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ENVOY NEWS
November 2015

Dear ,


I start off this Envoy News with prayers for all those affected by the tragedies of the last couple of weeks all around the world, whether in Paris, in Mali, in Beirut, in Burundi, or in Minneapolis. I hope that in this time of grief and struggle we can all treat each other with compassion and encourage others in our community to be just as welcoming of those who so desperately need welcome. Never is it more important to remember the interconnected-ness of our global community.


A group of UU-UNO staff and interns recently returned from our site visit to the Every Child is Our Child (ECOC) program in Ghana. It was incredible to meet the Queen Mothers who are working so hard to help the community thrive and the students who are so grateful for the help they receive from the UU-UNO through ECOC. Keep an eye on our blog for a forthcoming post about the visit!


If you haven't done so yet, please tell me about your UN Sunday service in the online UN Sunday Report form. I look forward to speaking with you during the December Envoy Conference call! You can RSVP here - one of the things we'll be discussing is the office's recent site visit to ECOC in Ghana. Remember you can stay in touch with other Envoys via the UU-UNO Envoys Facebook group!


In faith, love, hope, and justice,


Allison Hess

Envoy Coordinator

TIME TO ACT
Sharing information and news is important, but you want to make change in your local and global community. Here's how.

Sustainable Development Goals
In light of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the following "Time to Act" suggestions for November 2015 will be related to the Third SDGEnsure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.  
  • Act local: Volunteer at a free health clinic. Free clinics rely on volunteers to perform administrative and patient work. Find your local free clinic here, and see what their volunteer needs are. If possible, organize a few members of your congregation to volunteer, or organize a fundraiser for medical supplies for your local free clinic.  

  • Film screening: Watch and discuss a film about a global health issue and see if your congregation can be involved.
    • A Closer Walk- A film that follows the HIV/AIDS pandemic across the world, exploring contraction methods, prevention initiatives, and the day-to-day struggle faced by those infected.
    • A Walk to Beautiful- A film that follows the journey five Ethiopian women make to a hospital in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa to seek treatment for obstetric fistula, a disorder induced by obstructed or prolonged labour. 
    • Red Dust- A documentary that depicts the occupational illnesses that workers at nickel-cadmium battery factories in China face due to high cadmium exposure, including cancer and kidney failure.  
  • Sign petitions: Stand up for women's sexual and reproductive health and rights in Ireland. Tell the US government to support global health and vaccines. 
Or donate to an non-profit organization that addresses a particular global health issue: 
  • Prevent water-borne diseasesDonate to charity: water, and 100% of your donation will bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.   
  • Fight Malaria: Send an insecticide-treated net to someone who needs one through Nothing but Netsan organization that works with UN agencies to distribute mosquito nets to countries with high rates of malaria.
  • Take a stand against AIDS: The International AIDS Alliance works with vulnerable communities internationally to start HIV prevention and treatment programs.
ENVOY TASKS

Please complete the following tasks by the end of December.

  1. If you didn't already, fill out this form to let me know about your UN Sunday service!

  2. We've extended the application for Adult Chaplains at Spring Seminar to December 1st! Do you know anyone who'd be a good fit? Encourage them to apply.
October Review: (1) Submit your UN Sunday report (2) Encourage applicants for Seminar Chaplains (3) Encourage submissions for Dana Greeley Sermon Competition.  
Events
A look behind, a look ahead


November 5: Compassionate Connections, the UU-UNO's annual Fall Fundraiser

November 6-14: Allison and Anne visit the ECOC program in Ghana along with 4 interns

November 8: Bruce participates along with Rissho Koshei-Kai in panel discussion at All Souls Church in Washington, D.C. against nuclear weapons. 

November 17: Bruce speaks about refugees at a conference at NYU's McSilver School of Social Work

November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 26-27: UN Office closed for Thanksgiving holiday

December 2: UU-UNO participates in an event on combating racism online, hosted by the Polish Mission to the UN

December 10-11: UN Office staff in Boston for UUA holiday party and staff retreat

December 25-January 3: UN Office closed for winter holidays

New Refugee Worship Collection

The UUA has a new collection of worship materials for responding to the Syrian refugee crisis. Visit WorshipWeb's new Compassion for Refugees worship collection, with gratitude to Unitarian Universalist leaders who have responded to a deep hunger for faith-based responses to the Syrian refugee crisis. More resources will be added in the coming weeks, as we bear witness to a humanitarian crisis that calls us to be our wisest, most generous selves. If you have something to add to this collection, submit it at uua.org/worship/submission-form.
Minister of Unitarian Church in Burundi Arrested
#ReleaseRevFulgence

We were shocked and grieved to hear that the minister of the Unitarian Church in Burundi, Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, has been arrested at gunpoint and taken into custody where he remains. Other church members in Burundi are also being questioned. The UU Church of the Philippines has distributed a change.org petition demanding the release of Rev. Fulgence. Please join us in standing in solidarity to support our global UU siblings. Learn more in UU World about the situation.

Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana of the Unitarian Church in Burundi
News: United Nations
Include the following in your congregation's newsletter, website, and/or bulletin!   
Terrorism - The world is echoing from terrorist attacks from Paris to Baghdad, from Bamako to Beirut. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to take steps to establish peace, through political engagement, UN peace operations, and strengthened partnerships. The Security Council just adopted a resolution calling for all Member States to focus energy on combating ISIL which poses "a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security.”   

HIV - A new United Nations report titled ‘Focus on location and population: on the Fast-Track to end AIDS by 2030’  revealed that more countries are adopting the Fast-Track Strategy developed by UNAIDS. The strategy uses country data to determine the best approach and treatment methods for each community to prevent the contraction and spread of HIV, and it will be an important tool to achieve the ’90-90-90 treatment target,’ getting the world closer to eradicating HIV/AIDS.

COP21 Paris ­– The 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) international climate conference in Paris will begin on November 30th in Paris, France. This year, countries will submit their own INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) to outline their post-2020 plan to mitigate climate change. The overall goal of this conference is to create a ambitious, hopefully legally binding international climate agreement to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Myanmar – Myanmar’s  first openly contested election in 25 years just took place recently and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won the presidency. This win marks the first time since 1962 that the military has not had complete control over the government.  Congratulating her on this historic victory and the formation of a democratic government, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon still stressed that the Rohingya and other minority communities are still facing human rights violations and were barred from voting. He spoke to the people of Myanmar saying that, even after this peaceful election, there is still much work that needs to be done.

Program Updates
For more information on any of the program areas, email unintern@uua.org with "Attn: [program]" in the subject line.
LGBTQ Asylum/
Refugees


The UU-UNO was delighted to have our proposal for a workshop (on places of worship helping asylum seekers) accepted at the LGBTQ Task Force's Creating Change conference in January.
LGBTQ Human Rights

The process for forming a NGO committee on LGBTQ human rights continues: if you or your congregation is interested in participating on the UU board for this committee, or to learn more, contact Justin - unintern@uua.org.
Every Child is Our Child

After the staff site visit to the program at the beginning of the month, we are compiling all the information collected and focusing on using the information and media to apply for grants and do additional fundraising. 
Women's Rights

Working along with ECOC, we are analyzing information gathered from Ghana on the issues of sex education and teenage pregnancy and finding ways in which the UU-UNO can help to improve their local services.
Racial Justice

Our very successful event at the UN sparked a desire for additional conversation on structural racism worldwide against people of African descent. We are focusing particularly on discrimination related to drugs and drug policy.
Climate Justice

After months of planning, UUA credentialed observers are leaving soon for the COP21 international climate conference in Paris! We're excited to hear them represent our faith alongside other global climate justice leaders.
 
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Central East Region of the UUA
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Wilmington, DE 19801
United States
This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors. 

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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States