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ENVOY NEWS
January 2017

Dear ,


A word of prayer and solidarity with those in Quebec who are dealing with the aftermath of the recent terrorist attack on a mosque. It has been a challenging start to the year in many ways. I personally have been experiencing a roller-coaster of emotions every day as I feel inspired and energize by rallying and protesting, then come home and read the news... I take heart in the dedication I see in activists around me and am confident that, if we continue to speak out, our voices will be heard and taken into account. One way to show faithful solidarity in this time is by signing the Declaration of Conscience from UUA and UUSC, committing to put UU values into action to resist hate, fear, and bigotry. 

At the UN Office the year's off to a busy start so far - at the beginning of this month I was in Southern California speaking at the Conejo Valley UU Fellowship (picture above) and I'm looking forward to going back to California in a couple of weeks for the International Women's Convocation in Monterey. We had a panel discussion on LGBT inclusion in Asia last week, and of course are very busy getting ready for the Spring Seminar (more on that below) and the Commission on the Status of Women forum at the UN in March. 

Here are the minutes from our most recent Envoy Conference calls last week. On that call, I promised to share some information and resources from the UN's new "Together" campaign - take a look below for that and other resources relating to welcoming refugees. Please RSVP here for our next call in February.


In faith, love, hope, and justice,


Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

Refugees Welcome
Here are some resources for promoting dignity for refugees and migrants, and combating anti-Muslim discrimination.

The entire world right now is struggling with increased waves of anti-Muslim discrimination and closed borders against refugees. The United States of course seems to be abandoning its commitments to acceptance and tolerance, and people across the country and indeed the world have already begun rallying, marching, and protesting in opposition.
At last September's UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, the United Nations launched the "Together" campaign to engage global citizens in support of diversity, non-discrimination, and acceptance of refugees and migrants. As we all try to do our part to respond to these global issues, I want to share these resources which may be useful for you and your congregation:
  • TOGETHER, the UN's campaign to promote support of refugees and migrants, including infographics and data, personal stories, videos, and more.
  • UUSC's Refugee Toolkit: "Building Bridges" for refugee support and advocacy
  • The Congregational Action Guide for the Defying the Nazis UU Action Project, for tools, tips, and resources to go beyond film screenings and take action against Islamophobia and discrimination against refugees.
  • Watch and share this heart-breaking video from the UN Refugee Agency: it's a poem inspired by first-hand testimonies from refugees forced to flee their homes and items they took with them.
  • Webinar Series on Sanctuary & Solidarity hosted by UUSC, UUCSJ, UURISE, and UUA to help equip congregations, State Action Networks, and community activists to address the heightened fear, hostility, and threats of deportation unleashed by the election and new administration. You will be able to watch videos of those webinars that have already taken place, or register for the upcoming one:
  • Sign the Declaration of Conscience - in a joint letter, UUA President Rev. Peter Morales and UUSC President & CEO Hon. Thomas Andrews invite you to commit to put UU values into action to resist hate, fear, and bigotry.

ENVOY TASKS

Please complete the following tasks by the end of February.

  1. Check in with me via email regarding your Blue Ribbon status! I can tell you your congregation's progress  towards accomplishing the 4 requirements before the March 31st deadline.
  2. Last month I suggested you check out the timing for your local UUA District or Regional Assembly. Would you like to represent the UU-UNO there?

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER


Across the world, Unitarian Universalists are showing up to resist federal government's threats to human rights, religious tolerance, a safe environment, international cooperation, and so much more. One way to participate in this resistance movement is to attend the UU United Nations Office's Intergenerational Spring Seminar, Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet. From April 6-8th in New York City, participants (age 14+) will learn how to act toward a more peaceful and cooperative world. With a focus on global efforts to end nuclear warfare, gun violence, and armed drone use, the seminar will ground participants in UU responses to injustice and equip them with skills to return to their communities as activists. Learn more and register at uua.org/UNSpringSeminar
Third International Women's Convocation
Monterey Peninsula, CA
Feb 16-19, 2017
The Women's March on Washington and Sister Marches around the world sent a strong message about women's rights. We need to organize and continue this powerful momentum. The Third International Women's Convocation at Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey, CA will feature speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and small group work offering important advocacy and action resources for issues such as reproductive justice, economic opportunity, and gender-based violence.
Events
A look behind, a look ahead


January 1-9: Allison in California visiting congregations.

January 5-18
: UNO Director Bruce travels with UN NGO DPI Exec. Cmte. to Vietnam, Japan, & China.

January 9-12: Allison at UUA Headquarters in Boston.


January 13: Day of Religious Freedom and 449th anniversary of the establishment of the Hungarian Unitarian Church.

January 23: Last day for early registration rates for the Spring Seminar.

January 25: UNO hosts panel discussion on Creating Safe and Tolerant Spaces for Asian LGBT+ Communities and Achieving SDGs.

February 1: Deadline to submit sermons to the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition.

February 11-20: Allison in California visiting congregations.

February 16-19: Allison and Bruce at Third International Women's Convocation in Monterey, CA.

February 22: Bruce speaks on Muslim Ban & Humanitarian Crisis at Asian American Cultural Center at Yale.

February 27: Last day to register for Intergenerational Spring Seminar.
Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2017
Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet

Our 2017 Spring Seminar is coming up soon! Just as a reminder, registration ends at the end of the day on Monday, February 27th. We'll have an Envoy breakfast on Saturday morning of the seminar, and again, Envoys automatically get a $50 discount when you register!


April 6 - 8, 2017
New York City
Youth and sponsors arrive April 5 for orientation!


Some highlights to look forward to: 

  • Rev. Chris Antal, Keynote Speaker at the kick-off of the Seminar
  • Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Worship Leader and featured presenter at UN panel 
  • Panel at United Nations Headquarters, discussion on global disarmament efforts
  • UU College of Social Justice, leading workshop on spiritually-engaged activism 
We are proudly partnering with UUCSJ throughout the planning of this Spring Seminar! 

Two Pilgrimages to Transylvania
with the UU Partner Church Council

Cross Cultural Transylvania Pilgrimage 
(on a budget!)
The UU Partner Church Council (UUPCC) is pleased to announce this unique pilgrimage opportunity. 
The Unitarian Union of NE India has asked UUPCC to organize a pilgrimage for its members, and they want to share their journey with you! In August 2017, experience Transylvania alongside Khasi Unitarians from India - and for less than $100/day.
Download the itinerary or the flyer for this trip.

 

2017 Transylvania Thanksgiving Pilgrimage 
(on a budget!)
Two life-changing weeks in Transylvania for under $1,150. Beginning and ending in Kolozsvár/Cluj, this tour will visit the most significant of the Unitarian holy sites. You will spend the special Transylvanian Thanksgiving weekend with your partner congregation, making new friends and revitalizing your partnership. This trip is also open to those without a partner church in Transylvania!
Download the itinerary or the flyer for this trip.

Global Justice Summer Internships

Intern this summer with the
UU College of Social Justice
The UU College of Social Justice is seeking emerging young adults (ages 18-25) who wish to deepen their engagement with social justice and discover new ways to put their faith into action. UUCSJ has internship opportunities in a variety of locations, including with Anne Margaret Barr Children's Village in the Khasi Hills, an orphanage operated by the Unitarian Union of North East India. 
The priority deadline to apply for these internships is February 7th.
News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Neglected Crises - The UN Secretary-General released $100 million from the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund to sustain operations in nine "neglected crises" where vulnerability is alarmingly high but funding critically low. 

Refugees - The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, expressed deep worry at the uncertainty facing thousands of refugees worldwide who are in the process of being resettled to the United States after the country suspended its refugee program last week.

Food Relief in Nigeria - The humanitarian community and the Government of Nigeria have seen great progress over the last few months in combatting malnutrition and providing food relief to north-east Nigeria, enabled by the UN World Food Programme and partners.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - Every two weeks the UN posts articles and videos summarizing noteworthy news developments over the past two weeks in the UN system. Find it here!       
 
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uua.org/un

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Wilmington, DE 19801
United States

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