A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
Jaz Brisack, a member of the UU Congregation of Oxford, Mississippi, was named a Rhodes Scholar, the first woman from the University of Mississippi to earn the honor. Asked how she felt to be the university’s first female Rhodes Scholar, Brisack said, “I’m honored to get to be a role model for other Mississippi girls looking for ways to make their voices heard in a state still very much dominated by patriarchal structures. Given that our state amplifies the voices of white supremacist women like Cindy Hyde-Smith who reinforce and uphold misogynist policies, I’m glad to be able to provide a very different example of how an empowered Southern woman acts.” (Oxford Eagle, 11.23.18)
Carol Stowell, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, Pennsylvania, and the Rev. David Usher, a retired UU minister, were among the volunteers who answered the call to help asylum seekers at the Mexican border. "These aren't dangerous people," Stowell said. "They’re desperate people. They're fathers and mothers with young children. They’re not criminals, just people in very dangerous situations trying to seek safety." (York Dispatch, 11.23.18)
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Meriden, Connecticut, voted to become a sanctuary congregation—and shortly after that learned that their hospitality was needed by Sujitno Sajuti, an immigrant from Indonesia. Nancy Burton, one of the church members who led the congregation through the decision-making process, said, “[We] jumped into the water and we looked for the life preservers later.” (Connecticut Magazine, 11.23.18)
Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ashland, Oregon, allows people to camp in their cars in the parking area behind the church. The fellowship has asked the city to make their program city-wide, and to change the municipal code, which currently prohibits car camping in parking lots. Linden Crouch, a member of the congregation’s Social Justice and Action Committee, said, “A number of people who stay with us have jobs and they look at this as an opportunity to collect enough money for a rental. . . . First, last, and a deposit can be a lot of money for people who have limited income, so this is a chance for them to save up.” (Mail Tribune, 11.23.18)
When a driver crashed into the Unitarian Universalist Church of Victoria, British Columbia, the congregation found a temporary home in the Islamic Center of Victoria. Five months later, repairs have been completed, and the congregation returned to its own building. Manuel Zamora, president of the church’s board, said, “We are truly grateful to the Islamic Center, but it’s like being separated from your home. . . . It just feels wonderful to be back.” (Victoria Advocate, 11.25.18)
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The Rev. Heather Christensen writes “The Interdependent Web,” UU World’s weekly guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs. She lives with her partner Liesl and their two young children in Bellingham, Washington.
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