Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Season of Hope: Message from ICUU President

Dear U*U Friends around the Globe,

It seems to be a good day to sit down and write a seasonal message to you all. In Canada, the traditional Christmas comes with the snow and cold weather you often see in Hollywood portrayals of the holidays. A week ago we received about a third of a metre of snow, and on December 13 my home city of Edmonton, Alberta recorded an overnight temperature of -46C making us briefly the coldest place on the planet! Our pride is mixed with our concern for those who must survive homelessness in this harsh setting and like so many good people, Unitarians are working hard to help provide the necessities for our neighbours in need.

This is of course, only one of the unusual natural phenomena. A volcano is erupting in the Philippines and Australia is facing another summer season of devastating fires due to drought.

I scan the newspapers and Internet and see so many issues of global concern. There are, of course, the Copenhagen talks on climate change. If not doomed to failure, they will likely produce only a very limited success as developed and developing nations square off over money driven issues. If there is hope to be had, I suppose it is that they are talking at all. That cannot be underestimated. It is only by talking, or perhaps more accurately, it is only by listening deeply to the deep truths of others that we have any hope of finding some safety, some ‘redemption’ to use a good religious word.

But for so many, this is the season of hope, whether you celebrate the hopefulness of the birth of the baby Jesus, the miracle of the temple lamps, or the death and rebirth of the ancient gods.

On behalf of the Executive and Staff of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, I want to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons, warmed by family and friends, deepened by faith and made magical by hope renewed.

May peace, prosperity and love be your guides and your companions in this season.

May you awake on Christmas Day with a renewed sense of hope and purpose sustained by your deepest beliefs, and may your wishes be fulfilled abundantly.

Brian Kiely
President, ICUU

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Spiritual Message of Polly Guild

Thinking of her a month after her departure


The history of the Unitarians, our history, goes in parallel to large historical cycles marked by the birth of new paradigms of science and culture that our "prophets",” martyrs", "saints" promoted. Darwin is one who illustrates better this idea. We are a movement that walks with the "men of goodwill" or with our human family in exploring new possibilities of existence.

Polly Guild embodies the feeling of our liberal faith, for this time of globalization, in which we are interdependent beings, in which it doesn´t matter to which country we belong, but we have a common responsibility as humans to our planet, our common home and our common family. That is why we gather in the ICUU and why she dedicated her life to organize it.

The Latin Americans also received encouragement from Polly Guild, through beautiful letters that she sent to us, keeping us in touch with the larger Unitarian movement, encouraging our hearts and minds to organize Unitarian groups, so we can foster a world spirit of fraternity and unity. (This is the significance of the word Unitarian, not only to oppose the Trinity, but to sponsor the Unity)

That Unitarian Universalist spirit is the richest legacy left us by Polly Guild. We have to keep it, take care and develop it, as a present for the human family.

But besides this, for whom that had the privilege to know her personally, she leaves us her tenderness, the enormous amount of love that was always in her look, which despite her death continues to accompany us in our long walk of life.

Although we feel sorrow for her absence, we understand that these mutations are part of life, and therefore we who are committed to her spiritual message remain united in ICUU.

With gratitude and affection we say farewell to her as her spirit sustains us on this new journey,

With love,

Olga Flores from Bolivia