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ENVOY NEWS
October 2015
Dear ,

I can't believe how fast October has gone by! Many of you held amazing United Nations Sunday services and celebrated the UN's 70th anniversary. 
And our Canadian siblings elected a brand new Prime Minister - congratulations!

I had the pleasure last weekend of attending our dear Envoy Sylvia Heap's 40th UN Sunday service at All Souls UU Church in Watertown, NY. (There was a flag parade!) I look forward to hearing about more UN Sunday services - the UN Sunday report form is now an easy online form! Here at the office w
e are looking forward to some exciting events in the coming week, from a groundbreaking event at the United Nations bringing the Black Lives Matter movement to a global stage, to our Fall Fundraiser, to our site visit to the Every Child is Our Child program in Ghana. I look forward to telling you all about it the next time we talk.

Speaking of which, here are 
the minutes from our October Envoy conference call. Our next chance to chat all together will be in December - keep an eye out in the November Envoy News for more details.

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 October 2015 will be related to the Second SDG: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen - Organize an intergenerational volunteer trip to a local soup kitchen or food bank. Hold a canned food drive in your congregation to donate to a local shelter. Food banks often need volunteers to do public relations, sign people up for food stamps, etc. Find and contact local food banks in the US and Canada!

  • Play for free rice - At FreeRice.com you can answer questions and each answer you get right means 10 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. Play yourself or organize a competition among different groups or teams in your congregation. Which team can raise the most amount of rice in a 2-week period?

  • Host a Hunger Banquet - At this interactive event, the place you sit, and the meal you eat, are determined by the luck of the draw, just as in real life some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty. Learn how to put on this event that will change the way people think about poverty and hunger.

One target of the 2nd Sustainable Development Goal is to "double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers." Here are some ways to focus on that specific target:

  • Shop local at your farmer's market - Advertise your local farmer's market and encourage your congregation to take a trip there, and learn about local farming or volunteer there.

  • Sign up for a CSA share - As part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA),  you pay a fixed price for the season and get produce delivered to you from small local farms. Find a local CSA, share your produce and have a sign-up during coffee hour.

  • Other resources - End Hunger Toolkit. Petition your (Canadian or American) government to increase federal food assistance. Hold a film screening and start a discussion about the state of hunger in your community and the world - try A Place at the Table or We Feed the World.
ENVOY TASKS

Please complete the following tasks by the end of November.

  1. Submit a report of your UN Sunday service to me. (The report is now an easy online form!)

  2. Suggest to someone at your congregation (or you?) that they apply to be a Spring Seminar Chaplain or submit a sermon to the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition
September Review: (1) Email me UN Sunday pictures (2) Learn about the SDGs and share info in your congregation's newsletter
Events
A look behind, a look ahead


October 6-7: Bruce in Washington DC representing the UUA at a Multi-Faith Consultation on the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Global Drug Policy

October 12: Indigenous Peoples' Day

October 20: UU-UNO hosts an LGBTQ Asylum Event at the UN Church Center

October 22: Bruce Knotts representing the NGO community at a celebration of the UN's 70th anniversary

October 24: United Nations Day - 70 years since the signing of the UN Charter!

October 25: United Nations Sunday

November 3: Confronting the Silence: Perspectives and Dialogue on Structural Racism Against People of African Descent Worldwide at the UN ECOSOC Chamber

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 26-27: UN Office closed for Thanksgiving holiday

Important Information for Canadian UU Congregations

If you're planning a UN Sunday service with a collection plate for the UU-UNO, and you are in Canada, read this important message from the Canadian Unitarian Council.  

NGO Forum Handbook Cover 

Design Contest


Gearing up for the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in 2016, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women is holding a design contest for the cover of the handbook that will be distributed during their NGO CSW Forum. Groups and individuals from around the world are invited to submit ideas for the cover of the handbook - that means you! Get some friends together and submit a beautiful design pertaining to this year's CSW theme: "Women's empowerment and its link to sustainable development."

Dana Greeley Award
Submission deadline February 1, 2016
Did you have a UN Sunday service? Did the speaker at that service give an amazing sermon related to International Criminal Justice: From Punitive to Restorative? You should encourage that person (maybe it was you!) to submit that sermon to the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition! They could have the chance to win $500 and present at either CUC Annual Conference and Meeting or UUA General Assembly. While all submissions will be considered, those highlighting the work of the United Nations and the UU-UNO will be given priority consideration.
Seminar Chaplains Needed!
Intergenerational Spring Seminar, April 7-9, 2016

The UU-UNO is in need of both Youth and Adult Chaplains to serve our Intergenerational Spring Seminar in April. The chaplain team of two youth and two adults will work to ensure a welcoming, inclusive, and inspiring seminar for all participants. All travel expenses will be covered, and chaplains will stay overnight at a local UU congregation during the seminar. Learn more and apply today! The application deadline is November 16th, 2015.   
Uniting to end violence and discrimination against LGBTI people worldwide
By Justin Hashimoto, LGBTQ Human Rights Program Intern  

"My only sin against God is not accepting the person he 

made me to be for so long."

Garth Zimmerman, a retired teacher from Appleton, Wisconsin, shares his moving account of "coming out at fifty" in the third anthology of Kevin Jennings' illuminating book One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium, published by Beacon Press. Mr. Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), compiled a series of essays shared by LGBTQ educators from across the United States and around the world. The contributors in this anthology speak on their unique experiences as LGBTQ educators, as well as the progress that's been made and the challenges that remain.

News: United Nations
Include the following in your congregation's newsletter, website, and/or bulletin!   
Burundi - In connection to President Nkurunziza's disputed third term, violence has increased in Burundi where the Unitarian Church was attacked this month. The UN Security Council is urging all stakeholders in Burundi to take all action possible to urge peaceful dialogue. 

Discrimination
 - A UN human rights expert on minority issues said that minorities face discrimination in criminal justice systems worldwide. Whether based on national, ethnic, religious, or linguistic reasons, minorities face wildly disproportionate treatment in all levels of criminal justice systems.The UN and the UU-UNO will address this topic specifically regarding People of African Descent next week.


Environment - As our planet continues in what may be its hottest year in recorded history, drought conditions threaten lives in Ethiopia and the UN is focusing on risk reduction in development efforts in disaster-prone areas of Asia and the Pacific.

UN at 70 - On October 24, the United Nations celebrated its 70th anniversary. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other officials commemorated the grand date by unveiling a sculpture in Central Park in NYC. The sculpture depicts 70 human figures standing holding hands around a globe in solidarity, equality, tolerance, and peace.

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

Our LGBTQ program intern had the opportunity to interview Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Read more on the blog. The process for forming a NGO subcommittee on LGBTQ human rights has begun.
LGBTQ Asylum/
Refugees


One of our interns attended the LGBT-FAN annual retreat and workshop in Washington D.C. in early October and learned about a new guidebook to bolster LGBT asylum seeker support and advocacy.
Every Child is Our Child

UU-UNO staff will be in Manya Krobo, eastern Ghana, in the second week of November. During the trip, the team will focus on the importance of girls' education and the issue of girls dropping out of school and why this happens. 
Women's Rights

We have been working closely with the Planning Committee for the 60th Commission on the Status of Women forum taking place in March 2016. We hope to host two panels as we have in the past, to focus on implementing the SDGs and more.
Climate Justice

On October 24th, the UU-UNO and climate activists across the world joined together to speak out against climate change for the People's Climate Movement Day of Climate Action. We attended a rally and a pop-up hands-on activism event in New York City.
Racial Justice

The Racial Justice program is in its early stages of development. We are conducting research on global drug policies and discrimination faced by people of African decent. We are working with worldwide faith-based leaders who want to see change!
 
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Central East Region of the UUA
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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States