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ENVOY NEWS
MAY 2016
Dear ,

Congratulations to the 26 congregations who achieved Blue Ribbon status this year! See below for the list of these dedicated congregations whose commitment to global peace and justice is recognized through this annual Blue Ribbon Award. (In the photo at the right, UU-UNO Intern Audrey Carleton presents a Blue Ribbon Award to the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto at the Canadian Unitarian Council's Conference in Vancouver.)

Over the last few months I've been looking at the Envoy program and thinking about what I can do for you to make your role more effective as an Envoy in your congregation. I've begun putting together some resources that will help guide you and provide you with suggestions as you go about your international social justice work!

Take a look at the new Envoy Resources page of our website! On that page, you will find a suggested calendar that you can use to guide your timeline of activities throughout the year. Our office is also developing action guides (similar to the Time to Act section of the Envoy News!) to provide guidance on addressing each of the Sustainable Development Goals. About half of them are online already - the rest will be uploaded as soon as they're done, and these will all be updated periodically to keep them relevant. Finally, the bottom of the page contains flyers available for download about each of the UU-UNO's program areas which you can print and share with your congregation. If there are other resources that you think will be helpful for you, please let me know and I'll see if I can make it happen!

I hope you'll join me and your fellow Envoys for our bi-monthly conference call on Monday, June 13th: please RSVP here! And make sure to fill out the Envoy News Survey so I can make this monthly newsletter helpful for you. 


In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess
Envoy Coordinator

P.S. To ensure that you receive future emails, add unenvoycoordinator@uua.org to your address book!
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 May 2016 will be related to the Ninth SDG: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.


  • Petitions: Call on global leaders to work toward achieving universal internet access across the world. Tell the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand programming for affordable internet access across the US.

  • Hold a cell phone drive or printer cartridge collection at your congregation to give a second life to modern technological devices and increase equality in access to technology in your community or region. 

  • Watch "Let's bridge the digital divide," a TED Talk by Aleph Molinari on the state of the digital divide and how to address it.
ENVOY TASKS
Please complete the following tasks by the end of June.

  1. As the summer begins, take some time with your Envoy Team to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. Start making plans and getting them rolling this summer!
  2. If you'd like to invite someone from the UU-UNO to speak at your UN Sunday Service, invite us soon, since our schedules are filling up quickly!
  3. Help me improve: Fill out this survey and let me know which sections in the Envoy News are most helpful, and which are least helpful.

May Review: (1) Tell me if you're coming to the national gathering, (2) Give me feedback to improve the Envoy News.  
UU-UNO Events
A look behind, a look ahead


May 19: Ethical Eating Panel discussion at UN Church Center with Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation

May 20-22: CUC Conference 2016 in Vancouver, BC

May 23-24: World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey

May 30: UN Office closed for Memorial Day

May 30-June 2: UNO Director Bruce Knotts leads workshops & roundtable discussions at 66th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference in Gyeongju, Korea

June 5: Racial Justice summer intern Seble's birthday

June 10: Envoy Coordinator Allison's birthday

June 22-26: UUA General Assembly 2016 in Columbus, OH

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER


In May, the United Nations held the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Agenda for Humanity which lays out five core responsibilities: Prevent and end conflict, Respect rules of war, Leave no one behind, Work differently to end need, and Invest in humanity.  At the World Humanitarian Summit, world leaders gathered to commit to uphold these five core responsibilities in the name of our shared humanity. Learn more about this at worldhumanitariansummit.org/learn

Proudly Announcing 2016 Blue Ribbon Congregations!


The UU-UNO is proud to announce the following congregations who have achieved 2016 Blue Ribbon status. Congratulations! The congregations in Canada were honored at a reception at the Canadian Unitarian Council's Conference in Vancouver, BC on May 21st and the congregations in the US will be honored during a reception at the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly in Columbus, OH on June 24th. To learn what it takes to be a Blue Ribbon Congregation, take a look at our website.

  • UU Church in Surprise, AZ
  • South Fraser Unitarian Congregation in Surrey, BC
  • Victoria Unitarian Church in Victoria, BC
  • Monte Vista UU Congregation in Montclair, CA
  • Conejo Valley UU Fellowship in Newbury Park, CA
  • The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT
  • First Unitarian Society of Wilmington Delaware
  • Community Church UU in New Orleans, LA
  • Paint Branch UU Church in Adelphi, MD
  • Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, MD
  • UU Church of Frederick, MD
  • UU Fellowship of Salisbury, MD
  • UU Congregation in Castine, ME
  • Dakota UU Church in Burnsville, MN  

  • Glacier UU Fellowship in Kalispell, MT
  • Morristown Unitarian Fellowship in Morristown, NJ
  • UU Fellowship of Huntington, NY
  • UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY
  • All Souls UU Church in Watertown, NY
  • Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga, ON
  • Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship in Thunder Bay, ON
  • First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, ON
  • UU Community Church of Washington County in Hillsboro, OR
  • First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR
  • Unitarian Society of Germantown in Philadelphia, PA
  • UU Estrie - UU Church of North Hatley, QC

Envoy Spotlight

In this special Envoy Spotlight, we focus on the Envoy Team at the UU Fellowship of Huntington, NY: Ben Testa, Julia Moskowitz, and Ben Sussman. I had the great pleasure of spending some time with these fantastic Envoys last October during their UN Sunday service. Huge congratulations to them on achieving Blue Ribbon Status this year!
 
Let me start off by telling you a tale about their path to becoming a 2016 Blue Ribbon Congregation. UUFH has been a Blue Ribbon Congregation every year since 2011, and supporting the UU-UNO is very important to the Fellowship as a whole. However, achieving Blue Ribbon status this year at one point seemed a daunting task for these committed Envoys. By the first week of March, only 3 individuals out of the required 15 had given to the UU-UNO; that's when the Envoy team jumped into gear. After diligent outreach in Huntington and constant communications between the Huntington Envoys, UU-UNO staff in NYC, and UUA staff in Boston, the UU Fellowship of Huntington far and away surpassed their goals. By the Blue Ribbon deadline on March 31st, twenty-eight individuals had donated to the UU-UNO!

In addition to achieving Blue Ribbon status, both Youth Envoys from Huntington (Julia and Ben) attended this year's Intergenerational Spring Seminar and the Team has great plans for the future! Over the next year they will be focusing on getting more members of the congregation involved and tuned-in to the action at the United Nations, and will work towards the 2017 Blue Ribbon Award! The UUFH Envoy Team just wrote a guest post on our blog about why and how their congregation supports the UU-UNO as a Blue Ribbon Congregation. Read on!

A Solution to Climate Change: Ethical Eating

By Mara Moss, UU-UNO Climate Justice Program Intern

As climate change continues on its current course, it becomes an increasing existential threat to human civilization. The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office's Climate Justice Initiative is compelled to acknowledge this threat, and try to find solutions from a theological standpoint. As such, as Unitarian Universalists we are called to discuss the ethical dimensions of Climate Change, and we reflect on our 7th Principle, respect for the interdependent web of all existence, to frame our work.
To adequately address the ethics of climate change, it is crucial to examine issues relating to food. Although not a widely discussed topic, the consumption choices that humans make, both in food choices and in food sourcing, are an enormous contributor to climate change. The UU-UNO has begun collaboration with the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation around the topic of Ethical Eating. This is a topic that some Unitarian Universalists have been engaged with for many years: in 2011, the Unitarian Universalist Association adopted a Statement of Conscience about ethical eating, urging UUs to be mindful of their relationship with food as part of respecting and acting compassionately towards all life on the planet. On May 19, 2016 the UU-UNO and Tzu Chi held a joint panel discussion "Ethical Eating: A Solution to Climate Change" at the United Nations Church Center in New York City...

Coming Up: UUA General Assembly

Columbus, OH June 22-26

We're gearing up for the end of June when the UU-UNO will have two workshops at the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly in Columbus. This year's GA theme is Heartland: Where Faiths Connect. We look forward to connecting with UUs from around the United States (and some of our international and interfaith guests too!) at GA. If you aren't going yourself, see if someone from your congregation will be at GA and can meet us at one of our events or visit us at the International booth in the UUA expressway! Here are all the UU-UNO events at GA:

Sustainable Development and Interfaith Action against Climate Change (Workshop)
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM, Jun 23 - Convention Center, Hall F


Black Lives Matter Outside Our Borders (Workshop)
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM, Jun 24 - Convention Center, Battelle Grand A

UUA International Reception (Including Blue Ribbon & Dana Greeley Awards!)
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, Jun 24 - Hilton, Robert King - Please RSVP here!

Envoy Breakfast (For current and prospective Envoys)
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM, Jun 25 - Hilton, Edna Boise Hopkins Room

United Nations News
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN  
World Humanitarian Summit - At the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, the United Nations Children's Fund launched a new fund to provide better coordinated support for education for children in crisis zones. The fund aims to reach more than 13.6 million children and youth living in crisis situations such as conflict, natural disasters and disease outbreaks, with quality education over the next five years.

Emergency health response - The World Health Organization (WHO) agreed to establish a new Health Emergencies Programme. The program will deliver rapid, predictable, and comprehensive support for communities affected by disease outbreaks, natural or human-made disasters, or conflicts.

Youth at DPI/NGO Conference - At the sixty-sixth United Nations Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations (DPI/NGO) Conference in Gyeongju, Korea, an emphasis was placed on global citizenship and the importance of youth pushing their governments to implement measures for sustainable development.


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

As the summer gets started, our Racial Justice Initiative plans to engage with other groups at the UN in addressing the pervasive global issue of colorism, discrimination and abuse based on skin color.
Every Child is Our Child

UU-UNO is working with an organization in Ghana that provides reusable sanitary pads and we are finalizing details and logistics for how to distribute these to the girls sponsored by the ECOC program in Ghana.
Climate Justice

We hosted a fantastic panel discussion on Ethical Eating in partnership with the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation and Meatless Mondays. Read about it on our blog and stay tuned for a video coming soon!
 
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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