A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.
On the first anniversary of the Parkland school shootings, members of the Unitarian Universalist Area Church of Sherborn, Massachusetts, placed seventeen school desks on the church’s snowy front lawn—one chair for each of the people killed. A message accompanying a Facebook photo of the memorial stated, “In an era of short news cycles, when tragedy of this magnitude gets pushed off the front page by the next disaster or presidential tweet, we resist becoming numb to mass shootings and gun violence.” The congregation’s senior minister, the Rev. Nathan Detering, said, “It’s not okay that my kids this week or next week have to have a school safety drill on an intruder. . . . But that’s the world that we live in. But the world we live in is not the world that we can hope for.” (Boston Globe, 2.14.19)
In a Black History Month profile for Essence magazine, Leslie Mac explained how her activism is rooted in her faith: “I’m a Unitarian Universalist by faith. So I had been doing work around specifically criminal-justice reform and legislative work through my faith in New Jersey for quite a bit of time. And then, of course, Mike Brown was murdered and the Ferguson uprising happened, and that was definitely a moment for me to say, ‘O, I’ve been doing this legislative work, but clearly there’s some grassroots work that I also need to be aware of and supporting.’” (Essence, 2.15.19)
Unitarian Universalists joined protests around the country against the National Emergency declared by Trump in order to build his border wall.
The Rev. Dan Schatz, minister of the Unitarian Congregation of West Chester, Pennsylvania, finished the rally he attended with a prayer and a song he wrote, “Where is my stolen child tonight?” (Daily Local News, 2.18.19)
The Rev. Robin Tanner of Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, New Jersey, said that “There is a real moral crisis in this country. There are 140 million people living in poverty in the United States, and that's a crisis; we should be talking about that." (NorthJersey.com, 2.18.19)
North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, Illinois, recently rented a replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull from Chicago’s Field Museum as part of a congregational emphasis on science, evolution, and environmental stewardship. Joseph Barr, a church member who arranged to bring the skull replica to Deerfield, said that “People 70 were as excited as the 7-year-olds. . . . Everyone was going up to it and taking selfies.” The church’s minister, the Rev. Lucas Hergert, said the replica helps him talk about taking care of the environment. “The way we treat the world is important for our children’s future,” he said. (Chicago Tribune, 2.12.19)
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The Rev. Heather Christensen wrote The Interdependent Web, UU World's weekly guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs, from 2011 until 2020. She lives with her two young children in Bellingham, Washington.