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" »
News about the organization.
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 »
The Fall 2015 issue of the Journal of Religious Humanism has now been delivered to active members' mailboxes and/or Inboxes.
Humanism is so often described as being in opposition to, or at best in a creative tension with religion, that the path of interfaith cooperation can seem highly problematic, and perhaps more trouble than it is worth. Yet increasingly, individuals and Humanist groups join with their religious counterparts on specific social justice and service projects, and simply to further the goal of living side by side, even if in an uneasy peace. The fall 2015 issue of the Journal of Religious Humanism explores these efforts from several points of view - from the humanist organizations that have embraced particular events and coalitions, to individuals of many persuasions who have struggled with what it means to work and celebrate with those whose basic perspective on life is very different. Read more about The Fall 2015 Issue of the Journal: The Threading the Interfaith/Interpath Needle »
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 »
It was my pleasure to award Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons the 2015 Religious Humanist of the Year Award at our Annual Meeting at General Assembly on June 25. Here is the introduction I gave to Kendyl, followed by her remarks. Congratulations again, Kendyl!
The Reverend Dr. Kendyl Gibbons is the 15th senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. She is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, a recognized leader in our continental Association, and past president of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. Kendyl is a 1976 graduate of the College of William and Mary, with BAs in Religion and Sociology. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and a Doctorate of Ministry from our UU seminary, Meadville/Lombard Theological School. Read more about Kendyl Gibbons ~ 2015 Religious Humanist of the Year »
[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.]
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.
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 »
What is The Humanist Institute and why should you consider applyinging to join the new class, starting in August? As they say on the website, "Find out what you don’t know about Humanism". Here is more detail:
The Humanist Institute offers a Certificate in Humanist Studies. Students are enrolled in a small class (a maximum of 15 people) convening for eight sessions over two and half years. Classes meet in March, August and November. Prior to and in-between sessions, students prepare for class sessions through independent distance study and online discussion guided by the Assistant Dean and faculty.
The Humanist Institute does allow individuals to take just one year of it’s graduate-level program. This option allows students to gain an understanding of the Humanist life stance, values, and principles as well as Humanism in relation to others.
As our movement grows, we need more people with the skills needed to advocate for Humanism and become community leaders. Now may be the time for you to take on the challenge. Read more about Apply Now to The Humanist Institute »