With the Channing monument in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from left: the Rev. Helen Cohen, the Rev. Rosemarie Smurzynski, the Rev. Stephanie May, and the Rev. Mark Harris (Courtesy Mark Harris).
This summer, the Friends of Mt. Auburn Cemetery achieved its goal of raising more than $7,500 to provide half of the money needed to restore and conserve a monument to William Ellery Channing. The UU History and Heritage Society provided the other half, raising $8,450—$5,391 of it on Faithify. Conservation is expected to be completed in October, the month in which Channing died in 1842.
First Parish in Bedford, Massachusetts, recently became the second Unitarian Universalist congregation in the country to be aim certified. Aim (Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry) is a joint program of the UUA and EqUUal Access, an organization whose mission is to enable the full engagement of people with disabilities. First Parish member Marie Ryder accepted the award on behalf of the congregation at General Assembly in New Orleans in June.
Unity Temple UU Congregation in Oak Park, Illinois, resumed tours of its historic building, a Frank Lloyd Wright original, after a $23 million renovation. Wright designed the building in 1905 for his congregation and completed construction in 1908. Christina Ruscitti, Unity Temple’s daily operations manager, said in a July 2 Chicago Tribune article, “Everything is back to how it was in 1908.”
The Clergy Project, a stage show from award-winning director Tracey Erin Smith, featuring Canada’s first female rabbi, a gay priest, and a gay minister (the Rev. Shawn Newton of First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto), played at the Toronto Fringe Festival and in New York City in July. In the production, the clergy share personal stories about their ministry and the joys and challenges they have faced.
The UU Congregation at Rock Tavern, New York, hosted an interfaith vigil July 15 to honor sixteen servicemen who died when a refueling aircraft crashed in Mississippi July 10. The Rev. Chris Antal, Rock Tavern’s minister and a staff chaplain in the Department of Veterans Affairs, read the names of the victims, nine of whom were stationed at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, not far from the congregation. In a July 15 article, Antal told the Times Herald-Record that military personnel often feel isolated. “We wanted to show them that they’re not alone in grief,” he said.
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Kenny Wiley is a Denver-based UU World senior editor and program director for congregational engagement at the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. His writing has also appeared in the Boston Globe, the Houston Chronicle, and Skyd Magazine.
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