Discussing Sex, Love, and Violence at the UU-UNO

Posted by T. Resnikoff // April 11th 2013 // soundings // no comments

LGBT in Religious Communities: A Faith and Human Rights Discussion   The panel discussion on LGBT in Religious Communities, organized as part of the UU-UNO 2013 Spring Seminar, “Sex, Love and Violence: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Globalized World” can be viewed online! In addition to Bruce Knotts, Director of the UU-United Nations Office, the seminar panel features the Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings, the Unitarian Universalist Association Director of Ministry to Youth and Young Adults of Color.   Watch the panel discussion here.   Program and Panel Roster: – Welcome: Bruce Knotts -Director, UU-United Nations Office – Introduction: Moderator, Mordechai Levovitz -Executive Director, JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) – Discussion: – Facilitation, Q &…

Marriage Equality Supreme Court Potential Outcomes

Posted by T. Resnikoff // April 8th 2013 // featured, soundings // no comments

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) has published as a graphic potential outcomes of the United States Supreme Court on Prop 8 and Marriage Equality. A decision is expected from the Court by the end of June.   (Click on the image to view it on the AFER website.)            

A Move for the Millennial Generation

Posted by Carey McDonald // March 27th 2013 // soundings, Stories and Voices // one comment

As you have probably heard, the Unitarian Universalist Association is planning a big move of its HQ offices from historic Beacon Hill to the up-and-coming Fort Point neighborhood in Boston. If you ask me, I’m super excited about this move. It feels like a true recognition from the highest levels of leadership in our faith that we are embracing the future that is a reflection of the way our generation, the Millennial Generation, will be interacting with religion for years to come. First, with this move we’ll get considerable upgrades in technological capability at the UUA. Right now, all the internet access in my office has to be beamed across two city blocks to the…

For Survival of the Best in Us

Posted by Rev. Dr. Monica L Cummings // March 21st 2013 // Mosaic, soundings, Stories and Voices // no comments

Hello Family, I have not written a Pastoral Message in a few months for a number of reasons, primarily because I have not had a burning desire to write. However, something has happened recently that has compelled me to communicate with you this month.     On Sunday, March 17, two high school football players were convicted of raping a 16 year-old girl after attending a party where alcohol was being used/abused, following a football practice game. The crime came to the attention of the world after photos and video footage was posted online. As I have read blog posts and watched pundits on TV talk about the case, I have been thinking about how…

Moving Into Our Future

Posted by T. Resnikoff // March 20th 2013 // soundings, Stories and Voices // no comments

Sometime in the next year the Headquarters of the Unitarian Universalist Association will move from its historic address at 25 Beacon Street, on Beacon Hill, to 24 Farnsworth Street, in the heart of the “Innovation District” of Boston, and into its future. Unitarian Universalism and the UUA have a long and storied history in Boston and New England, which won’t change; the goal of the move is to improve the UUA’s ability to provide services and programming for Unitarian Universalism. – Ed. UUA to purchase new Boston headquarters The Unitarian Universalist Association will be moving to a new headquarters. The UUA Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night, March 14, to purchase 24 Farnsworth Street…

The New Jim Crow – Common Read ’13 Review

Posted by T. Resnikoff // March 13th 2013 // Guides and Tools, soundings, Stories and Voices // one comment

Overcoming Colorblindness to Defeat Racial Caste America   Michelle Alexander‘s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is a well researched, convincingly documented argument that the result of the War on Drugs and growth of mass incarceration during the past 30 years in America has been to re-assert social control over black and brown-skinned people in the United States. Alexander shows that mass incarceration replaces forms of discrimination (notably the “Jim Crow” laws) that enforced racial castes in American society but have been dismantled through court challenge and legislation. She explains how the goal of undoing laws that explicitly enforced racial caste to create a “colorblind” society (by, for example, creating programs…

After Being Protested by Westboro Baptist Church

Posted by Kayla Parker // March 11th 2013 // On Campus, soundings, Stories and Voices // one comment

This  insightful reflection is from Katie Carpenter, co-president of the Unitarian Universalist campus ministry group at Vassar about their visit from Westboro Baptist Church on February 28th. -Kayla   The Westboro Baptist Church protested Vassar College February 28th,  for supporting LGBTQ rights. In response Vassar’s current and alumni community came together amazingly to denounce Westboro Baptist’s views, in part by raising over $100,000 for The Trevor Project, which provides crisis support and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. Seeing people rise to meet the challenge made me incredibly proud of my community, and what it strives to stand for.    But what made me prouder was to hear Vassar alum Joseph Tolton, the National Minister of Social…

Reflections from a UU College Chaplain

Posted by Kayla Parker // February 28th 2013 // soundings, Stories and Voices // no comments

Rev. Pamela Barz is the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Chaplain at Wellesley, a Womens’ College outside of Boston. Below is an edited portion of a sermon she delivered at The Eliot Church of South Natick on January 20, 2013. – Ed.   Students at Wellesley come to talk to me for a variety of reasons. Some for ones you’d expect.  They’re homesick.  They have roommate problems.  They’re overwhelmed by papers, exams, and stress. They think Wellesley made a mistake and they’re not really as smart as everyone else. They have financial difficulties.  They’re dealing with grief, or family issues, or romantic concerns.  They’re questioning their sexual identity.  And they do come for all of these reasons.  But…

Merit for All Scouts: GSA Edition

Posted by T. Resnikoff // February 27th 2013 // Issues and Trends, Social Justice, soundings, Stories and Voices, youth // no comments

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) plans to review its policy banning LGBTQ membership or participation in May of this year stands in contrast to the Girl Scouts of America (GSA) policy of not discriminating against LGBTQ membership. GSA policy with regard to the sexual orientation of its members, volunteers and staff states, “there are no membership policies on sexual preference,” which means that unlike the Boy Scouts and their policy regarding homosexual male adults, at the Girl Scouts of America sexual orientation or identity does not disqualify individuals from serving as leaders (1). From the GSA website, Diversity has been a core value of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912. At a time…

For Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by T. Resnikoff // February 26th 2013 // Issues and Trends, soundings, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

The United States Supreme Court is set to hear a challenges to California State Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act – both of which restrict the definition of marriage as a union between one woman and one man – toward the end of March, 2013, with a decision likely near the end of June. (Shameless plug – perhaps during General Assembly 2013.) The Supreme Court opinion is certain to have far-reaching effect on the issus of Marriage Equality in the United States. (Read about the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court here, and why its opinions are implemented as law  here.)  While waiting for the Supreme Court decision, advocates of Same Sex…