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Envoy News

November 2013

Your UU Connection to the United Nations

 

  

Mission Statement

 

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office promotes the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all, as reflected in the United Nations Charter. Through targeted education, advocacy and outreach, we engage Unitarian Universalists in support of international cooperation and the work of the United Nations.

Dear Friends,

Does anyone remember when we had the chance to get through U.S. Thanksgiving BEFORE the Hanukkah/Christmas/Post-Thanksgiving celebrations commercials and advertisements started? In Canada do you see ads starting before Thanksgiving in October?!  

During the first two weeks of December we will be having envoy check in calls organized by time zone.  Please click on the appropriate Doodle poll to select the times that will work best for you. COMPLETE BY DECEMBER 4TH PLEASE. 

Once you click the link, it will open a new webpage that will ask you to add your name - Please put your first name and, if you desire, include your congregation (or the acronym).  Then you can select all the times that you would prefer on the selected dates.  

Pacific Time: DOODLE POLL

Mountain Time: DOODLE POLL

Central Time: DOODLE POLL

Eastern Time: DOODLE POLL

Please take a few moments to fill this out and let me know if you have additional questions and/or suggested time changes.  The times are based on my office hours, so I welcome feedback.  Again, if you have interest in learning more about being a district envoy, please let me know.  
 

In Peace, Love & Justice, 

Kamila Jacob
Envoy Outreach Coordinator

Envoys in Action

November review: (1) UN Sunday report (2) Schedule meeting with your minister (3) Review Blue Ribbon Congregation criteria

Please try to complete the following Action Items before the end of December  

1

I will repeat the first one as many are still having UN Sunday services.  Please remember to fill out and turn in your Envoy Reports.  The report form is located on the last page of the UN Sunday packet. 

2

Email Envoy Coordinator (kjacob@uua.org) - any questions you have for me from your minister? You have as an envoy team?  As a lone envoy?    

3

Fill out the Doodle poll and attend an Envoy Check-In.  If unable to attend, email rsvp kjacob@uua.org and include any questions/comments/concerns that will then be included in the notes.    

UN Sunday Travels

Bruce and Kamila have more UN Sunday's coming up!

  • December 1st - Bruce in Montclair, NJ 
  • December 8th - Bruce in Buxmont, PA and Kamila in Englewood, NJ at UUCP
  • December 15th - Bruce in Orange County, NY at UU Rock Tavern
  • December 29th - Kamila in Clearwater, FL (visiting Grandma's church AND I am welcomed to talk about the office, how wonderful!)

Justice Con!

November 16th-17th was Justice Con at the First Parish UU Church in Bedford, MA.  Justice Con is a weekend long conference for youth or young adults that aims to engage participants in international social justice, the UU-UNO, and gain confidence and skills to educate and be involved and engaged in congregations (see blog from Con in DC here).    At this Con, the majority of the participants were "newbies", meaning it was their first con.  What a way to kick things off!  This weekend long Con was cut down to fit into one day of justice and fun.  In collaboration with the congregations Youth Group and the Conference Advisory Team (CAT) of youth and adults, we developed workshops, activities, and an interactive training session.  The second half of the day was dedicated to getting closer as a Con community and also plan how to utilize the knowledge gained post-Con.  We had a fun and exciting coffeehouse just before a moving worship service before we headed to our sleeping quarters.  

If you would like to host Justice Con or learn more, please contact me (kjacob@uua.org)


Program Area Updates

Our academic year interns are hard at work to help develop UU-UNO program initiatives.  Here are brief updates from each. 
Climate Change

We are happy to report that the number of Climate Action Teams (CATs) is growing rapidly! Active teams are working across the Country and in Canada to influence fellow UUs and civil society as well as, local, state, and national policy. Teams are a vital part of climate change mitigation efforts that are so desperately needed. Contact Caroline at the UU-UNO to find out more information and tips on how to get a CAT started in your congregation! unintern@uua.org (subject ATT:CAROLINE) 

Every Child is Our Child (ECOC)

Maria with ECOC kidsThis summer, before starting my internship, I had the privilege of visiting the ECOC sites and delivered post cards to the children from our office staff.  The postcards had encouraging messages and the students loved reading them multiple times and looking at the pictures on the post cards. Maria playing with ECOC kids During my stay, I visited a village and handed a post card to a teenager who had recently graduated from the program, he ran home so that he can put it up on his wall so that he can “read it every day.” The reaction from the children solidified my interest in pen pal programs and I am now working on establishing relationships between UU congregations and ECOC children so that children can continue to receive encouraging messages and learn about a different culture.  

If you would like your congregation to participate in the pen pal program, please contact our office! unintern@uua.org with subject line "ATTN: Maria". 

Intergenerational Spring Seminar

Our 2014 Planning Committee is being Chaired by one of our academic year interns, Julianne. This year's Intergenerational Spring Seminar will be in conjunction with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and will be led by local & international panelists that represent Indigenous communities. As our committee continues to progress in the planning process, we turn to local and international sources to inform us on current events within Indigenous populations. Read how the UN Special Rapporteur, James Anaya, urges a greater focus on environmental and women’s rights on behalf of the Indigenous communities. 

Ministerial Outreach

This month in Ministerial Outreach has brought many good tidings! The Office has continued to personally reach out to ministers and congregations to figure out how we can best serve our communities. We know there are many congregations and ministers out there who are not directly connected with our Office. Now is the perfect time of year to fix that! Sit down with your minister and give our Office a call, or send us an email. We want to hear from you and your minister as to how to allow our Office to best serve you!

SOGI Rights (LGBTQ)

Refugees and Asylees

Having recently started as an Intern at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, I was challenged to explore the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers to the United States who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community- a group whose needs are not currently being met. The literature available on the immigrant population is fairly extensive, and I was surprised to see that much of the research on the refugee and asylum seeker experiences is equated with that of the immigrant population in the United States. It is crucial, however, to acknowledge the difference between choosing to leave one’s country of origin and being forced to leave, and how that influences the implications for serving that individual. Currently, eighty-five nations criminalize same-sex relations and seven of those apply the death penalty for such acts (oraminternational.org). If this topic is of interest to any readers, or if you feel you have something to contribute to this process, please feel free to e-mail unintern@uua.org with subject line "ATT: Lauren". I thank you in advance for your input; all is welcome. 

Women's Rights

As the crisis in Syria continues, many social problems including human rights violations are left for us and they need to be addressed urgently. In response, our intern, Sharon Xi, is working on Monthly Newsletter for the Women’s program, which will be released shortly. This newsletter will include updates on the crisis in Syria, especially the status of women refugees in Syria. It will also include our reflections on how the crisis is affecting women’s rights, and what UU’s can do in response. Other issues relating to women’s security and peacekeeping will be also covered in this newsletter. We are looking forward to advocating, educating and engaging in dialogue with our supporters on international women’s rights!

The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 10th to 21st, 2014.  As the deadline for submitting the application for CSW58 parallel event is approaching, we have drafted a proposal to address the important issues around Women & Climate Change. 

News You Can Use 

You can use the following bullet points in your congregation's newsletter, website or announcements!

UU-UNO Updates: 

  • In case you missed it, here is the blog post on our Fall Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony.

  • The office will be closed Wednesday, November 27th, at 2pm EST. and will reopen on Monday, December 2nd, at 9am EST.   

  • In December the office will close Tuesday, December 24, at 2pm EST and will re-open on Thursday, January 2nd (2014!), at 9am EST.

Upcoming Events

  • Please read this blog post and support our friends in the Philippines.

  • Keep an eye out for follow-up from the Climate Change conference in Warsaw, Poland and the UN meetings on Sustainable Development.   

 United Nations Updates: