Envoy News October 2020
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News and updates from the UU@UN to keep you informed.
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Dear ,

Your UU office at the UN has been very busy this last week with events and activities relating to UN Sunday and the UN's 75th anniversary which was this past weekend. In case you missed any of this, I will call your attention to the following:

Due to the busy events schedule last week we did not have an October Envoy meeting. The upcoming monthly meeting will be November 17: Please RSVP here.

I know a lot of attention - including mine! - is focused right now on the U.S. election, even for those not living in the United States. As I mentioned in an article I wrote for our blog a couple of weeks ago, this election will have a truly global impact. If you can, I encourage you to get involved in this final week with the UU the Vote's many opportunities for phone-banking and showing up to defend our elections.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

Some recommended text to put in your congregation's newsletter.

A message from your UU office at the United Nations: As October draws to a close, there are two specific areas where the UUA Office at the United Nations has its attention focused. The first is the United Nations' 75th anniversary and assorted events to honor that anniversary, including participating in many congregations' United Nations Sunday worship services. The second is, of course, the U.S. election. This election holds so much on the line that will impact the United Nations and all the issues we work on internationally, from climate justice to human rights to the principles of global cooperation. As UU@UN Director Bruce Knotts observed in his monthly note, the United Nations as a whole is so much more effective when the U.S. plays an active role in rallying support for purported U.S. values of "liberty and justice for all." We pray that it will come to play such a role again. We will leave you with the familiar words Wayne Arnason:
Take courage friends.
The way is often hard, the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.
Take courage.
For deep down, there is another truth:
you are not alone.
Screenshots of presenters at the UU@UN's "Our Goal of World Community: the UN at 75" event.
A look behind, a look ahead

October 22: UU@UN hosts "Our Goal of World Community: The UN at 75" virtual event to honor the UN's 75th anniversary.
October 24:
United Nations Day
October 25:
Recommended date for UN Sunday; "UU the Vote for Climate Justice" virtual event
November 13-15: Canadian Unitarian Council National Fall and Regional Gathering
November 26-27: UUA offices closed for Thanksgiving holiday.
December 10: Human Rights Day
December 24 - January 1: UUA offices closed for winter holidays.


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for October 2020 will be related to the Third Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages - focusing on target 3.3 which includes combatting communicable diseases like COVID-19.

Depending on where each of us lives, we're either inside or on the cusp of another huge spike in coronavirus infections. This pandemic is a clear example of how interdependent our world is. Central to the UN Sustainable Development Goals strategy is each country's working to address the goals locally, while the UN organizes support and resources for global action. The coronavirus pandemic is no different. While the World Health Organization and other UN bodies convene countries and offer best practices to address the pandemic through policy and individual actions, local communities need to also be taking action to stop the spread in their population.

So the "Time to Act" suggestion for this month is simple: Take care of yourself, your loved ones, and those in your community. You know what to do. Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, don't travel if you can avoid it, and avoid large gatherings (except in the event of a coup, in which case get out in the streets with mask and be safe and smart.)


This year's UN Sunday theme is "All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet." Many congregations held awesome virtual worship services these last few weeks! If you haven't yet, click below to check out the collection of UN Sunday resources, which is full of tools for planning a service and related congregational action along this theme. These are the congregations that I know have a UN Sunday service or event scheduled (and if either Bruce or I made/will be making a virtual appearance):
September 27: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa, ON (Bruce)
October 18: First Unitarian Church of Alton, IL
                   Community Church Unitarian Universalist of New Orleans, LA
                    Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, MD (Bruce)

                    Unitarian Church of Staten Island, NY (Bruce)
                    Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax, NS
                    First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, ON
October 25: Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham, AL (Allison)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Long Beach, CA (Bruce)
                    First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, CA
                    Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Montclair, CA
                    First UU Church of San Diego, CA (Bruce)
                    North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, LA (Allison)
                    Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, MD (Bruce)

Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, MD (Bruce)
                    Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship in Raleigh, NC
                    First Unitarian Church of Omaha, NE

                    Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, NY (Bruce)
                    All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Watertown, NY (Allison)
                    Don Heights Unitarian Congregation in Toronto, ON (Bruce)
                    UU Community Church of Washington County in Hillsboro, OR
                    UU Fellowship of Centre County in State College, PA

                    San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, TX (Bruce)
                    Red River Unitarian Universalists, TX (Bruce)
November 1: SouthWest Unitarian Universalist Church in North Royalton, OH
November 22: South Fraser Unitarian Congregation in Surrey, BC
March 14: Glacier Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Kalispell, MT (Allison)
If you held your UN Sunday service already, I urge you to add a description of it to the UN Sunday map by clicking below and following the instructions on that page. If your service was recorded and is publicly available, include a link so others can watch it!


Just a quick note as the 2021 Seminar Planning Committee gets underway in preparing for this year's event: Please save the date! The UU@UN's Intergenerational Spring Seminar will be all virtual April 9-11, 2021. Keep an eye on our website in November for further information about registration and programming to look forward to! The theme for 2021 is climate and food justice.

Find more at

Introducing UU@UN 2020-2021 Academic Interns

Get to know each of the interns working with the UUA Office at the UN this academic year! Each has introduced herself in a blog post below:

Noorjahan Aktar
Shanice Bryant
Ashley Emuka
Lenna Georgiadis

The United Nations Needs the U.S.

By Bruce Knotts, UU@UN Director

The world and the United Nations needs the United States to lead. No, I don’t believe in American exceptionalism. The UN and the world don’t need the U.S. in its current disheveled state. The UN and the world need the U.S. to be a strong and positive influence, setting an example as it has in the past.......

Your Vote Has International Impacts

By Allison Hess, International Engagement Associate

In some ways, a national election is just that: national. The choices made in a national election, however, can have enormous impacts internationally. Global crises like climate change, the covid-19 pandemic, the threat of nuclear warfare, and more show us......

The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Commitment to Internationalism

By Bruce Knotts, UU@UN Director

Together with the rest of the world, we mourn the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She fought for the equality of women, people of color, LGBT people, and for equal justice for all everywhere. She is a model for how to.......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Infectious diseases - Unless there is a "seismic shift" in how countries collectively deal with infectious diseases, future pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, cause greater damage to the global economy and kill more people than COVID-19, international experts warned in a UN-backed report.

Typhoon - A major typhoon has struck central Vietnam, affecting millions of people – including about 2.5 million children – in a region already reeling from the effects of severe floods, according to UN agencies in the country.

Carbon-neutral Korea - The Republic of Korea’s pledge towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 has been hailed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres as "a very positive step in the right direction".

Reforestation - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is leading a push for the world to scale up efforts to restore landscapes and forests over the next decade, with eyes on a target to salvage 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands, an area bigger than India in total.
This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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