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Yesterday — 2 July 2022Unitarian Universalist

Newbie questions

Hi folks! I grew up "Jew...ish" if that makes sense, but consider myself atheist. I've recently moved to a rural area in the belly button of the Bible belt, and am looking for a community for my family to join that is focused on community works, kindness, equality, etc. There's a UU congregation right down the road that I'm interested in trying out tomorrow. My research tells me that it's very inclusive and along the lines of what I'm looking for. So I guess the question is, what should I expect at my first visit? What's the dress code? I have a 5 year old that I'd like to bring, is that OK? It looks like they have kids "services" but I'm not sure if I should keep him with me at first. I'm definitely a bit anxious about going, since "church" is not something I'm used to at all. Any help is appreciated!

submitted by /u/TheWhiskeySour
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Starting a Covenanting Community / UU Service in a Rural Community

Hello! I was raised UU and have been living in a fairly religiously conservative rural location. My partner and I moved around a lot for several years before settling into our current location. Lately, I've been feeling drawn to developing a UU-based community / service in our rural area. I reached out to UUA and they had encouraged us to reach out to our Regional Representative and/or consider starting a Covenanting Community. I did this and they encouraged us to participate in our nearest fellowships virtually. There are well established UU Fellowships within 100 miles in two directions, but the travel on a Sunday is too much for our family. We are also craving human connection (in lieu of virtual services). I'd like to have services here, but we don't have space to host in our small house. Any thoughts about how to bring people together? I don't use Facebook, but had been thinking of posting a newspaper ad. Thoughts?

submitted by /u/transcendentaltrope
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Before yesterdayUnitarian Universalist

Transcending political partisanism in UUism … or at least in my church.

30 June 2022 at 14:18

I am becoming less and less comfortable with the overt political partisanism I see in my church (and am supposing that my church is not an outlier here).

Just one example: I found the overturning of Roe shocking and tragic. I have always whole-heartedly supported a woman’s right to choose and find this new ultra-conservative attack on woman’s autonomy scarily regressive.

However, just because I (as well as many other people in our congregation) feel this way, doesn’t mean that I want our minister to make a public statement condemning this decision (I.e. taking an explicitly partisan stand). I don’t want a minister that says: “We need to yell louder.” I don’t want a minister that essentially declares our congregation a safe space for any person who wants an abortion. I don’t want my minister to simple echo whatever the political consensus of the congregation is (or seems to be).

Why? Well, I believe that first and foremost, churches should be models of ideal communities. And ideal communities should (in my view) be open to the “other” — to people who don’t necessarily think exactly like us and yet still agree with all our principles. It is perfectly possible to be pro-life and see oneself as living according to our principles. It is perfectly possible to want stricter immigration policy and still see oneself living according to our principles. It is perfectly possible to ask questions about various controversies swirling around transgenderism and still see oneself living according to our principles.

Our minister likes to go on about how our church is a sacred space. I am an atheist, so I definitely grin and bear it. But I was quite spiritual for a long time and have a sense of what a sacred space is. To me, a sacred space is a space that stands apart from and against the world and the failings thereof. It is a space in which to be our best selves along with other people who are trying to be their best selves.

However our minister openly suggest that our sacred space needs to be a political space. She actively promotes the use of sacred language as a political weapon. In fact, the sermon we heard last week was all about wielding sacred language to make political change. Is the answer to the Right‘s politicization of conservative Christianity to go ahead and build a politically left religion? Do two wrongs make a right? I don’t think so.

I feel so despairing about politics in this country, but don’t believe the “both sides“ thing. Sure, the left has its issues, but fortunately they have not gone off the deep end in the unbridled pursuit of power for power’s sake. I would love more than anything else for us to regain political sameness and balance. I don’t know how that can happen at the moment. But I sure as hell know it’s not going to happen by having UU’s wrap themselves in a ball of anger and yell louder.

If any change is going to come, it going to take many years of concerted strategic political effort. I suppose this could happen in UU congregations (just as Black churches were instrumental in the Civil Rights movement). But I don’t see any of this happening. I just see a lot of rage, political othering and using leftish politics as a church brand-building exercise, as a form of collective identity construction.

So, in short, I’d like to see one of two things either:

  1. Having our “sacred space,” be informed by a broad, generous interpretation of our principles and hence be de-politicized.
  2. Fully commit to one issue and actually make change (which would involve analysis, having a plan, organization, etc.) and not merely yelling, whining, getting upset then trying to calm ourselves, building a collective identity as “justice seekers,” etc., etc.,

One or the other.

Im curious to know what others think about this?

submitted by /u/Greater_Ani
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Question about when a UU minister leaves their church

22 June 2022 at 13:33

So I was raised in a UU church, but this is the first time our minister has willingly stopped being our minister. (Our first minister was caught in a compromising situation with a married member of the church).

So our church has been making announcements for months that our minister was moving on, lots of plans for the goodbye event, when suddenly we get an email.

Basically the email says that normally the departing minister leaves the town he was living in to go minister elsewhere, but our minister isn't moving, he's decided to continue living here.

That means, according to the email, that we have to stop interacting with him, stop being his friend, because if we continue to talk to him and bring our religious problems to him, then the new minister, who ever that might be, will never feel fully welcome and feel like they're the minister of the congregation.

Our departing minister has been with us for about 20 years, so how do we as a congregation just stop being friends with him?

Is this normal for UU churches?

submitted by /u/ArcherofFire
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Is there a theme for this year’s GA?

21 June 2022 at 15:10

Just wondering if there is an over-arching theme for the upcoming GA. I looked on the UUA website and other places on line and see lots of information about registration and logistics, but nothing about the content of the meeting itself. Is it just going to be about everything UU? Or something even slightly more specific?

submitted by /u/Greater_Ani
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Movie Quotes about Unitarians

In the fairly delightful movie "Paulie Go!" The main characters ask a woman on the shore of a Minnesota lake about who lives in a certain cabin. The woman says, "A couple bought it last year. They're Unitarians." "What does that mean," asks one of the main characters. His companion answers, "It means they hug too much in church."😂

Any other good movie quotes about Unitarians come to mind?

submitted by /u/So-I-Had-This-Idea
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3 Reasons Why Juneteenth is the United States’ True Independence Day

https://www.uusc.org/three-reasons-why-juneteenth-is-the-united-states-true-independence-day/

By Mike Givens on June 16, 2022

June 19, 1865, was a watershed moment for Black Americans living in the American South. That was the day Union soldiers landed in Texas to inform Black men, women, and children that slavery had been abolished two years prior by 1863’s Emancipation Proclamation, signed by then President Abraham Lincoln. These people—who’d seen generation after generation of rape, murder, abuse, torture, dehumanization, and cultural decimation—were finally free to live independently and free from the shackles of an oppressive and racist system that benefited off of their labor.

The road ahead would be long and filled with adversity as former slaves and their offspring would be subjected to water hoses, literacy tests, lynchings, segregated restrooms, miscegenation laws, mass migration, and countless protests and demands for justice. The cultural genocide encapsulated in anti-Black racism is still prevalent in the United States—and in many ways, the fight for equity isn’t over—but Juneteenth is an acknowledgement of progress and liberation and beckons us to continue the fight for freedom.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, and though this act is a tiny step toward addressing America’s “original sin,” there are still many more steps that need to be taken for equality and equity to be truly lived and felt in the United States.

Here are three ways that Juneteenth is the true Independence Day for the United States:

July 4, 1776 Was Never About True Freedom For All

Eighty-nine years prior the liberation of Black Americans in the South, the Declaration of Independence boldly advanced a revolutionary agenda to sever the ties between the 13 colonies and Great Britain. There was just one glaring—and hypocritical—conundrum: The practice of kidnapping African people and transporting them to the colonies was still alive and well. “Freedom” only truly extended to White people living in the colonies. People living under and within the confines of slavery were not treated as people, but property.

Twelve years later, the U.S. Constitution would be amended to include the “Three-Fifths Clause,” a political concession that counted a person who was enslaved as three-fifths of a person of a free individual. This clause was not a step toward recognizing the humanity of these people, but a means for southern states to have more political representation in the nascent American government. It was a compromise rooted in political gain, not human rights.

Black Liberation and Resiliency Are Powerful Metaphors for the Struggle for Human Rights

Countless times in American history, Black people have had to fight to ensure their humanity and personhood were acknowledged and respected. From the slave rebellions in the 17th and 18th Centuries to the Civil Rights movement in the 20th Century, Black Americans have fought hard and set a strong example when it comes to advocacy, activism, bravery, and persistence. Repeatedly, Black Americans have taken situations of oppression and turned their narratives against the oppressor. Some battles have been won, others have not, but what has always remained the same is the outspoken activism that calls attention to injustice and demands the United States do better.

U.S. history is filled with people and incidents that not only show the resiliency of Black people, but the oppression they’ve faced, the injustice that’s birthed from it, and the resiliency and beauty of Black culture.

  • Frederick Douglass—A 19th Century Black abolitionist and suffragist who wrote eloquently of the hideousness of slavery and the need to end it as an economic and social practice in America.
  • Henrietta Lacks—She died at the age of 31 in 1951, but her “immortal” cancer cells (HeLa cells) were used by White researchers to develop a polio vaccine, test treatments for cancer and HIV, study the impacts of zero gravity in space on human cells, and train thousands of scientists across the world in cell biology. There are almost 11,000 patents that involve the use of HeLa cells and science and medicine have benefitted tremendously from their use. Lacks never provided consent for her cells to be used and her family has never been compensated for their use.
  • Tuskegee Syphilis Study—Between 1932 and 1972, roughly 400 Black men with syphilis were studied by doctors with the goal of understanding the disease. None of the men were informed of their syphilis diagnosis or consented to be studied. The pretense of receiving free medical care masked the true intention of studying the infection. Around 100 men died from the disease and it was spread to several participants’ wives. More than a dozen children were born with congenital syphilis. By 1947, penicillin had emerged as an effective treatment for the disease, but the participants were denied it for the sake of continuing the study. It is one of the most egregious examples of racism in medicine in the 20th Century.
  • Modern Gynecology—J. Marion Sims was an American physician who in the 1840s performed gruesome experiments on enslaved women as part of his studies of the vagina. He did not provide any anesthesia for these women and no consent was given. His experiments helped advance the field of gynecology, but at the cost of the suffering and deaths of several Black women.
  • Linnentown—In the early 20th Century, Linnentown, Georgia was a bustling Black town and home to 50 families in the northern part of the state. In 1962, the University of Georgia forcibly removed all of the families through eminent domain, razed all of the homes and buildings, and proceeded to build college dorms.

    These are just five of many lesser-known stories about the abuse and oppression of Black people. Despite slavery, medical rape, forced displacement, and dehumanization, the Black community has still advocated tirelessly for progress and justice. That day in mid-June in 1865 would be the impetus for many travails, but also many triumphs.

Black Activism Makes American Democracy Work For All of Us

From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter, the advocacy of Black Americans has continually kept progress and the fight for justice moving forward. The Civil Rights movement played an instrumental role in so many other movements for change, from women’s rights to the LGBTQ+ and anti-war movements. Even today, Black activism is responsible for a range of social justice and human rights victories, including:

  • Reforms in the criminal legal system
  • Increased scrutiny of federal and local law enforcement
  • Hate crime legislation
  • Efforts to stem the tide of mass incarceration
  • Laws protecting certain groups from discrimination in housing, employment, public spaces, and education

As we celebrate Juneteenth, we commemorate the abolition of slavery, but also Black liberation and the many advancements Black activism has ushered around the nation. As we reflect on this day and its role in history, we understand that “freedom” never really is freedom unless each and every one of us experiences in all of our personhoods and identities.

submitted by /u/Seeker_Alpha1701
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Last day of a book sale that the UU community would love

The Infinite Jeff is a book that I think the UU community would love. It is currently on the bestseller lists on Amazon for UU. Both the paperback and hardcover are on sale and the sale ends today.

Full disclosure: This is a series I wrote but I wanted to let people here know before the sale end just in case they would be interested.

submitted by /u/willholcombauthor
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trinitarian universalist?

9 June 2022 at 19:58

howdy! i know you probably get inundated with "am i welcome" questions, so my apologies in advance for adding to the pile.

i'm a universalist christian (episcopal) and my partner is a humanist atheist. we'd like to attend services together and thought a UU church might be something affirming for both of us.

what i'm hesitant about is that, while i'm universalist, i'm not explicitly unitarian - by which i mean i do believe in trinitarian theology. i think i'm fairly liberal in my interpretation of it, and not at all to the exclusion of other religious paths, but my faith is pretty squarely centered on triune deity.

i know that UUs are able to welcome just about any religion, but on the website it actually explicitly emphasizes the unitarian-ness of UU christians, to the specific exclusion of trinitarians.

obviously i understand that "unitarian" is in the name, and i'm familiar with the history of the unitarian (pre-UU) church. i also understand that just about every mainline christian church in the usa is trinitarian, so i do feel a little silly asking about ~special accommodations~ or inclusivity when just about any christian church would affirm my trinitarian stance.

but i guess what i'm asking is: if i'm comfortable being in community with people of varying beliefs, and comfortable making broad & shared statements of faith, and in agreement with the 7 unitarian principles, will it matter to the congregation if i remain trinitarian, and if that remains core to my perception of god? or is that too disingenuous?

(should also clarify that in no way am i asking the UU church to change to accommodate me - i'm just throwing darts trying to figure out the best arrangement for my partner and i. UU seems to be pretty close, but i don't want to insert myself if i'm fundamentally at odds with a majority of the congregation. i don't want to be disrespectful.)

submitted by /u/mxlydyn
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Question on Marriage

9 June 2022 at 17:17

The UUA's website says, “Because of our strong respect for each person's beliefs and values, each wedding is custom-crafted with a couple to reflect their personalities and relationship.”
I have some genuine questions about this: Would a church conduct a group marriage for polyamorous members? If a man sincerely wanted to be married to more than one wife (polygamy), or if a woman wanted to marry another husband (polyandry), would this be viewed as something that could be done religiously, not legally, speaking. A person may legally be married to one other person, but they may feel like they are spiritually married to others. Have you ever attended a ceremony like this?

submitted by /u/joesom222
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The website of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.

https://www.questformeaning.org/clfuu/

Wherever you are in the world, wherever your truth takes you on your spiritual journey, the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) is here to keep you connected with Unitarian Universalism (UU). Our 3,500 members and friends, with their children, live all over the world. What brings us together is the desire to connect, seek, share and grow in our faith journey.

Quest for Meaning is a program of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF).

As a Unitarian Universalist congregation with no geographical boundary, the CLF creates global spiritual community, rooted in profound love, which cultivates wonder, imagination, and the courage to act.

Connect // Deepen // Act

_______________________

This is as close as UUism would ever come to televangelism. And anyone can join it, even if on the other side of the world!

submitted by /u/Seeker_Alpha1701
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Teaching young kids

6 June 2022 at 23:03

Hello, I’m new here! I’m trying to find resources to teach my kids about or help them understand our beliefs. My MIL and my mother are very traditional Christian’s and are teaching my kids that their friends will go to hell if they aren’t a Christian. I just don’t know how to explain it. I personally do not really believe in hell, but this has come about in the last 5-7 years and I left a nondenominational church about 2 years ago. I just found UU and think it’s what we’ve been searching for.

I’d appreciate any resources, advice, or education that you have.

submitted by /u/Osheyfire
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Reaching out to the UU community for help.

1 June 2022 at 10:36

The fundraiser says it best: freedom should be free. Unfortunately, a bail fund doesn’t exist in Hardin County, Kentucky. The legal system has failed this individual, so he’s reaching out to the community to assist with this bond. Would you consider helping his family with this? https://gofund.me/87f32357

submitted by /u/372_US_335
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Honoring Fallen Soldiers

https://www.uua.org/worship/words/time-all-ages/honoring-fallen-soldiers

By Erika A. Hewitt, Paul S Sawyer

Think of where you feel safe and at peace. What’s the signal that tells you it’s okay to be at peace?

For people in the United States military, there’s a special signal that says “you’re okay, and you’re at peace.” It's a melody called "Taps," and it's only 24 notes long. It was composed by a general in the Civil War and his bugler.

It’s hard to remember how important bugle calls were in the military once upon a time. In the days before radio, bugle calls were the only way military units could communicate to groups over a large area.

In the 1860s, the end of the day was important. If there was time and peace enough to play Taps, that was a signal that the camp was relatively safe. It meant that you were not under attack. It meant that there were no enemy soldiers to worry about.

To a camp of soldiers, the notes of Taps meant that, unless you were on duty, you could close your eyes and sleep in peace.

They say that the first time Taps was played at a service for fallen soldiers also took place during the Civil War. In those days, the traditional military salute was, as it still is, the firing of a three-round volley of rifles. But this one time, they say, was after a long battle, when finally a cease-fire had been called, and both sides had stopped to bury their dead.
In one camp, as the work ended and the memorial service began to take shape, the soldiers knew that sounding the artillery salute might be taken as a return to fighting, and not as a sacred memorial. Someone had the idea of sounding a bugle, and that sound would never be taken as an aggressive act of war.

Taps came to mean the same thing. It meant the safe and quiet end to the day, time to rest, time to turn the lights out, to let their eyes close, and as best they could, to be at peace.

That’s what Taps means: it's like a powerful prayer.

We try to make our congregations places where people can feel safe and at peace. We work outside of these walls to create a community like that, too: a world where everyone feels at peace in their neighborhoods and towns.

This week, many people in the U.S. are remembering and honoring all those who have died while serving in our military... so you might hear Taps again. If you do, maybe you can stop what you're doing and think of every soldier who might have been afraid, and then let Taps remind you that they're now at peace.

submitted by /u/Seeker_Alpha1701
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just posted on r/atheist and realized this sub probably exists!

27 May 2022 at 12:49

I was raised Unitarian Universalist by my traumatized-by-Christianity mother, which I loved, because Sunday school consisted of learning about other cultures and religions, and I was NEVER told what to believe. It was SO COOL! No surprises that I ended up atheist for most of my life. 🤣 Respect to all UUs (I'm sure there are plenty of them here)... it always felt like a group to belong to rather than a religion. I'm CERTAIN several UUs would agree, but maybe just as many would also disagree. I would love to hear your thoughts on a few things. This stuff fascinates me, and I don't feel comfortable talking about it with people who are going to spout religious shit to me. This is such a gigantic community from people of all walks of life. I feel like it would be awesome to hear so many varied responses and ideas.

My brother died of a heroin overdose almost a decade ago. It fucking sucked. I miss him. That said, it didn't really change my beliefs. I know when people die, lots of their loved ones experience changes in beliefs, and often times I think it's due to WANTING SO BADLY to not have lost that person forever. Makes total logical sense. It's sad.

A year ago, my mom died. However, this time, it REALLY changed things for me. I feel her visiting me a LOT. I feel I get weird signs from her. I am 100% convinced I've had 3 or 4 visitation dreams from her, though I dream of her almost every night. You don't have to explain to me how all of this has completely non-religious, common sense explanations. That's pretty obvious to me. My mom and I were so fucking close. We had that weird telepathy thing going on that only very close people have. If you have a spouse, twin, or loved one you're close to, you know what I'm talking about! Finishing sentences, calling at the same time, knowing what the other will say when you've both been silent for a long time, etc. Of course even if there's absolutely nothing more than BOOM you're dead, I'd feel that way due to our closeness. She is always with me, regardless of what happens after death, because she was a foundational part of my life.

For my whole life, I've always been very sensitive, and I do feel I have a way with connecting to certain things, especially nature/animals. I think I'd be considered an empath maybe since I'm very tuned into people's feelings and my environment? I nurture lots of stuff and teach little kids. Like I said, I am sensitive. Lots of childhood trauma and bullying pretty much made me that way.

I don't believe in heaven and hell or anything like that, but I really wonder if it's possible something else happens when you die. Are we over? Yeah, maybe. But maybe not. I also wonder if there's a scientific explanation that would explain whatever else could happen. For lack of better language, I'd think there'd be evidence for "god" (and of course evolution but I don't feel I need to explicitly state that here 🤣. Also don't really know what else to call god... The universe? Energy? I dunno!). I've read about crazy physics studies where cells react weirdly when one is given stimulation somewhere and the other, that used to be with to the first cell, is miles and miles away. All of this stuff fascinates me and it is overwhelming to consider all the shit we just don't understand. Makes you really wonder about the things that aren't even on our radar or within our realm of understanding.

Do you guys ever think about this stuff? Ever wonder about wtf started the big bang? Most mediums and ghost sightings are COMPLETE bs, I'm sure... But what if a few are real?? Is it a weird glitch in time rather than a true "ghost?" Or let's say Astral projection... I am sad to say that I think most people who believe they can do that are likely mentally ill (or hopefully dreaming!), but the CIA did try to study that shit!

Do you guys think about this stuff a lot? Any cool wonderings you have or crazy facts you know/experiences you have? There's no where else I'd want to post this, because I just don't want to hear about God this and God that. If "god" exists, it's not like anyone living could understand it. This is the one place I'd feel safe discussing things. Please do let me know if there's a better place to post this. As I said, I have no interest in pushing belief systems on anyone, nor do I think that is OK. Plus, I don't even know what I would call myself. I do kind of feel like I'm atheist... AND agnostic.... AND curious AF. (Yes, I know that's a little bit oxymoronic.) I'm so scientifically minded, that if there's anything weird going on, I KNOW it would be able to be explained by science. Ultimately, I know we are a bunch of peons who don't know shit about the universe. 🤣 I like to remain open minded. There's always more to learn.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure my rambling has gotten my point across. I guess I'd just love to hear what keeps you guys up late at night when you're pondering. What are all your thoughts about this shit? Hope you're all well! 💜💜💜💜

submitted by /u/marleyrae
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Is there a version of UU, or maybe a similar religion/organization, that places more focus on God?

Hi there! I grew up Protestant Christian, but fell away from the church nearly a decade ago for a variety of reasons. Now I’m looking to rejoin a spiritual community but am having trouble finding one that feels right. I attended a UU service last week and it was very close to what I was looking for, and really refreshing compared to my previous church experiences. But I feel that I personally might need a community that collectively believes in and worships God.

This isn’t to say anything wrong about those who don’t believe in God, so please don’t take it that way. I LOVE the acceptance UU has for everyone regardless of belief, and one of the reasons I stopped attending Protestant Christian churches is I felt they didn’t respect those of different beliefs enough. I basically believe that no human can really know the truth and that everyone should believe and do whatever is best for them.

If there is something that’s basically Christian UU, I think that’s what I’m looking for. I understand that there are many Christians who are part of UU, but I’m hoping to find a congregation that places more focus on prayer/worship of God, which is important to me personally.

Sorry to be long-winded. Thanks so much in advance for any guidance you can provide!

submitted by /u/cardinalsquirrel
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Florida Christian UUs

Just want to know if anyone here from Florida is a Christian? Just seems like the UUA in florida puts at the back of the line. What to meet more UU Christians.

submitted by /u/nicoladebari
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UUA President Application Process is open

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/psc-application-start

Association’s next chief executive and spiritual leader to be elected at General Assembly 2023

Elaine McArdle 4/4/2022

A new Unitarian Universalist Association president—the public, spiritual, and executive leader of the UU movement and the UUA organization and staff—will be elected at General Assembly 2023, for a six-year term.

The person elected will succeed President Susan Frederick-Gray, who was elected at the UUA’s General Assembly in 2017.

The Presidential Search Committee (PSC), which the General Assembly created in 2010, is tasked with evaluating applications for president and selecting at least two nominees.

The PSC posted the application form online on Monday, April 4, 2022. From this day on, it began accepting applications. The deadline to submit applications is July 15, 2022. Nominees will be announced on November 15, 2022.

The six-member Presidential Search Committee comprises the Rev. Theresa Soto; the Rev. Jaimie Dingus; Denise Rimes; Cathy Seggel; James Snell; and Marva Williams. The team said that, while it anticipates nominating two nominees, it would consider nominating a third if there are three standout candidates.

In accordance with the job description, UUA bylaws, and Massachusetts law, a candidate must be “a member in good standing of a UUA member congregation; a resident of the United States; at least 18 years of age; able to travel extensively and work both weekdays, weekends, and evenings, and able to spend a significant amount of time in Boston.”

Candidates may also run by petition rather than through the PSC process. The petition process opens on December 1, 2022, and closes on February 1, 2023. Candidates who run by petition must follow a process outlined in Bylaw 9.6a (PDF), which requires that their petition is signed by no fewer than fifty certified member congregations, including at least one congregation from three of the UUA’s five regions.

Continuing the UUA’s commitment to dismantling white supremacy culture and other systems of domination and oppression—and receiving a wide pool of diverse applicants—is a top commitment of the search committee.

It is addressing this commitment in a variety of ways, including making sure its members have done continuing education, along with the rest of the UUA staff, on disability justice, and accessible and inclusive hiring practices. The PSC will also be doing work around implicit bias in order to be open to a variety of candidates.

As the process for applications is heavily dependent on written communication, the PSC offers any potential applicant the option to contact the committee with suggestions for a different form of application that better shows off the applicant’s gifts and perspectives, and it hopes people take that opportunity.

The PSC is also seeking input and advice from different stakeholders. Members of the committee are meeting with a variety of UU organizations, including DRUUMM (Diverse & Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries), BLUU (Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism), TRUUsT (Transgender Religious professional UUs Together), and EqUUal Access, to get their input and to encourage members to apply or to nominate leaders from their communities.

The 2023 election is only the second election in which the PSC has been involved. While the committee is basing much of its process and timeline on the previous PSC’s work, it has a more condensed timeline because the presidential election period has been shortened.

The committee has also sought the reflections and input of the previous PSC, as well as from current UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray and other candidates from the 2017 presidential election in order to learn and to improve the process based on their perspectives.

submitted by /u/Seeker_Alpha1701
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INVISIBLE DISABILITIES: Free Zoom Webinar for All, Sunday, 5/29, sponsored by Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene

13 May 2022 at 18:21
INVISIBLE DISABILITIES: Free Zoom Webinar for All, Sunday, 5/29, sponsored by Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene

Why the “Invisible Disabilities” concept is important to accessibility & inclusion? Sun. of Memorial Day weekend 5/29 12:45 PM PT. Special Guest Rev. Suzanne Fast (she/her) is a Florida UU minister focusing on disability justice, advocacy, & education, primarily through UU Association's EqUUal Access.

Webinar sponsored by UU Church in Eugene Accessibility Task Force.

You may download a flyer here: https://tinyurl.com/invisible-disabilities-updated

Rev. Suzanne Fast:

https://preview.redd.it/4mjsphcljbz81.jpg?width=726&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0e0bea23fa53c1ac1eab9cc69f38c9d0792cf58b

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Five Congregations That Voted to Embrace Culture Change

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/congregations-change

UU congregations across the country are grappling with change. Here are five that chose equity and inclusion over “the way we’ve always done it.” How might your congregation engage with change?

In 2020, after years of consideration, two congregations previously named for Thomas Jefferson voted to rename themselves, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Charlottesville, Virginia, and All Peoples, A Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Louisville, Kentucky. As Charlottesville explained in its announcement, “We want to choose a name that will not obscure our values of working for justice and undoing racism behind a name that tells a different story to many.” Louisville’s announcement said, “perhaps even more important are the lessons we’ve learned along the way about letting go of the old, fostering empathy, trusting each other, and embracing a better version of ourselves.”

When the UU Church of Greater Lansing, Michigan, relocated to a former school building in 2016, the congregation recognized that the increased space opened new opportunities for community engagement. It now partners with the local Refugee Development Center to offer free English classes, legal assistance, and social support for immigrants.

Since 2015, First Parish in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has partnered with Y2Y Harvard Square to provide a 4,725-square-foot shelter and daytime drop-in center in its basement where homeless youth and young adults can connect with various resources. The student-run shelter has remained open during the pandemic.

In 2021, the UU Fellowship of Central Oregon in Bend voted to remove pledging as a requirement of membership in favor of a wider understanding of ways to be supportive, accountable, and in covenant with the congregation. “We wanted the membership procedure and requirements to reflect our values and principles and to fit with what we say we believe—that truly all are welcome,” writes Susan Kinney, past president of Bend’s board.

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I will add one more to this list:

https://firstjefferson.org/home-page/about-us/name-change/

Name Change!

And Then There Were Seven…

Name Change Voting—Round Three on Sunday April 17

With two rounds of elimination behind us, we’re getting very close! Round Three of voting for the new Name for the church will be on Sunday April 17. Like we’ve done the last two weeks, the revised list of names still in the running will be posted on the large plate glass windows in the foyer. This time you’ll get ONE colored sticky dot to use to place on the Name that you prefer. And also, like last week, if you are not able to vote in-person at church you will have the option to vote in our online poll. Check your email on Sunday for a link to the online poll.

A Name Change Town Hall meeting is scheduled for all interested members and friends this Sunday, April 17 after church at 12:30 pm in the Sanctuary. The purpose of the meeting is to review where we stand and our ongoing process in advance of the final vote at our congregational meeting next month. One issue we’ve already identified is about the use of the word “Church” vs. “Congregation” in the Naming. We’ll add this to our agenda. You can also use this forum for campaigning for your favorite Name and how it might advance our mission and vision.

The Name Change committee will have some sandwiches and cookies available for a light lunch, in addition to the coffee hour snacks provided.

Thank you for your robust interest and participation in our Name Change process. Please direct your questions and/or suggestions to [namechange@firstjefferson.org](mailto:namechange@firstjefferson.org) We hope to see you at church on Sunday!

List of Proposed Names

All Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist
Chosen Faith Congregation, A Unitarian Universalist Community
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Worth
Harmony Unitarian Universalist Church
Labyrinth Meadow Unitarian Universalist
Shady Creek Unitarian Universalist Church
Ten Pines Unitarian Universalist Church

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Introduction to Islam for UUs Seminar Series - May 11–25, 2022

https://clfuu.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/1277214

How might Unitarian Universalists understand and relate to Islam, as a faith tradition? Please join us for this three-part seminar, co-sponsored by the Church of the Larger Fellowship and the First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor, Michigan, for Unitarian Universalists to move into a deeper understanding of the Islamic faith and its beliefs & traditions.

Unitarian Universalist-Muslim leaders, Reverend Summer Albayati and Reverend Doctor Mellen Kennedy will co-lead this seminar. Advance registration is required.

This class is being offered at no cost to participants. However, if you feel called to support our ministry and help us offset the administrative and instruction costs of running this and similar classes, we invite you to make a donation.

Upcoming Dates

  • May 11, 2022--------7–8:30pm EDT
  • May 18, 2022--------7–8:30pm EDT
  • May 25, 2022--------7–8:30pm EDT
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Spiritual practice at home?

This has been on my mind for a while since joining UU. I grew up a Christian (later Catholic) and my husband grew up Catholic but not church going. We attend our UU congregation almost every Sunday but we don’t have a ritual or anything we do at home. We don’t pray before bed or meals like I did growing up. I would like to incorporate a daily practice into our lives but I feel like I need ideas! Do you have a home chalice you light? do you do something for your spirit in the morning or evening? Would love to hear from you all!

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Coming here with a question.

First off, I have been attending a Baptist church for the last year or so. I started going after an experience with God; I was an Athiest, who prayed out of desperation, and my prayer was answered. I love the church I attend, the pastor has been a great tutor for me and has helped me understand the Bible and a bit about God. My problem is that I've always felt a bit outside. I have a real hard time accepting Jesus as a God-Man and the trinity seems strange to me still. I prefer to think of God as acting through the limits of the Universe, miracles can happen, but they are within the boundaries of what is actually possible. I believe God can do miracles, but for example, I don't believe in the virgin birth.

I've read a bit about Unitarianism on Wikipedia, and it seems more right, as far as how it aligns with my beliefs. Would you say this is correct? I would like to more firmly understand what a Unitarian is and what they believe regarding Jesus and God, as well as how they think of scripture and other works.

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Am a Christian Universalist here, any Catholic Universalists?

I consider myself Christian Universalist meaning for me that I don’t believe in damnation, at least not in the infernal suffering sense. I was raised Protestant, namely Baptist and Methodist. I’ve been to an Episcopalian church and I liked it, I liked the people. I don’t know how common it is for Catholics to be Universalists or for Universalists to incorporate Catholic practices into their lives, such as the rosary. I have rosary beads and I want to incorporate that into my life. I don’t know of any specifically Catholic Universalist churches, but I suppose there is probably something like it somewhere.

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Going to my first UU event in my area but I have a few questions.

25 April 2022 at 23:17

Hey! I'm coming to my first UU event next week but I have a few questions regarding the demographic. I understand that UU is all-inclusive and accepting and the principles are the reason I want to be apart of UU, but I am a little bit self conscious about not being around my age group. I'm 19M and Asian descent, would there be any members around my age?

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I’m a lost “Christian” that went to their first UU service today.

24 April 2022 at 19:44

It was a bit of a culture shock. I’m used to fancy graphics, rock bands, and flashing lights with my Sunday message. I’m used to feeling uncomfortable in the seats, sticking out like a sore thumb with my not-so-passing trans self. I didn’t feel right at home per say. I didn’t feel terrible either. I’ve been questioning the beliefs I was raised with for a long time and it’s hard to find a religious home or community that I connect with. So, UU Reddit, I ask you: why do you believe what you believe? What does this church have to offer? I understand about love and inclusion, but what are the deeper meanings behind the beliefs? In general, what would you want someone testing the waters like me to know?

EDIT: Thank you guys so much for the responses! You all have been so nice. Reddit is always hit or miss with engagement when I post. I’m very grateful for each and every comment though. Getting some insight into what I’m stepping into is definitely making my choice easier. I will try to ask about getting more involved next weekend. I also saw something on my local church’s site about a newcomers kind of class. I’ll check that out as well.

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Do you think you could convince someone that God does not hate him ?

13 April 2022 at 12:35

Greetings.

So, I recently got involved in theologic questions, and came across this post, in wich someone explain that God hate him because he had sexual relations, notably with people of the same sex.

I try to explain to him that homosexuality isn't a sin, and that it is okay, but there also are some people that tells him he can't be forgiven, that homosexuality will forbid him to have the love of God and these things.

I can see he is distressed, and I want to help him, but I think that if I am alone in saying that God love him, while other people send their favourite homophobe passages of the bible, he risk to get to hate himself more and more.

Do you think you could help him ? I just ask you to be kind and patient.

The link to the post: https://www.reddit.com/r/Christianity/comments/u2r5wc/losing_my_mind_seeking_god_but_he_rejected_me/i4kue16/?context=3

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Discord UU Services?

is there any online UU services that are online? if not would anyone wish to organize one? perhaps we could do it in vr

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Sikh asking about the UU

12 April 2022 at 07:55

sat siri akal, and hello everyone. I am a sikh without a Gurdwara (sikh temple) in my area. from what i have read the UU looks like an accepting place, and i am wondering how it would be to attend a service with you all? in Sikhi we have a concept called "sat sangat" the sangat is the people around you on a similar journey through spirituality, or their quest to understand god/the universe. i feel like i am missing this aspect in my life currently. as a Sikh we believe all god/gods are the same just described and worshiped in many different ways, as long as the people/person of any religion are on the path to be closer to whatever they believe we are all the same. we are taught that there is truth in all different paths, and encouraged to learn from and about other religions. would a bearded man with a turban be welcome in the UU? would there be opportunity to involve myself and serve the congregation and the community? thank you for your time.

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Sexual abuse

11 April 2022 at 18:56

Do any of you have any resources for individuals abused by religious professionals as adults? I have exhausted my resources and do not wish to report by the UUA.


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I did it.

11 April 2022 at 16:55

This past week I was so nervous, because I had volunteered to speak to my local UU community. I did on Sunday and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

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Is the UU church a good church for a queer family to attend?

I’ve been just thinking about the future and I feel that of all the churches I’ve researched, if I wanted to take my future children to a church and make that a part of their life, the UU church is the one I most would want to become a member of. My question though is this: as a queer family (I’m a lesbian and so I’d be attending this church with my wife and kids) would I be welcome, and would there be a decent portion of queer couples and families who attend? I want my kids to be exposed to other families like theirs and I’m curious for people who already attend what the demographic of the average congregation tends to be like.

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what's your favorite part of Flower Communion?

6 April 2022 at 19:21

A few months early but I'm preaching Flower Communion and want to know what everyone's favorite part is while I put together the order of service.

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Pantheon

6 April 2022 at 17:08

Can I believe in a pantheon of gods and still be a UU?

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UU Wedding?

20 March 2022 at 19:41

I've been UU off and on for several years, but only the past few months have I been in a place in life (and physical location) to be able to join and regularly attend an actual UU church, which I absolutely love. My partner and I recently got engaged and we're discussing having the wedding at the church, led by our minister (which I suppose is typical of church members). I've been curious, how does a UU wedding differ from a more traditional Christian wedding (I was raised Southern Baptist so that's my main frame of reference)?

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Disappointed in our first UU visit.

20 March 2022 at 17:06

My husband (36M) and I(35f) attended the only UU in our city today for the first time. I was very surprised by how outdated everything seemed. I am atheist, but was raised in a charismatic non-denominational Christian church... We had great music with a large band and several singers, and the place was lively and, well, charismatic. There was always a great buzz in the air. I didn't expect that of the UU; I'm weary of charismatic leaders anyway (too much hype, not enough substance), but I didn't expect this to be so... Boring.

This UU sung from a hymn book. It felt like the times when I was a child and went with my friend to her grandma's church... I'm not trying to be rude; just blunt. My husband and I couldn't think of the words to describe how the reverend spoke, but my husband mentioned he felt like he was at a slam poetry event. She spoke in flowery language but then in the next sentence would describe in layman's terms what she meant. 🙄 Lots of talk of social justice, which is good. But nothing was really uplifting, nor did it give a sense of community. Maybe I'm being too harsh for my first time, but I've read in this sub from others who talk about how UU is failing to attract younger members, and I can greatly see why. I still filled out the paperwork with our info and turned it in, and we were happy to donate as well. Just disappointed and wishing we found somewhere fun-ish/inspiring/energetic where we belong, without the dogma that comes from regular churches.

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Unitarian Universalist question

20 March 2022 at 13:43

What kinds of things would you hear about in a UU sermon? Like what kinds of things would they talk about, and what kinds of things would your kids learn about in them? I am just curious.


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How did you find UU?

I am always interested in how people find out about UU. Please select how you came upon it and if what you have experienced is not an option in the poll, please feel free to comment below. Thanks and have a great day!

View Poll

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Religious confusion

18 March 2022 at 19:11

Lately, I have been heavily questioning my religious beliefs. I grew up in a Christian household with somewhat liberal views compared to the people surrounding me. Though, my family still has some more conservative views on certain issues. After interacting with the more conservative/fundamentalist side of Christianity I have become more disillusioned with it as a whole. Yet I still have a hard time coping with the existential dread that comes along with atheism. I used to feel a deep connection to the world and people that I no longer do. I have always had more humanistic/progressive views and heard this place might be a good fit. Has anyone here experienced this? Does anyone here consider themselves religious? Any advice on how to navigate this problem?


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Kurt Vonnegut Requiem

https://www.vocesnovae.org/vonnegut-requiem

So I was introduced to Kurt Vonnegut through Slaughterhouse Five in high school English class; it became my favorite book and Vonnegut my favorite author. I may even have this requiem played at my funeral in addition to having "Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt" inscribed on my tombstone.

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Interested in learning more

17 March 2022 at 18:20

Hi everyone, I found out about this religion (if thats what you call it?) from my (future) university’s resources for LGBTQ people wanting to find churches/temples/etc. I was raised Christian, pretty conservative, so being a lesbian has made it difficult to have religious or spiritual beliefs. I’m not necessarily atheist either though. Anyhow, when I went to the churches website I really loved a lot of things it said, but I also noticed it was very vague. I’m curious what a service actually looks like. Do a lot of people have different beliefs? Is there any set belief on like God or gods etc? I will most likely try the UU church there when I move in August as well as the Episcopal church. I just don’t know what to expect. Thanks!!

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MUSIC MEGATHREAD

I consider music in its various forms to be a spiritual force, capable of touching people's hearts and making their lives richer, even if for a short time. We need it just as we need food, water, and oxygen.

So I invite all members of this subreddit to submit their favorite and most inspirational songs and musical works for all to listen to and learn from. And I will start with this:

Valley of Healing Waters - 2002

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-befrYhjEOY

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❌