Monthly Newsletter for UU-UNO Envoys
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News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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Dear ,

I know that even if your congregation takes the summer off from regular services, there's still always a lot going on in the community and in our world. Let this summer be a time for re-commitment and renewal, and don't hesitate to reach out if I can help with anything as you plan and scheme for the coming church year!

Speaking of plans and schemes for the coming year: we have not yet received any applications yet for Youth or Adult Deans, Chaplains, or Planning Committee members to lead our upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar. Please encourage folx in your congregations (or yourself!) to apply! See more below and on our Spring Seminar website.

As noted in the May Envoy News, there was no Envoy conference call in June. Our next call will be July 16 - please RSVP here.

Huge congratulations again to our 2018-19 Blue Ribbon Congregations and hurrah for those hard-working Envoys who made it happen! We were excited to present awards to those representatives who were able to be at GA in Spokane. Other Blue Ribbon Congregations can look for their awards in the mail next week.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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

In recent months, even years now, the United States has been pulling back from involvement in the United Nations. Even as the United Nations makes strides forward in development, human rights, and peacekeeping, the U.S. State Department has forbid its staff from referring to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals were unanimously affirmed in 2015 by all 193 countries of the UN as an action plan for people, planet, and prosperity. The U.S. presence at the UN is felt to be all about politics instead of actually doing the work at hand. With appointments such as the new U.S. Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Andrew Bremberg, the administration is laying a foundation of conservative isolationist antagonism whose impact is already being felt around the world and may take generations to reverse. The voices of Unitarian Universalist and other progressive civil society organizations at the United Nations are critical in this time. As certain segments of the UN become increasingly hostile, coalition-building is taking center-stage as the UU United Nations Office looks forward to the upcoming 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City, UT this August. UUs are invited to attend; contact for more info.


Please complete the following tasks by the end of July.

  1. Share the highlights of your past year as an Envoy with others on the UU-UNO Envoys Facebook Group!
  2. Look at the suggested Envoy Timeline for the year and start the planning process now.
June Review: (1) Reflect on the year with your Envoy Team, set goals for 2019-20. (2) Get a UN Sunday service/event on the calendar; invite guest speaker from UU-UNO.  
Photo by Isaac Humphrie
A look behind, a look ahead

June 1-5: UNO Director Bruce Knotts in Taiwan to address the World League of Freedom and Democracy.
June 6: UU-UNO Summer Internships begin.
June 10: Allison's birthday!

June 19-23: UUA General Assembly in Spokane, WA. (Including a workshop led by UUA Int'l Office on the 6th Principle: Photo above.)
July 4-5: UUA offices closed for Independence Day.
July 9-18: United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York City.
July 23: Bruce's birthday!
July 26: UU-UNO panel discussion in NYC on non-binary identity in sports.
August 12: International Youth Day.
August 19: World Humanitarian Day.
August 26-28: United Nations Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City.


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for June 2019 will be related to the Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls - focusing on target 5.1 (End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.) SDG 5? WHY IT MATTERS!

Agh, UN! They're still learning. Let's all please define "women & girls" as broadly as possible.


Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to dedicate one worship service in the year to our Sixth Principle's call for a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all by hosting a United Nations Sunday worship service or event.

Last month I promised the UN Sunday resource packet would be available by the end of June. Apologies! We're still finishing it up. Keep an eye out for an email in a couple of weeks when the completed packet will be posted on As a reminder, this year's theme is Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World. Congregations are invited to address UN and UU engagement with gender equity and intersectionality. The packet will include information on the theme, suggested religious education activities, a sample order of service, and much more! The recommended date for UN Sunday is October 27, 2019.

Intergenerational Spring Seminar
Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities

The UU-UNO is very involved with planning this year's annual UN Civil Society Conference (formerly DPI/NGO Conference):

August 26-28, 2019
Salt Lake City, Utah

This year's conference will focus on building inclusive and sustainable cities and communities. Registration is free and will be open until August 1st. Envoys are welcome to register in affiliation with the UU-UNO! On the registration form: select Representation Type "NGO" and Organization Name "Unitarian Universalist Association". Here's a direct registration link; click below for more conference details. Youth involvement is key to the success of the conference! For the purposes of this conference, the UN defines "youth" as between the ages of 18-34.
Find more at

Appeal to Navy Personnel

By Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

An appeal was recently distributed to navy personnel at Bangor Naval Base in Washington State, calling on navy personnel to "Refuse to engage in nuclear annihilation." This appeal is reprinted here with permission of Ground Zero Center in Seattle, along with a call to action for Unitarian Universalists.......

Highlights from a Disarmament Conference

By Joanne Dufour, Disarmament Volunteer

On April 14, 2019, the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ hosted a conference on Steps to a Nuclear Weapons-Free World. Joanne Dufour attended and writes here about the many new disarmament developments that were discussed.......

Youth Participant in UU-UNO Spring Seminar Values the Experience

By Canadian Unitarian Council

Taz Trefzger, a youth from the Kingston Unitarian Fellowship, was one of two Canadian youth participants this year's UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar on the theme of Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World........

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Detention centers - In a strongly worded appeal to countries of origin, transit, and destination to do more to protect vulnerable migrants, the Executive Director of UNICEF spotlighted in particular the "dire" government border shelter facilities on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that they cause lasting harm to youngsters in need of help.

South Sudan - The peace dividend from last year's ceasefire in South Sudan is palpable, but political elites need to follow the example set by local communities on the ground if lasting progress is to be achieved, said the top UN official in the country this week.

Climate apartheid - Climate change "threatens to undo the last 50 years" of development, global health advances, and poverty reduction, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said this week, citing the risk of a new era of "climate apartheid" where the rich buy their way out of rising heat and hunger.

Changing families - UN Women recently published a photo essay on changing families around the world and gender roles within them: There is no 'standard' form of family today, with many more female-headed households, families with single parents, working mothers, and families with same-sex parents.

This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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