Dear ,

o much has happened since we last emailed you.

In this season of disquiet and quiet, I am yearning for home....

A couple of weeks ago, my twin sister and I gave a gift to a dear family friend, Anne Barus who turned 96 on December 11. To this day, she is one of the most active persons I know; still teaching English as a Foreign Language, driving, sailing, singing in three Cape Cod choruses, and living life to the fullest. The gift was a book that was entitled, "Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World.” It is authored and illustrated by Ella Francis Sanders.

Several beautiful pages with art and words jumped out at me. One that I am recalling now features a Welsh word, "hiraeth." It is a word that I hold dear. It speaks to a longing for a home that one can never quite return to. (The Welsh have a relationship with Jamaicans -- that's another story!)

In my nostalgic mood, I am going to my Jamaican home, my cultural home for rest and renewal. I'm going home with my family (my twin sister, Hope; our daughters, Lehna and Jova; their partners, Divad and Reuben; and my just about 2-year old granddaughter, Simone) to share key elements of identity with each of them. I especially want Simone to begin to experience elements of her Caribbean culture. And I want the generations of relatives and extended family to know who she is so that she becomes part of our generational narrative arc. Home will never be as we knew or know it, yet home is home.


Dr. Janice Marie Johnson | Multicultural Ministries and Leadership Director | Multicultural Growth and Witness

"Masakhane" is a rich and resonant word from the Nguni family of languages of South Africa, of which Zulu and Xhosa are two. Loosely translated into English it means, "Let us build together."

Earlier this week, UUA President Rev. Peter Morales emailed UU ministers a compelling message calling for sanctuary and resistance:

I believe we are entering dangerous times. I expect that the new administration will unleash human rights abuses aimed at migrants and Muslims shortly after it takes office. In the longer term, other marginalized groups (women, the poor, people of color, transgender people, etc.) will be in danger. We are already seeing an increase in violent acts by people who see the election as validation of their hate.

Among the dangers we face is the temptation to “normalize” the situation. I pray that the incoming administration will prove to be more humane than its rhetoric and many of its most ardent supporters. I see no evidence that this is the case. None. It is irresponsible folly to act as though we are in a normal transition between administrations.

We must prepare to provide sanctuary and resist.

I encourage you to read the entire letter

We are delighted to introduce to you Michael J. Crumpler, our new LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager.

Based in New York City, Michael has 12 years of honorable military service with the United States Air Force; 10 years of religious ministry and spiritual leadership in the areas of pastoral care, youth and young adult ministry, education, music, and mentoring; and 3 years of international and local support and activism for HIV/AIDS as intern, team leader, fundraiser, and volunteer in addition to his other work experience.
Michael brings dynamic life experiences, deep spiritual conviction, and strong organizational leadership skills essential to fulfilling this vital role.

I am impressed with his sense of empathy and sensibility to the issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ableism. With care, he engages the enduring movement of subverting injustice with the gospel of love in action. He is fiercely committed to righting wrong for black lives, international refugees, systemic misogyny, climate justice, and LGBTQ rights.    

In his words: “As LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager, I look forward to fusing together our many courageous stories of faith and love. As such, we will comfort and inspire UU congregations and beyond, all of us during this grief stricken political milieu. I firmly believe in the power of each of our stories, as they reveal who we are and what is needed to sustain us.

As a candidate for ordination in the United Church of Christ (UCC), I am especially excited about this call to ministry with UUs, as it will weave together my admiration for two beautiful traditions. The UU and UCC share a rich history of progressive faith, liberal ideals, radical inclusion, and social justice. We also share Our Whole Lives, OWL, which offers our parishes and communities a refreshing resource for engaging human sexuality for a variety ages, bodies, and proclivities. I look forward to ministering word and sacrament as a UCC reverend, while advocating for the beauty and just causes of LGBTQ and multiculturalism within and beyond the UUA.”

Michael begins work on Monday, January 9, 2017 and will be in Boston throughout that week to meet with his colleagues.  

Week of Action, January 14 – 21, 2017

The week leading up the inauguration of Donald Trump will be filled with ways to show your support and solidarity for an agenda of justice, human rights, and compassion, including the start of Standing on the Side of Love's 30 Days of Love. Learn more about the various events and ways you and your congregation can connect.
If you or a colleague hold one of the many identities that are in the crosshairs of hate and bigotry, the notion and reality of community might feel more important than ever before. We have two invitations to share with you.
Finding Our Way Home: Retreat for UU Religious Professional of Color will be held March 15 – 18, 2017 in Baltimore, MD. 

This annual event is for ministers, ministerial candidates, directors of religious education, directors of music, and administrators who identify as being “of African Descent, Caribbean, Native/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latina/o and Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, Multiracial, and Multiethnic Unitarian Universalists.”  
We gather to give each other the gifts of interconnectedness, community building, spiritual sustenance, and mutual support. We also give each other gifts of personal and professional development. 

Our retreat theme is “Sanctuary and Solidarity.” We are very much in need of both in these trying and tender times. We are working hard to create and share a rich, interactive experience of spirituality and justice. Although we will have a well-mapped out agenda, we will not conduct official business during our time together.

If you have not received our invitation from Lesley Murdock yet, please send her an email at to receive our information packet and registration link.

Revolutionary Love: Disruptive Ethics to Dismantle Racism, a conference sponsored by The Middle Project and the UUA,  April 28 – April 30, 2017. 

The year comes to an end, and the news is firm: Donald J. Trump will be the next president of these United States of America. No matter the lever we pulled in the voting booth, we know this: A radical shift in our national narrative lies ahead. The questions before us are these: What is the story we believe in? How do we create the world about which we dream? 

Now is the time for leaders—ethical leaders—to lead. Leaders who feel called and equipped to make America well, to make America just, to make America safe for all of those who are on the margins. Leaders impassioned to work for a healed and whole nation that is a faithful global neighbor. Join us as we strategize across generations.

Learn more, and register
When purchasing general admission tickets, enter “UU17” in the promo code to receive the special UU Rate of $275 (Savings of $124; regularly $399). This code is good through Monday, January 16 at 11:59 pm.   

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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
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