The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), our leadership organization, announced last week on March 24 that it was renewing ties with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that restores the relationship after, as the related UU World article put it, "a years-long split over gay scouts and God". The split was 17 years, to be precise, and the reconcilliation was prompted by the changes in BSA policy last summer that removed the ban on gay scouts and adults. Read more about An Update on the UUA / Boy Scouts Agreement and the "God Issue" »
Posts by Maria Greene
The following is the question I asked at the “Meet the Muslims” panel discussion that was sponsored by our church. My aim was to see how they would answer the question but also to raise their consciousness about the presence of a substantial constituency of non believers in the general population and to face them with the implications of their scripture for that constituency.
A QUESTION FOR THE RELIGION OF PEACE
My name is David Miller and I am Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester. We are sponsoring this panel discussion in the spirit of the verse in Quran 49:13 that says “…we…made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).” (Abdullah Yussuf Ali translation)
This winter I have been re-reading the Holy Quran to refresh my memory about its contents. Read more about A Question for the Religion of Peace »
Another year's over and a new one's just begun!
Happy New Year, everyone! 2015 was filled with accomplishments for the UU Humanist Association and 2016 is shaping up to be equally exciting. Last year we: Read more about Happy New Year! »
Let people outside your congregation know that UU communities are welcoming to atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-theists, and that you value diversity and questioning. A large part of the growing percentage of Americans who have left supernatural beliefs behind still value community and are not anti-religious -- they still seek supportive, loving relationships and a place to belong where they can give back through service. Read more about Applications Being Accepted for Freethinker Friendly Congregations »
A feature of food pantries in December is the distribution of groceries tied not only to day to day survival, but also to the provision of a festive holiday meal. Client counts rise, lines grow longer, as do the volunteer lists. An added feature this year at the Maple Park/Morgan Park community Food Pantry on Chicago's Southwest side is environmentally friendly dish washing soap. Fully recyclable dispensers of non-toxic, biodegradable Method soap, manufactured in a LEED platinum certified factory just a few miles away are handed out (separately bagged as per health regulations) along with the turkey's, yams, cranberries and other seasonal staples. The first delivery of 100 18 oz bottles was made on December 8, by Roger Brewin (who helped set up the pantry more than 30 years ago) on behalf of UU Humanists. Read more about SOAP for the Holidays and the New Year »
[Editor's note: this is the first of a new monthly column that Rev. David J. Miller is writing for the UU Church of Worcester, MA, where he is Minister Emeritus.]
If we truly wish to make people, and especially minorities, feel welcome in our congregation, it is not enough to sloganize “All Are Welcome!” People will feel welcomed when we greet them by name as Pope Francis did in the course of his recent speech in Washington, when he asked his audience to pray for him and added, "And those who are not believers and cannot pray, please send me your good wishes."
Many non-believers hunger for the kind of recognition and inclusion represented by Pope Francis’ words.
In contrast, not so long ago a family member said to us in reference to our Humanism: “You are the kind of people who are ruining our nation.”
And I know a young man who was thrown out of his family home while still a teenager when he told his parents that he no longer believed in God.
And I know a person who was fired from his job when it became known that he was a non-believer. Read more about Welcoming the Closeted »
People are more important than beliefs.* Some may consider this a corollary to the first Unitarian Universalist principle, “The inherent worth and dignity of every person”, or the third, “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations [and beyond].” We are Unitarian Universalists because we choose to be in community with one another. So, let me rephrase that slightly: relationships are more important than beliefs. Read more about The Naturalism Discussion: Moving Beyond the Humanist / Theist Debate »
The 2015 UUA General Assembly is over now and we are finishing tallying up, following up, and evaluating how it went and what we will do differently next year. GA is always a fantastic time to connect with each other in person and to introduce the Association to a whole new group of UUs.
Our booth in the Exhibit Hall could not have been in a better location -- at the end of an aisle directly across from the entrance doors. As usual, Roger Brewin, in the light blue shirt in the picture below, did a yeoman's job planning, setting up, and later tearing down the booth. Click on the picture below for several more shots showing the different displays on the tables. Read more about Wrap-Up of the 2015 General Assembly in Portland, OR: Building a New Way »
[Editor's note: These are the slides from president John Hooper's presentation of the annual meeting on Friday, June 26 at the Portland, Oregon UUA General Assembly.]
This is my presentation from the "Freethinker Friendly" part of the "Serving the Nonreligious" program at the 2015 UUA General Assembly in Portland, OR on Friday, June 26. I am Maria Greene, the part-time Executive Director of the UU Humanist Association.
Freethinker Friendly is a program of the UU Humanist Association with the goal of helping congregations communicate to their communities that they are welcoming to atheist, agnostic, humanist, and other freethinkers. You can find out more about the program and register your interest on the Programs > Freethinker Friendly page of this website.
Listen to the Presentation
[A special thank you to Adam Gonnerman for creating the video version of this presentation.] Read more about Introducing the Freethinker Friendly Program »