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Global Chalice 0410

Global Chalice 0410

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Published by: echerry4005 on Jun 18, 2010
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A Publication of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
Out in Africa:Ugandans Stand on the Side of Love
On Valentine's Day 2010, bisexual, gay, lesbian, andtransgender (BGLT) Ugandans gathered in Kampala forthe “
Standing on the Side of Love: ReimaginingValentine’s Day
” conference. The conference served toorganize a response to the anti-gay bill that would soonbe voted on by the Ugandan Parliament and to providesupport for Ugandans who are facing persecution. LocalUnitarian Universalist (UU) minister Rev. Mark Kiyimbaconvened the conference in conjunction with SpectrumUganda and other grassroots BGLT communityorganizations.The Anti-Homosexuality Bill prohibits “(i) any form ofsexual relations between persons of the same sex; and(ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relationsin public institutions and other places.” Punishment canrange from life imprisonment for homosexual sex toexecution in cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” whichincludes having sex while infected with HIV or havingsex with a minor.Many of the conference participants were young adults.Minors were discouraged from attending to protect theconference from suspicions of pedophilia, a commoncharge against Ugandan homosexuals.One organizer described it as a “Pride Parade in acloset,” but the subject matter was serious.Conference participants called for the completedecriminalization of homosexuality and full access toservices, human rights, and protection by the state.Sessions included talks by religious and human rightsactivists.The keynote speaker was Anglican Bishop and IntegrityUganda President Christopher Ssenyojo, a championally of BGLT rights who spoke on the theme of love and justice. Two UU ministers from the United States werealso featured speakers. The biggest cheer of theafternoon came when Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, a UUpreacher from Oklahoma, said, "You can be a goodperson and be a gay or lesbian person. Please know youwill reach the promised land. God bless Uganda!"The conference culminated in a petition for equality to bepresented to the speaker of the house or a local member ofparliament and in the promise to bring legal challenges tothe Anti-Homosexuality Bill.Unitarian Pastor Kiyimba, whose congregation includesmany BGLT people, offered this statement:“I cannot stand by and watch as my community isexterminated. If the bill finally passes into law, our churchwill go to court and sue the government, because someprovisions of the bill contravene the Ugandan constitution.What this work means to me is that my church can take aleading role in liberating the sexual minorities in Uganda.This work will benefit almost everyone, but we wanted ourpeople to have freedom. The wider view is that the bill canput people in danger, lying about them. People should havefreedom of worship and of relationship. The fact remainsthat BGLT people exist. They are in Uganda. BGLT peopleare all ages and types of people. My dream for Uganda is aUganda that would look like any other country where allpeople are equal on all sides of the law: black, white, gay,straight, rich, poor. Mandela identified South Africa as avulnerable nation because there are so many differentpeople, and all of them live side by side. That is what Iwould like to see in Uganda. It will take a while but I believeit will come.”
The Mission of the ICUU is
To build relationships throughcommunication and collaboration;
To develop spiritual community amongmember groups and their leaders;
To identify and nurture prospective andemerging groups;
To foster our U*U faith for mutualinspiration, development, and growth.
Global Chalice
ICUU Newsletter
www.icuu.net April 2010
African Leadership Trainingand Consultants
With support from the UU Funding Program, and inpartnership with the UU Partner Church Council andthe UUA International Resources Office, the ICUU issponsoring several training events for AfricanUnitarians in 2009 and 2010.In December, 2009,
Fulgence Ndagijimana and MarkKiyimba (Unitarian leaders from Burundi and Uganda,respectively)
traveled to Kenya as ICUUConsultants.
There they met with a group of KenyanUnitarians to give further support and encouragementtoward the ability of the Kenyans to organize a stablenational Unitarian organization, in order to berecognized by the ICUU as an emerging group.Ndagijimana’s and Kiyimba’s observations andrecommendations are helping the ICUU, the UUPCCand the UUA understand how to best support theKenyan movement by giving us more insight into theirstruggles with generational differences, tribaldifferences, extreme economic stress, and very newexposure to Unitarian ideas and ideals.The larger part of this current work in Africa will takeplace in April 2010, when
Community CapacityBuilding workshops will be held in Burundi andUganda.
These workshops, developed and led by RichardFord of the United States, have been usedsuccessfully in Unitarian organizations in Transylania,India and the Philippines as part of the PartnerChurch program.The goal is to strengthen the capacity of eachorganization, and the community it is part of, to builda local base of resources plus experience in settingpriorities to strengthen the ability to gather andmaintain resources.In addition to these workshops, ICUU programcoordinator Rev. Jill McAllister will provide leadershiptraining for new Unitarian leaders from Burundi,Congo Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic ofCongo, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
ICUU Conferences This Year 
Two major ICUU conferences are planned for July, 2010. FromJuly 9-12, we will host a first-ever international gathering of
Unitarian and UU ministers
, to meet one another and begin tobuild friendships and collaborations around the commonchallenges of ministry.Presentations, workshops and discussions will focus on thegeneral themes of:
The Call to Ministry
Liberal Ministry in a Global Context and a GlobalMovement
How Oppression and Freedom Shape our MinistryLeaders of the UU theological schools in Britain, Transylvaniaand the USA will take part, as will leaders of the various UUMinisters Associations around the world. For many, it will be afirst-time experience of the ICUU and the international UUcommunity.Following the ministers conference the ICUU will host our third
International Theological Symposium
, featuring nine majorpresenters from 8 countries, focusing on the theme “Belonging:Our Unitarian Identities and the Nature of Our Relations.”Presenters, including Revs. Maria Pap of Transylvania, GordonOliver of South Africa, Paul Rasor of the USA, Nihal Attanayakeof the Philippines, and others, will address questions such as:
What does it mean to be Unitarian –Universalist? Howdoes this identity relate to other identities such asEuropean, American, African, other, gay, straight, etc?
How are we related to one another around the world, andto other entities?
Do we recognize shared covenants? Or is covenant aculturally/historically limited term?
Are there core U-U teachings on belonging, onmembership, on covenants? Are traditional structures ofreligious membership still valid for today’s world?
If we belong to each other in some ways, how does thatmanifest as mission, as care, concern, collaboration,mutuality, accountability, etc?
Are there threats to our belonging – to each other, to theworld, to the earth, to Life/God?Both conferences will take place at the Rolduc ConferenceCenter in the Netherlands, a venue often used by the EuropeanUnitarian Universalists for their retreats. We will be joined by,and hosted by, representatives of two Dutch Liberal ProtestantChurches – the Remonstrants and the NPB, both of whom areinterested in closer ties with the ICUU. It is still possible toregister for these conferences – information is available at theICUU web site or from Executive Secretary Rev. Steve Dick, atexecsec@icuu.net.In addition, immediately following the Symposium on July 17,also at Rolduc, European Unitarian Universalists will sponsor aone-day training event for lay people who want to learn how tolead rites of passage such as weddings and memorial services.ICUU President Rev. Brian Kiely, a trainer in the CanadianUnitarian Council’s Lay Chaplaincy Program, will be the facilitatorfor this workshop. Registration is open to all who are interested;information about registration is available from EUU PresidentTina Huesing, atpresident@europeanuu.eu 
ICUU Launches New Email List
This new list is open to all interested groups andindividuals for the distribution of announcementsabout ICUU as well as news about developments inUnitarianism and Unitarian Universalism around theworld.It is not a discussion list and emails will be postedonly by ICUU staff.To join the list and get ICUU information delivereddirectly to your email inbox, sign up at:
UU News from the Philippines
The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippinesis composed of 29 congregations and fellowships,two in Manila and others on Negros Island. NationalHeadquarters is based in Dumaguete City.The usual Sunday Worship services in allcongregations are the major activity.The Faith in Action Committee creates and managesprograms that benefit the congregation andmembers. Church Partnership is one of the majorprograms. Congregations in the USA such as SanMateo, Monte Vista, and San Diego, California;Honolulu, Hawaii; Castine, Maine; and White Plains,NY are six partnered congregations. Some PartneredUSA congregations have started to support studentswith their school needs, to build and renovatechapels, and to pay visits to their partnercongregations in the Philippines.We conduct a Micro Finance program supported byCorvallis UUs in Oregon, a Livelihood programestablished and funded by the late Rev. Poly Guild,and Student Sponsorship facilitated by the UUPartner Church Council.The women's movement has created educationalprograms to equip women on rights, social issues,laws and participatory processes in society.The Youth have camped to develop skills,socialization and awareness building ofenvironmental concerns.The Church Annual meeting was held from April 24-27, attended by 65 delegates. The keynote speakerwas Rev. Eric Cherry, Director of the UUAInternational Resources Office.We also organize tours and congregational visits.The last tour, in March 2010, included 12 membersfrom the USA. Another is planned for late March ofnext year. The next congregation to congregationvisit is from Monte Vista, California at the end of July.UUCP will host the ICUU’s Executive Councilmeeting in August 2010. EC members will be in thePhilippines from the 21st to the 30th.In connection with that meeting, the UUA President isscheduled to visit the Philippines from the 25th ofAugust to the 2nd of September 2010.We are active in social outreach with ecumenicalgroups working in prisons and advocacy onenvironmental concerns, disaster relief, and justiceissues.Our biggest institutional project is a dormitory forUniversity students. Information on this is found onour website,www.uupcdorm.com 
Transylvanian Church Looks Ahead
Re-organizing would be the word that best describesthe life of Transylvanian Unitarians in 2010. The newchurch leadership, elected in 2008, has been able toset up its priorities by now, and has started workingon them piece by piece.For the future, an important challenge will be toconsider changing the constitution and bylaws of theTransylvanian Unitarian Church itself. Over the last20 years these documents were updated twice, butfurther improvements are needed. A TUC Synod isexpected to deal with proposed modifications in thefall of 2011.The inner life of the church is focusing on re-thinkingits priorities. Dedicated work is being done in thisregard by setting up the new strategic plan of thechurch, to be adopted by the General Meeting, eitherin July 2010 or July 2011. Another new program isstructured continuing education for our ministers, withtwo 3-day-long intensive training sessions every year.Special status is being given to our relationships withthe Unitarian Church in Hungary. Once belonging toone organization, the two communities were lastdivided as a consequence of Europe’s restructuringafter World War II. After 50 years of separation, moreand more attention is being given on both sides to theidea of re-unification. Decisions in this regard are tobe expected soon.On the international level, our church is most activelyinvolved in the work of the ICUU. After hosting theCouncil Meeting in 2009, we will have 14 delegatesattending this summer’s ministers’ conference andtheological symposium in Holland. Also, we aretaking part in the work that aims to revitalize theInternational Association for Religious Freedom:several TUC church leaders will participate in theIARF’s next Congress in India, in fall 2010. Our mostdeveloped network continues to be the partnerchurch relationship of our congregations withUnitarian Universalist churches in North America.
ANZUUA Conferenceon Congregational Growth and Vitality
In August 2010, ANZUUA (the Australia NewZealand UU Association) will host a conference oncongregational vitality and growth, encouragingICUU groups from the Asia and Pacific region to join them. Brisbane, Australia will be the locationand host congregation. Workshop facilitation will beprovided by ICUU program consultant Rev. JillMcAllister, with local ANZUUA ministers andleaders.

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