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Envoy News

February

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,

How is your spirit? It is always peak time here in the office, but this is a peak peak season with the Intergenerational Spring Seminar, UUA General Assembly, and Canadian Unitarian Council Annual Conference Meeting coming up!  I have been working on updating my database list and email list of Envoys to make sure everyone is getting the information they want and need. I was looking to revive our District Envoy program in January and decided to push it back as the UUA is looking to shift to regional organization. If you do have any interest in being an Envoy whose responsibilities include working to connect congregations in your area, please let me know as I do have an interest sheet.  Remember your opportunity to send feedback on the Envoy Program, the coordinator, our conference calls, and even this newsletter. Write to me whenever you come up with something!  You and your team should be disseminating information to your congregation as well as reporting back on what is happening at your congregation and during your envoy check-ins.  

In Peace, Love & Justice, 

Kamila Jacob
Envoy Outreach Coordinator

Envoys in Action

Dec/Jan review: (1) Advertise Dana Greeley and Blue Ribbon Awards (2) Review training call minutes (with team) and share "next steps" (3) Review Blue Ribbon Congregation criteria

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

1

Intergenerational Spring Seminar early bird deadline is MARCH 7TH!  That is this Friday!  After March 7th the rates go up and March 17th registration closes.  Register today!  Invite everyone - congregants, coworkers, friends, and family...heck, even acquaintances! Download the flyer and post at your congregation, nearby congregations, and in community centers.  Remember scholarships are available by request on a first come first serve basis.  

2

As the seasons change - more recently from winter to spring and back to winter - climate change and sustainable development is on the forefront of the minds of many.  This is the perfect time to suggest starting a Climate Action Team. Invite your congregation to engage in climate change mitigation. Invite them to see how they can incorporate sustainable practices into their current justice work. Check out the envoy page on the climate portal.

3

Get ready to Save the Date! Our next conference call will be after the seminar in April. We will review the seminar and check-in with successes and obstacles. We will also review Blue Ribbon Congregation qualifications and the Dana Greeley Award.

How did the calls by time zone work for you? Should we do that again? Perhaps this time I can announce 3 times and you can pick which one works best for you? Participating in these check-ins is one of your envoy responsibilities so please be sure to attend.  

Adventures

Here is some of the February traveling schedule and a sneak peak into March.   

  • February 7-14 - Bruce and intern Maria visited our Every Child is Our Child project in Ghana, Africa. Read the blog here

  • February 20-22 - Bruce and intern Caroline traveled to Florida for a weekend long conference on climate change.  Read the blog here  

  • February 23 - The UU Congregation of Shelter Rock had their UN Sunday Service at which Bruce gave the address.

  • March 3 - Bruce is visiting the UU Congregation of Kansas City, MO  

  • March 10-11 - International Staff Group Retreat

  • March 14-16 - Bruce will visit the UU Congregation in Conejo Valley, CA

Intergenerational Spring Seminar!

As the seminar nears (4 weeks!) Envoys have been calling to gather information to relay to their congregation.  Here are some FAQs that will hopefully be helpful to you!

Who will be attending the seminar? Seminar attendees are ages 14 and older. Youth, young adults, adults, and seniors are all in attendance.  As many of the UU-UNO constituency identify as Unitarian Universalist, so are many of the participants, however, this event is open to all who are interested. Participants travel from across the United States and Canada. 

How do I register?/Do I have to register online? You do need to register online. To register, please go to uno2014seminar.bpt.me.  If you have trouble or would like assistance, please call the office (212.986.5165) and we will help you. If you are register using our scholarship link please be sure you receive a confirmation from Nickie Tiedeman.  

I am registered, can I have more information about the seminar? We will email you a PDF document, a pre-seminar packet, with everything from speakers to what to wear. The next round will be sent out around March 7th (EARLY BIRD DEADLINE). The following email blast will go out around March 17th (REGISTRATION DEADLINE). We will also post the packet on our seminar webpage for download. www.uua.org/unspringseminar 

When do I have to be there? Youth and youth advisors should arrive at 6:15 for registration and a light dinner. Youth with leadership roles will need to arrive early. If a youth is interested in a leadership role they will need to fill out the Leadership Application.  

We suggest participants arrive on Wednesday, April 2nd as registration and breakfast start at 8:30am on Thursday, April 3rd.  

What is a youth advisor? A youth advisor is hired by their congregation to work with the youth group.  Responsibilities include facilitating discussions, helping to organize events, and being a youth ally.  A Youth Advisor must be at least 25 years old. Youth do not need to have a youth advisor from their congregation to attend the seminar.  If their youth advisor cannot attend, they will be assigned to a youth advisor upon their arrival on Wednesday evening. Youth Advisors are required to fill out the advisor application, it is expected they have previous experience as a youth advisor at the current or former congregation, and their accommodations are the church with the youth. This is different from an adult chaperone who is from the same or nearby church who plan to travel to and/or from the seminar with the youth.  

Where will I stay? Youth and youth advisors will be at the All Souls UU Church about 40 blocks from the UN Church Center.  Youth and youth advisors are provided with MetroCards and will travel in small groups to and from the seminar each day.  For all other participants, we have a suggested accommodations list.  We have some rooms reserved and they are first-come, first-serve. We selected accommodations that were close to the UN Church Center, but remember this is NYC! There is plenty of transportation options if you would like to expand your accommodations search.  In addition, please join our Facebook Event and you can look for a hotel roommate, request a homestay, and even ask about carpooling.  

How much money should I bring with me? Breakfast is provided every day.  Lunch and dinner will be served on Friday. Thursday we break for lunch and dinner. There are many many options of places to eat close to the UN Church Center that offer delicious meals starting at just $7 (drink not included)! $50 should cover the 2 meals and you should have money left over to buy a present for a friend back home...or yourself!   

How can I get from the airplane to where I am staying and then to the seminar? We have created a Transportation Document to help guide you.  


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

The UU-UNO was happy to be at the Healing Our Worlds and Ourselves Conference in Vero Beach Florida this month. Connecting with climate change activists and UU environmental groups helped strengthen both our Climate Change program and the Climate Action Team initiative.  Learn more about the event by visiting our blog page: www.international.blogs.uua.org

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 and Bruce just returned from their site visit to Ghana.  They visited the different schools, the children’s homes, met with teachers, headmasters, and the Queen Mothers. She and Bruce also visited the Ghana AIDS commission, Peace Corps, and the Board of Education. Maria is happy to report that the children are happy and grateful to be receiving an education. Maria has been working on putting together a site visit report, as well as a video of the visit. For more information about this visit, check out our blog!

If your would like congregation to send post cards for us to bring to encourage the children to stay in school, please contact our office! unintern@uua.org with subject line "ATTN: Maria". 

Intergenerational Spring Seminar

As we conclude February, we begin to finalize the panels and panelists for our 2014 Intergenerational Spring Seminar. We have confirmed speakers from countries around the world who will bring an International perspective of Indigenous groups to the seminar. We look forward to the continued registration of participants to experience the expertise of our distinguished speakers and interactive programming. 

SOGI Rights (LGBTQ)

Refugees and Asylees

Currently, seventy-six countries of the world criminalize same-sex relations and/or create homophobic and transphobic cultures in which members of the LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex) community are subject to torture, arrest, and even death. Until members of the LGBTQI community can live freely and safely in any country of the world, knowing the resources available to an asylum seeker in your community can help facilitate the transition and integration. This information can be synthesized and made readily accessible through a process called community mapping. I am in the process of putting together the beginning stages of a community map for New York City that includes resources such as pro bono legal services, soup kitchens & food pantries, LGBT centers, public libraries, health clinics, social service agencies, and ESL classes, among others. If you are interested in creating a community map for your area, feel free to reach out to Lauren at unintern@uua.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Email unintern@uua.org with subject line "ATT: Lauren". 

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.  We will have an event on Thursday, March 13th and Friday, March 14th.  The topics are Climate Change: Implications for Maternal Mortality and Disease and Women's Role in Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Recovery.  We have confirmed distinguished panelists for our upcoming CSW58 panel discussions and we can’t wait to see it happen! 

News You Can Use 

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

Upcoming Events

 United Nations Updates: