Posts by Maria Greene

Applications Being Accepted for Freethinker Friendly Congregations

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 »

SOAP for the Holidays and the New Year

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 »

Welcoming the Closeted

[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 »

The Naturalism Discussion: Moving Beyond the Humanist / Theist Debate

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 »

Wrap-Up of the 2015 General Assembly in Portland, OR: Building a New Way

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 »

Introducing the Freethinker Friendly Program

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 »

Humanists ARE Joiners!!

This is Kevin Jagoe's part of the "Serving the Nonreligious" talk at the 2015 UUA General Assembly in Portland, OR on Friday, June 26. Kevin is the Media Coordinator and Youth Director at First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis and the newly-elected Member-at-Large of the board of the UU Humanist Association.

In this presentation, Kevin discusses the outreach efforts he is involved with at FUS, and encourages other UU congregations to offer things that humanists and other freethinkers are truly interested in.

Listen to the Presentation

[A special thank you to Adam Gonnerman for creating the video version of this presentation.] Read more about Humanists ARE Joiners!! »

UUA, Why Aren't You Nurturing My Spirit?

I laughed out loud yesterday when I got to the bottom of the stairs at the Oregon Convention Center for General Assembly and I saw the giant pendulum swinging in the foyer. Pendulums come up often when I'm discussing the place of humanism in the UUA with the people who come by the UU Humanists' booth in the exhibit hall. In the past, I'm told (since I am a new Unitarian Universalist and wasn't there to see for myself) the pendulum swung toward humanism, and now I'm told (and I see for myself) that it is swinging toward theism. The slow, relentless swing of the gold ball in the foyer is mesmerizing and the force must be tremendous, but I say it's time to stop the pendulum's swing entirely. Read more about UUA, Why Aren't You Nurturing My Spirit? »

The UUHA Joins a Coalition Urging Congress to Support Efforts to Repeal Blasphemy Laws Worldwide

The UU Humanist Association is proud to stand with the AHA and our other Secular Coalition for America partners as signers of this letter to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives encouraging them to support the resolution to oppose blasphemy laws.

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June 24, 2015 

Rep. Ralph Abraham 

417 Cannon House Office Building 

Washington, DC 20515-1805 

Dear Representative Abraham, 

The undersigned secularist, humanist, nontheist, atheist, and religious freedom advocacy organizations write in support of H. Res. 290, a bi-partisan international religious freedom resolution recently introduced by Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).  Read more about The UUHA Joins a Coalition Urging Congress to Support Efforts to Repeal Blasphemy Laws Worldwide »

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