A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
A diverse group gathered at a sister church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Thursday in response to Wednesday's massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Los Angeles Times quotes Charleston Unitarian Universalist Steve Simon, who attended the vigil; he said that the turnout showed an outpouring of love and concern for the victims and their families. (Los Angeles Times 6.18.15)
In Georgia, the Rev. Gaye Ortiz of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta participated in an interfaith press conference on church safety and weapon policies, held in response to the shooting in Charleston. Ortiz affirmed that weapons were not a method of security in her congregation and concluded the event with hopeful words. (WJBF.com 6.18.15)
UUA President Peter Morales issued a statement of sympathy and solidarity on Thursday morning (UUA.org).
“North Las Vegas vigil for South Carolina church slayings becomes call to action,” Las Vegas Review-Journal 6.18.15
“Mourning the loss of Charleston shooting victims from afar,” Time Warner Cable News 6.18.15
For Rachel Bohstedt Estes, Wednesday’s shooting brought back memories of being at Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, when Jim David Adkisson killed two and injured seven others during a youth musical performance. Events like Wednesday's leave people feeling confused and raw-which is how she still feels since that day in 2008. (Huffington Post 6.18.15)
Many news outlets drew connections between the Charleston shooting and other recent violent attacks on houses of worship. Tennessee Valley UU Church is on the sad list in each one. One from the Huffington Post offers some background to capture a bit of the story in each location. (Huffington Post 6.18.15)
UUA President Peter Morales and UU Service Committee President William F. Schulz issued a response in support of Pope Francis’s encyclical on global climate change. It was mentioned in a roundup of responses from faith leaders across the state of Iowa. (Lincoln Journal Star 6.18.15)
“Interfaith leaders back Pope Francis’s call for a moral response to climate change,” Fairfax Times 6.15.15
“Pope latest to frame climate change as moral issue; religious leaders see urgency,” The Record 6.16.15
When First Unitarian Church of Louisville, Kentucky, underwent minor renovations to make two of their downstairs bathrooms “all gender restrooms,” some in the congregation were uncomfortable with the decision. This prompted the Rev. Dawn Cooley to preach a sermon about the nature of gender identity and importance of being inclusive. (WDRB.com 6.16.15)
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Rachel Walden is the communications specialist in the UUA Office of Information and Public Witness.
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