Media roundup: Marking the Sandy Hook anniversary with prayerful vigils

Media roundup: Marking the Sandy Hook anniversary with prayerful vigils

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden


Members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Susquehanna Valley in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, wanted to do something visible to support gun violence prevention on the anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. They held an interfaith vigil as part of the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, with more than ninety people in attendance. ( The Daily Item– 12.13.15)

People of all races and religions united for the candlelight vigil at the UU Fellowship of San Dieguito in Solana Beach, California, to mark the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Steve Bartram heads the congregation’s gun violence prevention group and helped lead prayers at the vigil. ( Del Mar Times– 12.15.15)

UUs continue to show support for Muslim community

More than 100 people turned out for a peace and love rally organized by Shawnee Mission UU Church of Lenexa, Kansas, to show their support for Muslims in their community. Drivers passing the interfaith gathering along the street honked supportively and held peace signs out of their car windows. (– 12.12.15)

In addition to signing an open letter from Philadelphia-area UU clergy condemning the recent spate of anti-Muslim rhetoric, members of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Germantown, Pennsylvania, added words of support for their Muslim neighbors to the sign outside of their church building. ( Chestnut Hill Local– 12.16.15)

More coverage:

“Muslims, Christians, Unitarians rally for peace, understanding” (– 12.12.15)

“Richmond Muslim leaders to meet with FBI” ( NBC 12– 12.12.15)

UU activists in the spotlight

Kathy Kozachenko, a member of Allegheny UU Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, acknowledges that she, and not Harvey Milk, was the first openly gay person elected to public office in the United States. Although her identity as a lesbian was noted in the press after she was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council, the milestone remains unrecognized in the official annals of LGBTQ history. (– 12.11.15)

Human rights lawyer Rachel Gore Freed is profiled as she takes the position of vice president and chief program officer at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She notes the role the UUSC has recently played in helping Syrian refugees, and says the United States should do more to address the crisis. ( The Patriot Ledger– 12.11.15)

You won't see blog posts for the next two weeks, as I gather my boughs of holly and deck the halls, then ring in the new year. I hope your winter holidays are festive and bright!