Media roundup: Congregation’s sanctuary vote causes conflict with renters

Media roundup: Congregation’s sanctuary vote causes conflict with renters

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

Rachel Walden


After the Unitarian Universalist Church in Boulder, Colorado, voted to become a sanctuary for immigrants under threat of deportation, a preschool run from the church closed down operations because concerned parents removed their children. "We wish them all the best in their other location," the congregation’s minister, the Rev. Kelly Dignan said. "Our congregation will continue to offer big, courageous love in a world that would have us feel paralyzed by fear." ( Daily Camera – 11.10.17)

More coverage:

“Preschool to shut doors after Colorado church becomes illegal immigrant ‘sanctuary’” ( Washington Times – 11.13.17)

“Preschool Announces Closure After Church’s Sanctuary Vote” ( CBS Denver – 11.13.17)

Dispute over film continues through letters to the editor

When the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts, showed a documentary film criticizing Israel, community members protested the film as anti-Semitic. After the screening was over, individuals continued the debate via opinion pieces in local news outlets. One letter connected the dispute to a larger pattern of the deteriorating state of American discourse today, and commended the church and its minister, the Rev. Wendy von Courter, for standing by their decision despite the outcry. ( Gloucester Times– 11.16.17)

Another letter written about the screening denounced the film, entitled The Occupation of the American Mind, for showing a one-sided view of Israel and promoting false facts. The author, a resident of nearby Swampscott, Massachusetts, asserted that if the church truly wanted to have an honest discussion about Israel, they could invite many local groups with expertise on the issue instead of showing the film. ( Salem News – 11.12.17)

Several additional letters to the editor were also published:

“Letter: Church stood up to bullying” ( Gloucester Times – 11.12.17)

“Letter: Misplaced criticism of UU church” ( Salem News – 11.15.17)

“Letter: Showing film required courage” ( Gloucester Times – 11.14.17)

“Column: Defending a tolerant religious community” ( Salem News – 11.6.17)