Blue Ribbon Congregation Award
Per request during our Envoy Training call, instead of listing Blue Ribbon candidates, here are excerpts from a few of the Envoy reports and feedback about UN Sunday services. I hope this encourages you all with new ideas AND to remember to send this in (it is your duty!).
All Souls UU Congregation of Watertown, NY –
I used the “How to Plan a UN Sunday” packet. It was easy to use – I really appreciated the introductory materials that I could use to inform new members (and remind old members) of our congregation about the UN and the UNO. Our message about immigration was by a former congregation President…Wonderful music was sung by 18 members of the Northern Blend Chorus. The children processed with many country flags to “Let There Be Peace on Earth”, heard a story about immigration, and prepared to go Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF.
UU Community of the Mountains in Grass Valley, CA –
After the service we showed a short film “The Story of Human Rights” (from humanrights.com). [We are working on having an intergenerational service] next year. The RE teachers are interested in the materials suggestion in the UN Sunday Packet. We collected over $300 for the UU-UNO. We involved our local UN Chapter in the service and program afterwards and co-sponsored a speaker at our church the following Saturday with a UNA Human Rights Fellow…one of our members put together information summari[zing]…compatibility of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and UU principles.
UU Church of San Diego -
I was recognized for 20 years of service as the UUUNO Envoy on Sunday Oct. 21st. We also had our UN Sunday International Food fair that day! The rain made us go inside, but we held the food fair after the service in our beautiful new social hall. We had 9 countries represented and we raised more than $500. The Jr. and Sr. high youth had a Halloween Ball this past Saturday and also raised money for UNICEF.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church of Charlottesville, VA –
Our UN Day service was complicated, though we succeeded in featuring the UN effectively. The service was titled “Universal Family” because our minister has a policy of emphasizing a single theme each month, and [November] is “Family”. So when we discussed a UN Day Sunday with him last spring, the only way…was to include international or refugee families who have moved to Charlottesville in recent years in the service and his sermon…Also I was allowed to make a presentation to the Congregation of our plaque for being a UU-UNO Blue Ribbon Congregation in 2011-2012.
In addition, we had a potluck luncheon after the service to which we invited several refugee families now living in Charlottesville, together with their cultural dress and food dishes. We even had local TV coverage of the potluck.
Unitarian Society of Germantown in Philadelphia, PA –
UN Sunday at the Unitarian Society of Germantown (Philadelphia, PA) was combined as a World Peace and Understanding effort with our intern minister giving the sermon. I spoke to the children at the beginning of the service about "The Wizard of Oz" and Dorothy's quest for a perfect world, which she found wasn't really perfect after she went over the rainbow. The point was our obligation to work with organizations like UUUNO and the United Nations toward making our world a better place in which to live. We shared the our collection plate with UUUNO and sent the contribution in.
UU Congregation of Frederick, MD –
As Envoy, I was pleased with the response to our UN Sunday, celebrated October 21st this year. We hung a large United Nations flag up on the panels behind the podium…I set up a table with posters and brochures, buttons and a small UN flag, and talked with people about the UU-UNO. The previous week, I spoke at length on Sunday morning at our Friendly Forum, concerning the history and achievements of the organization. On UN Sunday it was announced in the Order of Service that the day’s Social and Environmental Justice “Split Plate” recipient was the UU-UNO…I spoke to the congregation at the beginning of the service of the great work being done by the UU-UNO, and how proud all UUs should be for our progress at the United Nations in accordance with our principles. Our minister led us in a reading of the Charter of the UN, our RE chose a special children’s story to tell and the theme was carried out in the RE classes. We also followed recommendations for the music and hymns, which enhanced the service. Our donations were a substantial increase over last year.
UU Church of Las Cruces, NM -
I attached the report of contributors as an Excel spreadsheet. It shows that we had 26 people contribute at the membership level. We certified this year at 198 members, so we have over 12% of the congregation as members. Our total contributions exceeded $1,000. We also have an envoy team of 2 senior envoys and 3 youth envoys. As you know we held the UN Sunday Day and took up a plate collection for UU-UNO. I think we have met all the qualifications for the Blue Ribbon Church category for the third year.
On another matter, we have 4 students this time who are hoping to come to the Youth Seminar so they are fundraising like crazy and there is great leadership to get them totally enthused.
Thank you for your reports and feedback.
The packet includes resources from our 2012 spring seminar for fighting discrimination based on race and immigrant status as well as recommended readings, hymns, and preparation suggestions. It is available for download at www.uua.org/unsunday. You should also check out our suggested reading blog.