Media roundup: Unitarian minister, partner attacked outside their London home

Media roundup: Unitarian minister, partner attacked outside their London home

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

Rachel Walden


Julian Smith, minister of a Unitarian chapel in the Brixton area of London in the United Kingdom was walking home with his partner when a group of young men harassed and eventually attacked the couple. His partner, Andrew Leonard, is chairman of the chapel’s trustees and the couple run a pro-bono legal center out of the chapel. Before being violently assaulted, they said that the attackers yelled homophobic slurs at them. (PinkNews – 8.4.17)

Gay couple attacked ‘for wearing brightly coloured shoes’ (The Times – 8.4.17)

UU churches celebrated for beauty, design

The TAWANI Foundation recently made a $1 million gift and a $1 million challenge grant in support of the comprehensive restoration of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oak Park, Illinois. Unity Temple’s restoration was launched with a $10 million grant from the Alphawood Foundation in 2013. The congregation has contributed more than $1.75 million to the project. Designed by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Unity Temple is widely regarded as an architectural masterpiece. ( Chicago Tribune– 8.2.17)

On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the Janet M. Wilson Memorial Chapel in Ocean Point, Maine, is honored for its structural beauty and proud history as first a Unitarian congregation and now a nondenominational symbol of peace and goodwill. Founded by Unitarian minister Lewis G. Wilson and named for his late wife, Janet, the chapel eventually came under ownership of the American Unitarian Association until a group of Ocean Point residents raised funds to purchase the property. The Chapel’s anniversary celebration will be held in honor of all those who have served the Chapel’s mission. ( Boothbay Register– 8.3.17)

UUs speak out against hate in their community

After two flyers containing swastikas and white supremacy messages were found in Idaho Falls, Idaho, local clergy organized a rally against hate in their community. Although the flyers themselves are not illegal, the interfaith group wanted to share a message that words can hurt, but words can also heal. “We will not stand for it in our community,” said the Rev. Lyn Stangland Cameron, of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Idaho Falls. (– 7.31.17)

More coverage:

“Clergy, residents rally against hate” ( Post Register– 8.1.17)