Media roundup: Denver church may become state's first gay rights historic landmark

Media roundup: Denver church may become state's first gay rights historic landmark

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

Rachel Walden


The Denver, Colorado, City Council is considering awarding First Unitarian Society of Denver historic landmark status. The Rev. Mike Morran, the congregation's minister, said that pursuing the designation makes sense given the church’s long history of social justice work. Denver city planner Kara Hahn said this could be the first site in Colorado to be recognized for its contribution to the gay rights movement. ( Denver Post– 8.10.16)

More coverage:

“Denver site could get historic recognition for role in LGBT rights movement” (– 8.10.16)

Witnessing for racial justice through local news media

For many months, Unitarian Universalists have replaced Black Lives Matter signs as they’ve repeatedly been stolen or vandalized. When news outlets cover these events, UUs use the opportunity to bear public witness to racism and the role that people of faith can play in creating change. Increasingly, UUs are adding their own voice through opinion pieces. This week I share some particularly good examples, but these stories and op-eds can be found nearly every week of the year.

After their Black Lives Matter banner was stolen in May, members of Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church in New Hampshire voted unanimously to replace it. When the local news inquired why they’d go through such efforts, the Rev. Diana McLean explained that Unitarian Universalist principles are the guiding force behind the decision. ( Monadnock Ledger-Transcript– 8.10.16)

More coverage:

“Why we will restore our ‘Black Lives Matter’ banner” ( Monadnock Ledger-Transcript– 8.8.16)

“Find out why Black Lives Matter...matters” ( Post-Crescent– 8.10.16)

“White Male Revaluation” ( Albany Times Union– 8.11.16)

“Religion Column: Communities should work together, not pull apart in fear” ( Daily Press– 8.12.16)

Pentecostal archive to be housed at Harvard Divinity School

The Andover-Harvard Theological Library at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will acquire a large collection of materials from a period when Bishop Carlton Pearson led a 5,000 member megachurch in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pearson lost his standing in the Pentecostal church, and his religious empire along with it, after experiencing a personal epiphany that led him to embrace a Universalist view of God and eschew eternal damnation. ( Boston Globe– 8.8.16)

In 2009, UU World reported on Pearson’s embrace of Universalism and the religious partnership with the Rev. Marlin Lavanhar at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma that developed: “The gospel of inclusion.”