Media Roundup: Transgender visibility, mourning a brother, UU perspectives, lighter fare

Media Roundup: Transgender visibility, mourning a brother, UU perspectives, lighter fare

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

Heather Christensen


Transgender visibility

Members of First Parish of Stow and Acton in Stow, Massachusetts, planted 287 transgender pride flags in the front lawn of the church—one for each of the 286 transgender people known to have been killed in 2017, and one representing the unknown murders of transgender people. This fall, Massachusetts voters will weigh in on a ballot measure upholding current transgender protections in public places, and the congregation hopes to build awareness of the discrimination transgender individuals experience. (Acton Patch, 10.22.18)

Mourning a brother

The Rev. John Gibbons, senior minister of First Parish Church in Bedford, Massachusetts, reported that his congregant, Bill Rabinowitz, was mourning the death of his brother, Jerry Rabinowitz, in the Tree of Life Congregation shootings this past weekend. “We must renew our efforts to end senseless hatred, bigotry, and violence,” Gibbons wrote. (Wicked Local, 10.29.18)

UU perspectives

The newly settled minister of the UU Church of Tallahassee, Florida, the Rev. William Levwood, shared his spiritual journey and helped clear up some of the mystery of who Unitarian Universalists are. “If you really want to understand who we are,” Levwood said, “you have to come and spend time with us. We are a supportive, loving religious community, trying to do our best for the world.” (Tallahassee Democrat, 10.26.18)

Three Long Island, New York, clergy were asked, “Is belief in God the same as belief in the afterlife?” The Rev. Valerie Freseman, minister of First Universalist Church of Southold, said, “As a Unitarian Universalist, I root myself in the notion that we are enriched by the possibility of being in communion and mission with atheists, humanists, believers, practitioners of religious traditions, perpetual seekers . . . . We are bound to 'love the hell out of this world,' assisting each other with the alleviation of suffering, rather than worry about the afterlife as punishment or reward.” (Newsday, 10.25.18)

Lighter fare

The Rev. Margie Allen of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook, New York, shared her cooking philosophy (and her recipe for squash rolls). “Whenever people gather for religious services,” she said, “I think the way they interact with each other changes when sharing food. It’s the liberal religion’s version of communion. It’s very informal but everyone knows it’s a way of connecting and recognizing the bounty around us and how good it feels to be partaking in that bounty together.” (Newsday, 10.11.18)