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United Nations Sunday
Celebrating United Nations Sunday is an excellent opportunity for Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations to express their commitment to our Sixth Principle: We Covenant to Affirm and Promote the Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty and Justice for All.
The UU-United Nations Office’s (UU-UNO’s) theme for UN Sunday 2011 is:
Empower Women for a Better World.
The UU-UNO recommends that congregations schedule a UN Sunday service on October 23, 2011, (or another convenient date) in recognition of the birth of the United Nations on October 24th, 1945.
Congregations participating in the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA's) “Faith Without Borders” (FWB) program will find the organization of this resource into 7 areas familiar:
- Through Education,
- Through Advocacy,
- Through Partnership,
- Through Stewardship,
- Through Pilgrimage and Witness, and
- Through Associational Leadership.
Congregations who aren’t participating in FWB may find this organizational method helpful as well.
The UU-UNO has created excellent UN Sunday materials. This webpage often references those materials and highly recommends that congregations make use of them.
For more information about any of the suggestions, or to share additional ideas, please contact the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Office of International Resources: international [at] uua [dot] org (international @ uua.org).
- Schedule a UN Sunday service and begin to plan for it as early as possible. Many UU congregations have a UU-UNO Envoy who can provide leadership for this service
- Make use of the worship materials that the UU-UNO has collected in its UN Sunday Packet (PDF, 23 pages; see 12-15)
- Incorporate the UUSC's Water Justice Taizé Ritual into a service
Read an inspirational article or story that relates to climate change on the UN Works website:
- Offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers for all Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist (U/U) brothers and sisters around the world
- Offer your spiritual support to religious people around the world, especially those who suffer for righteousness sake.
- Offer a forum on the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or an update on the development of and efforts to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals
Engage children and youth with a UN Sunday religious education activity:
- Visit the UN’s Cyber Schoolbus website for intergenerational education ideas, i.e. the "Saving Tomorrow's World" module
- Plan to send an intergenerational delegation from your congregation to the UU-UNO’s Spring Seminar in 2011
- Get involved with Earth Summit and promote discussion of global social and environmental issues
- Host a movie screening and group discussion on climate change (i.e. Climate of Change, Thirst, An Inconvenient Truth, A Crude Awakening, The Great Warming, Everything's Cool, The 11th Hour, and Flow).
Through Justice Making and Advocacy
During the UN Sunday service highlight the international advocacy work and/or climate change advocacy work your congregation is already involved with, or invite the congregation to consider doing so by:
- Supporting the UU-UNO’s “Every Child is Our Child” initiative
- Participating in the Ethical Eatingstudy/action process
- Use the Resource Guide (PDF, 21 pages) to address the 2006 Statement of Conscience on Global Warming/Climate Change
- Develop a relationship with your local United Nations Association Chapter
- Inform the congregation of the U.S.’s dues still owed to the United Nations and encourage advocacy to congressional candidates regarding full payment/repayment of the United States dues to the UN
- Work with your congregation to participate in the Green Sanctuary program
- Consider writing a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper on the subject of UN dues and/or climate change
- Consult with the UU Ministry for Earth on ways to take action.
- During the UN Sunday Service remember the importance of your congregation’s international partnership with a U/U congregation in Transylvania, Hungary, India, the Philippines, or another part of the world. Describe how this partnership is one way of living out the goals of the United Nations
- If your congregation doesn’t have a partner-church, invite a conversation to become involved with partner church ministry through the UU Partner Church Council (UUPCC).
Through Faithful Stewardship
- Request a special offering on UN Sunday to support the UU-UNO’s work as the representative voice of Unitarian Universalism at the United Nations or to support a congregational international engagement project.
Through Pilgrimage and Witness
During the UN Sunday Service or following it announce a congregational pilgrimage to your partner church or an opportunity to participate in an international witness/service project with an organization like:
- Share information about UUPCC pilgrimages—no partner church experience required.
Through Associational Leadership
- Celebrate your congregation’s UU-UNO Envoy during UN Sunday, or install an Envoy if you don’t have one already
- Honor the international engagement leadership that a member of your congregation has provided locally or to the Unitarian Universalist movement
- Commit to share your congregation’s experiences in international engagement with other UU congregations—the UUA’s International Resources Office would like to help you do so!