Monday, 28 March 2011

ICUU Founders Vision Awards

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists is 15 years old and in commemoration of that achievement, we celebrate fifteen men & women pivotal in founding the worldwide network of Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist (UU) groups and organizations.

Recognizing that they come from and continue to support significant local and national UU communities as well as international connections, ICUU representatives will present Vision Awards to these prophetic people at the national meetings of their home organizations.

ICUU recognises that the implementation of its sustaining vision depended on many other people as well and that the vision cannot grow for the future without the dedication of many others to come. Therefore it is expected that further ICUU Vision Awards will be given in the future.

The following persons are to be honoured at the indicated national events:

Canada (Canadian Unitarian Council Annual Meetings Toronto May 2011):
Herman Boerma
Ellen Campbell

EUU (event & date to be determined):
Gevene Hertz

Germany (presentation event & date to be determined):
Wolfgang Jantz

India (presentation event & date to be determined):
Carleywell Lyngdoh

Philippines (presentation to be determined)
The Rev Rebecca Sienes

(presentation event & date to be determined):
The Rev Szabó Árpád
The Rev Kovács István

United Kingdom
(Annual Meetings Swansea April 2011):
Christine Hayhurst
The Rev Cliff Reed
The Rev David Usher

(UUA General Assembly Charlotte June 2011):
The Rev John Buehrens
The Rev Polly Guild
The Rev Jill McAllister
The Rev Kenneth MacLean

Global Chalice Lighting for April 2011

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 92nd in its monthly series of global chalice lighting readings. Congregations worldwide are invited to participate.

All ICUU-affiliated groups have been asked to submit brief chalice lightings for the project. Every month, a reading will be distributed to Unitarian and Universalist congregations around the world. We ask each congregation to use the reading for at least one worship service in the designated month, identifying it as the “Global Chalice Lighting” for that month and naming the group which submitted it. Readings will be circulated in English and, where different, in their original language.

It is hoped that the ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Project will enhance the worship experience in our congregations and raise awareness of the international dimensions of our religious movement.

This Global Chalice Lighting is distributed by the ICUU in response to the recent Japanese earthquake and its aftermath. In popular Japanese mythology earthquakes are caused by the great fish, Namazu, who lies imprisoned underground beneath a huge stone. This reading is to be used during April 2011.

For Japan, March 2011

Namazu, the Great Fish, stirs
and the earth quakes.
Tsunami, the Great Wave, races
to the shore.
Harbours are engulfed, and towns
and villages and farmlands.
The fragile, perilous works of humankind
are assailed and shaken.
Nature’s power and human folly have
People are filled with fear. They suffer
ruin, devastation, and death.
Human weakness is exposed. We feel
helpless in the face of so much grief,
so much suffering.
And yet we cannot afford ourselves
the luxury of despair.
We are here to say that, in us, the
universe cares for its children.
We are here to reach out in love
to the people of Japan;
to unite our spirits with theirs in an affirmation
of hope beyond apocalypse.
And to do what we can.
And so we kindle our sacred flame.
-Rev. Cliff Reed
16th March 2011

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Concern for the People of Japan

Dear Friends,

Like many around the world I have been watching the events in Japan with sadness and growing concern. The quakes and the tsunami have ripped apart so many families. Perhaps thousands have died, and countless numbers have been injured, displaced and have lost their homes and livelihoods. As one who has never endured a natural disaster, it is difficult for me to understand what it must be like for the survivors.

In the short term there is need for emergency relief, but in the longer term there is also a concern brought about by the damage to nuclear reactors. There have been so many natural upheavals in the last year or two that perhaps it is time for humanity to rethink how we produce and manage the resources we use to live and build wealth.

And as always happens with these events, we are starting to learn of the miracles, the selfless efforts of rescuers, and the courage and simple generosity of common people. It is in these small things that I find hope for the human race. It strengthens my belief in the essential goodness of people.

There is not an ICUU member group in Japan, but there are some UU contacts and many with whom we have friendships and alliances through the IARF and other interfaith contacts.

I ask you to join me in offering prayers, thoughts and good wishes for the people of Japan. And for those of us in a position to offer more support, please contribute through various legitimate charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Red Crescent and funds created by the UUA and IARF.

Rev. Brian Kiely

President, International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Kenyan UUs Given Emerging Group Status

The ICUU Executive Committee (EC) has granted Emerging Group Status to the Kenya Unitarian Universalist Council (KUUC) following an application from that body. After an extensive discussion, the EC unanimously voted to grant Emerging Group Status to the KUUC.

This is only the first step in the building of a relationship that could ultimately lead to full membership.

It is the policy of ICUU that new groups are admitted as emerging groups and after a period of time and as part of a developmental process can later be considered for provisional membership.

Emerging Group Status is a way we can recognize the start of our formal relationship and represents our intention to work with a new or reorganized faith body in further developing their Unitarian Universalist community. It does not come with any voting status or right to send delegates, but the EC does have the discretion to invite observers from the group to any meeting.

ICUU is encouraged that the KUUC continues to be open to involvement and participation from the other UU groups in Kenya that have so far not joined in this initiative. We live in hope that this preliminary step can be a catalyst towards the inclusion of all our UU brothers and sisters in Kenya around one table, independent in organization but united in love.

From Steve Dick, Executive Secretary on behalf the ICUU Executive Committee