Media roundup: Supporting diverse communities and celebrating winter holidays

Media roundup: Supporting diverse communities and celebrating winter holidays

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

Rachel Walden

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When a member of Magic Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Twin Falls, Idaho, told her congregation about an opportunity to help a newly arriving refugee family, the entire congregation wanted to get involved. Thanks to their effors, the Makelele family, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, settled into their new home--furnished and decorated for Christmas--early last week. ( MagicValley.com – 12.21.16)

The town of Rutland, Vermont, is preparing to welcome refugee families from Syria and Iraq. Among the preparations they’ve made is forming a Rutland Welcomes group to inform the public and help organize activities. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Rutland is also holding free weekly Arabic classes for community members. ( WBUR.org – 12.21.16)

More coverage:

"In Vermont, A New Resettlement Community Prepares For The Arrival Of Refugees" ( MainPublic.org – 12.21.16)

"Rutland teacher launches Arabic language classes before refugees arrive" ( MyNBC5.com – 12.15.16)

Towns in Pennsylvania are displaying new yard signs after the election. The signs are made by different groups and display different messages, but they are all intended to share words of welcome in the state. Olivia Harper of State College displays a Standing on the Side of Love sign to show that her community is a safe and welcoming place. (WPSU.org  – 12.21.16)

Diverse UU holiday traditions in the spotlight

First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland, Maine, has been performing their Pageant of the Nativity for 90 years in a row. Community members come together to put on the show year after year; they see it as a unique Portland tradition that expresses a symbolic spirit of good will. ( Portland Press Herald – 12.18.16)

The Frederick, Maryland, chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans marked the winter solstice with a special Yule Ritual Service. CUUPs member Lora Powell-Haney said the service marks a time “to pull back into your power, rebuild and restore in preparation.” It’s also an opportunity for the community to learn more about the Pagan origins of many Christian holiday traditions. ( Frederick News-Post – 12.16.16)

More coverage:

“Pagan order celebrates Yule in Shreveport” ( Shreveport Times – 12.19.16)

I won't blog about UU news next week, friends. Instead, I'll drive a car heavy with toys and sticky snacks from loving home to loving home until I can't take it anymore and it's 2017 anyway. See you in the New Year!

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