A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources
After initially encouraging conversations, the city of Lenexa, Kansas, denied the request of Shawnee Mission UU Church to serve as a winter shelter for the city’s homeless residents. In response, the congregation has filed suit against the city, claiming infringement of its First Amendment right of freedom of religion. Daniel Dalton, an attorney representing the church, argued that Lenexa’s denial of the request is a “substantial burden to its sincerely held religious beliefs.” (Kansas City Star, November 26)
The Kansas City Star’s editorial board spoke directly to Lenexa’s leaders: “You seem to be telling church members that they can pray about and talk about their most deeply held beliefs. They can think about them, sing about them and express them through interpretive dance. But they mustn’t actually do anything about them. . . . Johnson County is going to have to be forced to acknowledge that religious freedom means more than allowing orthodox Christian bakers to refuse to create an edible work of art for a same-sex wedding. (Kansas City Star, November 27)
The UU Church of Davis, California, helped organize a rally to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the Dreamers it protects. UU Alexandra Lee-Jobe said of the Dreamers that they “give a voice to the families that come to this country for their children. . . . Many of them came as young children, and their parents just wanted them to have a better future.” (California Aggie, November 30)
Participating in an interfaith Thanksgiving service in Newark, Delaware, the Rev. Gregory Pelley told the story of showing his young daughter the night sky in a place without light pollution. Remembering their shared awe, Pelley invited those gathered to “recommit to our vigil here at the gates of hope to welcome the stranger until they are kin and to hear in each other's stories the possibility of the world we dream of. . . . Because somewhere tonight in this world, a father and a daughter are looking up at the stars in wonder and awe, gobsmacked that they find themselves basking in the oneness of love. Therein lies our future.” (Newark Post, November 27)
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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.
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