A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
Time Magazine's collective "Person of the Year" includes the colleagues of journalist and Unitarian Universalist Wendi Winters, who was among those killed last year when a gunman broke into the Capital Gazette's offices. The paper's editor, Rick Hutzell, said, "I almost thought that the five [slain employees] should be on the cover—that they’re the people of the year. . . . Sure, we’ve continued to do our work. They would have done the same.” (Baltimore Sun, 12.11.18)
In Washington State, members of the Lummi Nation, with support from Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship and other religious groups, have demanded the return of their spiritual relative, an orca who has lived in the Miami Seaquarium since she was captured in 1970. Named Tokitae by the Lummi, the Seaquarium calls her Lolita. Tribal children were once forced to attend boarding schools, and “Tokitae is seen as a modern-day ‘child’ undergoing the same exile that Indian children once did, and to this day, her removal from Puget Sound is referred to as an ‘abduction.’” (Religion News Service, 12.10.18)
After learning that the Social Security Number she purchased had been stolen, and that the ID theft victim had almost lost her government benefits, Ingrid Encalada launched an initiative to convince other immigrants not to steal identities. Encalada has lived in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, Colorado, for the past year to escape deportation. (CBS Denver, 12.10.18)
First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island, held its 31st annual Global Write-A-Thon for Human Rights. Writing on behalf of ten people jailed for speaking out about human rights, those who participated hoped that the sheer number of letters would make a difference. Holly Dobbs, who attends First Unitarian, said, “It makes me feel like I have some agency. . . . Otherwise I feel kind of helpless, hopeless, and distressed by the news. Taking an action helps me to feel more empowered.” (Providence Journal, 12.9.18)
At a community forum in Marin County, California, those gathered overwhelmingly opposed the county sheriff's cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Rev. Theresa Novak, an affiliated minister with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin, was one of dozens who spoke: “We must stop cooperating with ICE. . . . We must stop publishing those damn release dates. We must provide a sanctuary here for all who are vulnerable.” (Marin Independent Journal, 12.7.18)
Leaders of Wyoming’s legislature voted to strip antidiscrimination protections from its policies for legislators and staff. Among those who testified against the changes was the Rev. Hannah Roberts Villnave of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne, said that, as a minister, she would fight any infringement on people's religious rights, but she argued that no one's religious freedom includes the right to harass her or her family when they engage in the state's governing process. (Gillette News Record, 12.6.18)
The UU Church of the Palouse in Moscow, Idaho, and the Moscow Public Library have joined forces to “Chase the Chill,” providing warm winter clothing to anyone who needs it. Ginger Allen, the church’s director of family ministries, explained that, “It’s a project where people can [donate] new, gently used, or handmade items. . . . We will place them out in the community for people in need to take them for free.” (The Daily Evergreen, 12.10.18)
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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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