Media roundup: Illinois congregation faces difficult decision about Black Lives Matter banner

Media roundup: Illinois congregation faces difficult decision about Black Lives Matter banner

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

Rachel Walden


Since the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford, Illinois first put up their Black Lives Matter banner four years ago, it’s come down and been put back up several times.

But when the congregation’s minister, the Rev. Matthew Johnson, planned to host a vigil for two police officers that recently died on church property, he struggled to decide whether to leave the banner up. He shared his concerns in an open letter to the community: “If I take down the banner, will the people who mistakenly believe that ‘Blue Lives Matter’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ are in conflict now be willing to hear me and others teach them otherwise? If I take it down, will years and years spent building trust with leaders of color disappear? If I leave it up, do I close forever a door that’s open to change?” ( 23 WIFR– 1.4.17)

Massachusetts Congregation Struggles to Recover from Winter Storm Flooding

Fish were seen swimming in the crawl space below the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a few hours after historic high tides caused by a winter storm that struck New England hard last week. Assessing the damage afterward, the congregation’s minister, the Rev. Kate Wilkinson noted that rugs, computer equipment, and electrical equipment were destroyed. ( Cape Cod Times– 1.9.17)

Navigating Life after Deportation

After her husband Jesus was deported to Mexico, Katerina and her two children followed him to that country and are trying to settle into a new life in San Miguel de Allende. They are struggling to find work and care for their children in their new home, but Katerina has begun working with community groups to help other families who are experiencing deportation on the Trump Administration. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in San Miguel de Allende is also trying to help newly arriving families through a partnership that provides funds to support deported Mexicans. ( WUNC– 1.11.17)

Brooklyn UU Launches Play about Muslim Women’s Online Beauty Rituals

Sarah Badiyah Sakaan of Brooklyn, New York will launch a play that juxtaposes Muslim women’s online beauty rituals with the religious rituals they enact as part of their daily lives. Sakaan, who is of Syrian heritage, was inspired to write the play, in part, by her experiences growing up in a mixed Muslim and Unitarian Universalist household in the Bible Belt. ( Brooklyn Paper– 1.9.17)


Updated 5/23/18: Earlier versions of this article, including a summary in the Summer 2018 print edition, misattributed a story to the Boston Globe.