Congregational resources profiled on uuworld.org

The following articles, which appeared on uuworld.org in recent months, contain information useful to congregational leaders.

Long Strange Trip, a new video history of Unitarian Universalist history has been created by Ron Cordes, UU history buff from Bedford, Mass. The six DVDs of one hour each are available individually or as a boxed set from the UUA Bookstore. The set has high production values and Cordes presents much of the dialogue from the locations in Europe and elsewhere where significant events in our history occurred. The DVD set will be useful for new-member sessions and for adult education courses. The six hours can easily be divided into half-hour segments followed by discussion. As yet there is no study guide. The full uuworld.org article is here.

An article detailing how several congregations are pursuing social justice initiatives related to the Doctrine of Discovery, appeared on October 14. Delegates at General Assembly 2012 voted to repudiate the doctrine, a centuries-old principle of international law that sanctions and promotes the conquest and exploitation of non-Christian territories and peoples.

An article describing how a Florida UU congregation welcomed Boy Scout troops that had been turned out by a Baptist church after the Boy Scouts of America decided to permit gay youth to join troops, appeared on Sept. 16.

The work of the UU Funding Program, which accepts applications from congregations and others for social justice and other projects, was also highlighted Sept. 16. In 2012 the program gave out more than $1 million in grants ranging from $300 for a voter registration volunteer training, to $20,000 to help organize interfaith support for homeless people in California. Grants Administrator Susan Adams noted that many UUs she meets are still “astonished” that money might be available to support their dreams.

The UUA’s Leap of Faith congregational mentoring program was profiled Sept. 2. Now in its third year, the program brings together congregations that want to learn from each other.

New books and videos at the UUA Bookstore

Several new books and videos available from the UUA Bookstore will be useful to leaders of religious education courses and to social justice advocates, including Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s QuestSocial Justice Heroes, and the video series Long Strange Trip.

In Spiritual Envy, Michael Krasny, a National Public Radio program host, examines the positive and negative aspects of religion as expressed in culture, literature, and human relationships. The paperback book is $14.95.

Social Action Heroes: Unitarian Universalists Who Are Changing the World, by Michelle Bates Deakin of the UU World staff, includes profiles of UUs who have helped rebuild New Orleans, created community farms in Africa, opposed torture, helped homeless boys in Guatemala, and worked on environmental challenges. Deakin describes the book as “ordinary people doing extraordinary social justice work.” The book was excerpted in the winter issue of UU World. The book is $12.

Long Strange Trip examines the history of Unitarianism and Universalism. Three videos, sold separately, cover the early history of these movements. The editor is Ron Cordes. Each one-hour video is $25.

Also on the bookstore website is a listing of companion resources for Skinner House Books, including discussion guides, videos, articles, and books.