periodical. (See “UU News,” page 40.)
The most visible consequence of our smaller budget will be that, after this issue, we will no longer publish uu&me!, the four-page children’s section that has appeared in the center of the magazine since 2004. Sadly, this marks the end of uu&me!’s twelve-year run as the only UU periodical just for children.
Editor Betsy Williams launched uu&me! as a bimonthly children’s magazine in 1997 when she was religious education director for the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the UUA’s “church by mail.” Ever since, Williams and designer Sue Charles have collaborated with authors and artists, ministers and religious educators, and children to produce a magazine that UU kids recognized as just for them. (Parents and other adults enjoyed it, too.)
I thank Williams and her colleagues at the CLF for their vision, creativity, and persistence over the past dozen years. It has been a pleasure to work with them. The stories and activities that have appeared in uu&me! will remain available online at clf.uua.org/uume.
Although we’re saying farewell to uu&me!, we are not abandoning our commitment to provide material for children and their families. The UUA’s Lifespan Faith Development staff is currently planning a new section for families and children, which we hope to introduce soon.
The good news, meanwhile, is that Utne Reader, the magazine that highlights the “best of the alternative press,” has named UU World a finalist for one of its 2009 Utne Independent Press Awards. UU World, a finalist for the first time in the awards’ twenty-year history, is one of eight magazines nominated by Utne Reader’s editors in the Spiritual Coverage category. We’re deeply honored, and thank each of our writers and artists for bringing so much insight to our pages. The winners will be announced in Utne Reader’s July/August issue. See utne.com/uipa2009 for more.
Finally, we’re pleased to introduce a new way to enjoy UU World. We are now providing audio recordings (mp3 files) of the magazine as read by award-winning audiobook actor (and UU) Dick Hill. We’re gearing up to make the recordings available as a podcast, but for now you can find them on the “Current Issue” page at uuworld.org.