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Woman brings gun to church

Brief congregational news items from the Fall 2010 issue.
By Jane Greer
Fall 2010 9.1.10

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Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church West in Brookfield, Wisc., were alarmed when a woman wearing a holster with a hand gun in it joined them for worship on July 4. According to WISN-12 News, the woman was arrested as she drove away for transporting a loaded weapon. Caryl Sewell, church president, told WISN that the church isn’t opposed to Wisconsin’s “open carry” law, but added, “A church is a safe haven. You don’t bring guns into the sanctuary.” (7/8/10)

Church merger

The First Parish in Malden, Mass., and the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Saugus, Mass., voted to consolidate their congregations on April 25. Both congregations had been holding services together at the Malden church for the past two years. The new combined church now has more than 70 members and will keep the Malden church’s name. The Rev. David M. Horst, minister of the Malden congregation, will serve the combined church.

Oil spill responses

Several UU congregations have held services in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Bellville, Ohio, held a vigil on June 8 marking the 50th day of the oil spill.

On the same day, members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita, Kans., joined a national vigil organized by MoveOn.org to show support for Gulf Coast residents and to encourage the use of clean energy.

Members of the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in Racine, Wisc., participated in the international “Join Hands Across the Sand” action on June 26, holding hands with other citizens at area beaches to protest offshore drilling and to support policies promoting renewable energy sources.

The Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield, Mass., joined with other members of the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts to hold a “Service for Healing Our Earth” on June 29 at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Spring­field. The church bell was rung 71 times marking the 71 days of the oil spill.

Residential service program

The Unitarian Universalist Con­gregation of Queens in Flushing, N.Y., has announced the start of a new program in which six UUs will be invited to reside in the church’s renovated parish house while they do a year of social justice work. The UU volunteers will live communally and engage in theological reflection about the work they’re doing. Ac­cording to a press release issued by the congregation, the church is hoping the program “will serve as a model for the future of our movment.”

Anniversaries

The 650-member River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Md., celebarated its 50th anniversary on November 7, 2009, with a special service featuring all but one of the ministers who served the church since its founding in 1959.

The 52-member Unitarian Uni­versalist Con­gregation of Jamestown, N.Y., marked its 125th anniversary on May 16, with a special service and program dedicated to the church’s founder, Dr. James G. Townsend. The Rev. Chris Raible, minister emeritus, delivered the sermon and after that led a procession to the Lakeview Cemetery where a new memorial bench inscribed with one of Townsend’s quotes was dedicated.


For more news about congregations, from local and national sources, visit UU World’s weekly blog, “Unitarian Universalists in the Media.”

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