Unitarian Universalist congregations in the news.
© 2021 Jim Rossow/News-Gazette
In January, the UU Church of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, opened a memorial on its front lawn (above) featuring 102 large, red hearts—one for each local life lost to COVID-19. “We have been in the middle of a catastrophe for nearly a year now, but deaths are often anonymous, and we have been cut off from ways of grieving collectively,” said the Rev. Florence Caplow. (News-Gazette, 1/20/21)
For a COVID-19 memorial outside the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, volunteers are filling glass jars with 1,500 pebbles each—one pebble for every coronavirus victim in the United States. (Advocate, 1/22/21)
‘The lies we have been told to suggest that some groups of people are more worthy of the rights of citizenship than others undermine the moral basis of our common life,” writes UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray in an op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel about the governor’s plans to criminalize protest and make some forms of civil disobedience felonies, as well as his refusal to pardon Desmond Meade, who has fought against the disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated Floridians. (Orlando Sentinel, 9/27/20)
The City of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and First Religious Society UU launched a campaign called “Hate Has No Port Here” to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion—starting with a video featuring civic leaders. (YouTube, 10/29/20; Record Citizen, 11/4/20)
A $100,000 bequest to the UU Congregation of the South Fork in Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York, has been turned into a social services support program that offers community outreach grants. Initial grants are helping the Shinnecock Nation extend Internet access, address food insecurity, and repair homes for members of the tribe. Another grant is addressing higher maternal and infant mortality rates on the island for Black and Indigenous people. (Southampton Press, 11/3/20)
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