A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
In April, members of East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, Washington, had a hate-speech covered sign thrown at them while they were holding Black Lives Matter signs on a local street corner. A few weeks later, the church's Black Lives Matter banner was slashed. Local police are investigating the incidents as possible hate crimes. The roadside vigils were inspired by church member Manuel Brown, who attended the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma march in Alabama and the 2015 Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly where UUs voted to support the Black Lives Matter movement across the country. (Bellevue Reporter – 5.18.16)
“Eastside church targeted in hate crime” (KIRO 7 – 5.18.16)
The Unitarian Society of Hartford, Connecticut, has had its Black Lives Matter signs stolen 13 times since August. Although congregation members witnessed a person taking the signs and driving away, local police were unable to follow up on the lead. The congregation’s co-minister, the Rev. Cathy Rion Starr, said they did not want to press charges, but hoped those who disagree with the church’s stance would join in a dialogue. (FOX 61 – 5.15.16)
Staff from the UUA’s MidAmerica region and local UUs met with local Muslim religious leaders at the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Detroit, Michigan, to show their support for Muslim people and begin a dialogue about anti-Muslim bigotry. Muslim leaders in attendance welcomed the opportunity to join in interfaith solidarity. (The Detroit News – 5.19.16)
The annual Great Paper Airplane Contest held at First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, Ohio, had a good turnout of church members and local area families. The church hosts the event each year, collecting non-perishable food donations for the local food pantry and giving the community a chance to get to know the congregation. (Parkersburg News and Sentinel – 5.16.16)
When the Rev. Carie Johnson led a Blessing of the Animals service in a local park last Sunday, more than thirty people attended from throughout the community, despite poor weather. Johnson blessed many dogs, a tortoise, and a variety of stuffed animals, and shared the Unitarian Universalist belief in the important connections we humans have with all living things. (Kennebec Journal – 5.16.16)
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Rachel Walden is the communications specialist in the UUA Office of Information and Public Witness.
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