InterConnections: A Newsletter for Congregational Leaders
InterConnections is an email newsletter that publishes tips and stories about vital congregations for lay leaders and the professional staff who work with them.
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Congregations traditionally promote and encourage Unitarian Universalist values through sermons, religious education, and social justice work. Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, Minn., is taking its values to a new level—applying them to the companies that it buys products from.
Unity Church leaders refer to this as holding “values conversations” with those vendors. Here’s how it works: Any company that the church buys $2,500 in products or services from annually will be evaluated as to how well it meets certain social justice criteria—minority hiring, environmental sustainability, community engagement, fair treatment of workers—and whether its fees are competitive. Read more.
For fifteen years, as an executive with AOL and other companies, June Herold helped create some of the digital tools and toys that the world uses today, including instant messaging, online games, mobile applications, and an online billing system. She holds six patents on her electronic work.
In 2009 she joined the UU Church of Arlington, Va., where she created a top-of-the-line interactive website for the church that includes a self-contained social network.
All of that is only a prelude to what she hopes to accomplish—bringing every UU congregation fully into the digital world. She believes strongly that without an active and engaging digital presence, congregations will not be fully present in the world. Read more.
When the offering plate comes around on Sunday morning at First Universalist Church of Denver, Colo., many nonprofit groups in the community feel the earth move just a little. This is the third year that the congregation has given its entire offering—every Sunday—to local groups or to support the work of the congregation’s own Social Justice Council task forces.
Associate Minister the Rev. Jeannie Shero said nearly $150,000 has been collected so far through the program, called Compassion in Action. “The first year we collected $44,000, then $56,000,” she said. “This year, which ends in June, will be close to $60,000. Prior to the program the offering would bring in around $25,000, much of which was largely used to support the operating budget.” Read more.
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Do you have a story idea, comment, or question? Call InterConnections editor Don Skinner at (800) 204-2523 or send him an email: interconnections @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Friday, June 14, 2013.