A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
College students at State University of New York at Plattsburgh joined with local community groups and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Plattsburgh for a potluck dinner to connect across differences and celebrate diversity. Kathy Sajor, president of Plattsburgh Cares and a member of the UU Fellowship, said the event was launched in response to unrest on campus. “We went from this group of women, just wanting to help, to this huge coalition of activist groups, individuals, and the interfaith community working together to make this happen,” she said. (Cardinal Points - 5.11.18)
Poet and social justice activist Christopher Sims facilitated the public event at Marblehead Unitarian Universalist Church in Massachusetts recently when it hung its first Black Lives Matter banner. He warned the crowd that it was possible that the banner would be removed or vandalized and that members shouldn’t be “discouraged if that happens, that only means you’re doing something blessed and worthy.” (Marblehead Reporter - 5.10.18)
Members of the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, New York, have come together to write letters seeking justice for Eric Garner’s death at the hands of New York police in 2014. The congregation decided to speak out in support of Garner, a father of six who was initially approached by police for allegedly selling loose cigarettes, when it came to light that prosecutors in the Department of Justice’s civil rights division recommended charges against police officer Daniel Pantaleo. (Spectrum News NY1 - 5.9.18)
A news story arguing for the value of being welcoming to LGBTQ people as a way to grow church membership notes that All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been at the forefront of LGBTQ inclusion in the state for decades. Several landmark equality groups in the city grew out of the congregation. Its minister, the Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, observed, “Here in the Bible Belt our role as a strong public advocate for LGBT issues and as a place for the spiritual care and growth of LGBT people and their friends and families has been an oasis in a sea of conservative religion.” (The Advocate - 5.7.18)
A profile of 10-year-old Levi Draheim of Satellite Beach, Florida, notes his work with Our Children’s Trust, an organization that promotes advocacy in politics for youth. He is also leading a lawsuit, along with several other youth, against the government for violating the children’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness through the harm they allege has been caused to public trust resources like beaches and marine life. He and his mother, Leigh-Ann Draheim, are members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brevard in West Melbourne, Florida. (Hometown News - 5.10.18)
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Rachel Walden is the communications specialist in the UUA Office of Information and Public Witness.
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