Media roundup: Church connection saves woman's life

Media roundup: Church connection saves woman's life

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

Rachel Walden

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When Bob Ferris stepped up during the cares and celebrations time in worship at North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Danvers, Massachusetts, he wasn’t sure that anyone could help him. But he needed to share the devastating news anyway that his wife’s second chance at a kidney transplant had fallen through. Eric Swanson was in the sanctuary that morning and heard their story. He decided that he would donate his kidney to Cheryl Ferris, who has now fully recovered from the successful transplant surgery. Swanson said of his decision, “I’d have done it sooner if someone had asked. Someone in our own church needed a kidney. That doesn’t seem like a very difficult decision.” ( Danvers Herald – 1.16.18)

Art and storytelling to witness injustice of solitary confinement

This month the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, New York, is displaying a special exhibit in its gallery. “Photo Requests From Solitary” is a way to educate the public and mobilize support for a state law limiting the use of solitary confinement. The exhibit began in Illinois eight years ago and includes copies of images requested by prisoners in solitary confinement in Illinois, New York, and California. ( The Island Now – 1.16.18)

More coverage:

“Photos for prisoners in solitary confinement on exhibit” ( Newsday – 1.15.17)

Welcoming LGBTQ people spurs growth

Recent research released by academics from Leeds and York universities in the United Kingdom finds that churches there have experienced growth because of their welcome of LGBTQ people. Unitarian churches in particular stand out in the findings, with 44 percent of their churches celebrating same-sex unions, the highest of any denomination. Derek McAuley, chief officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, said of the trend, “We have seen people join and become active in several local congregations as a direct result of our welcoming stance on same-sex marriage.” (The Telegraph  – 1.13.18)

More coverage:

“Churches that welcome gay couples see congregations grow” (PinkNews  – 1.15.18)

“Churches' attendance could benefit from LGBT weddings, study suggests” (Christian Daily  – 1.16.18)

UU killed picking up highway litter

Bob Ozretich, 70, died last week while picking up trash along a highway in Oregon. He was with a group from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, where he was an active member. He had organized volunteers to pick up trash along the stretch of road several times a year, but this time an impaired driver struck Ozretich and another member of the group, Allan Deutsch. Deutsch was seriously injured and remains hospitalized at the time of this reporting. ( Corvallis Gazette-Times – 1.17.18)

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