A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, Texas, has partnered with a local immigrant legal services organization and an interfaith group to provide sanctuary for refugees fleeing violence in Central America. Church member Mary Grace Ketner clarifies that these families are asylum-seekers. “They are asking for America’s help,” she said. (Latina Lista – 2.23.16)
To highlight the absurdity of a new state rule issuing child care licenses to immigration family detention centers in Texas, activists set up a “pop-up child care facility” at the Capitol in Austin. They asked passing parents if they would leave their children to receive care in the facility. The Rev. Chuck Freeman of the Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry affirmed, “We all know we wouldn’t want our children [in a detention facility].” (Austin American-Statesman – 2.22.16)
A young Bangladeshi man sought asylum in the United States after being threatened by Islamic extremists for making public statements about all religions working together for peace. When he arrived in this country, he found a spiritual home at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. The church’s minister, the Rev. Phillip Baber, estimates that members have contributed about $5,000 to support the man, who now identifies as agnostic, and his wife who has chosen to remain Muslim. (The Florida Times-Union – 2.20.16)
When Lynn McDonald heard that girls in developing countries are sidelined in their education because they do not have sanitary napkins, her Unitarian Universalist values called her to act. A member of the UU Congregation of Glen Falls in Queensbury, New York, McDonald saw a flyer for the MoonCatcher Project on a church bulletin board, got in touch with the founder, and eventually took 80 sanitary kits to girls in Uganda. (The Post-Star – 2.24.16)
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, advertised its public discussion of systemic racism on a sign hanging below the Black Lives Matter sign on their property. In the days leading up to the discussion, the Black Lives Matter portion of the display was stolen for a second time in as many weeks. For church members, the theft only reinforces the importance of talking about racism. (CBS Philly – 2.24.16)
More than 100 people attended the UU Church of Cherry Hill’s discussion on systemic racism. Panelists included local political leaders, police officers, and community and religious leaders. Visibility of the event was increased by the recent theft of the congregation’s Black Lives Matter sign. (Courier-Post – 2.26.16)
Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation recently reinstalled a Black Lives Matter banner on the church’s property in Prescott, Arizona. The congregation had taken it down to carry it in a Martin Luther King Day peace and justice march. Members feel that displaying the sign is an act of faith based on their belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. (The Daily Courier - 2.20.16)
“Official responds to 'cowards' who stole Black Lives Matter banner” (Philly Voice – 2.23.16)
“Churches across America are having their Black Lives Matter banners defaced” (Fusion – 2.22.16)
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Rachel Walden is the communications specialist in the UUA Office of Information and Public Witness.
Media Roundup: UUs support education, advocate for prison reform, provide sanctuary
Media Roundup: Unitarian Universalists grieve with their Muslim neighbors
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