The MidAmerica Board has covenanted with each other as a group to be intentional in developing a personal and a board deepening practice regarding Anti-racism, Anti-oppression, and Multicultural Awareness and to consider ARAOMC Awareness as foundational to our governance work in the MidAmerica Region. In our newsletters, we hope to move forward stories from our congregations to let others know about what is happening throughout the region, to encourage those who hold this value, and to honor congregations in their social justice work. For our last face-to-face gathering at the end of 2013, each board member was invited to collect ARAOMC stories from a congregation they knew or were interested in, and to share that story during our gathering. We will have a congregation’s gathered story reviewed by an appropriate spokesperson for the congregation prior to distributing it.
The following regards White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota, a congregation of over 700 adults and 350 children. The size of the congregation allows many hands for social justice work, but congregations and fellowships of all sizes may find possibility in WBUUC’s experience. What’s been happening at WBUUC regarding ARAOMC?
... and Licenses in Their HandsOn Friday, March 21, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is, indeed, unconstitutional. The ruling came just after 5 p.m., after county clerks' offices were closed. However, as the evening unfolded, we got word that four county clerks would open specially on Saturday, hoping to issue licenses before any stay could be put into effect. Some of these county clerks were responding to particular requests from UU churches. The county clerks that opened on Saturday morning were Oakland County (Pontiac), Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor), Muskegon County (City of Muskegon), and Ingham County (Mason). UU ministers were at each location, with rainbow stoles around their shoulders and licenses in their hands.
by Rev. Scott Aaseng, Unitarian Universalist Church of Quincy, Illinois
Rev. Khleber Van Zandt didn't think he or anyone else from First Unitarian Church of Alton would make it to Springfield for the March for Marriage Equality on October 22. Then at church two days before the event, he was talking with a 71 year-old member of the congregation who was apologizing for being a little grumpy. The member commented that it had been an emotional time in their life. Rev. Van Zandt suggested that perhaps he had said something that had made the member upset. "No," the member replied, "it's because I'm this close to being considered equal to you. I've been down in the bottom of the closet for 71 years, and it's finally time I came all the way out so I can marry the person I love." Both Rev. Van Zandt and the member made it to the March, along with five other members from Alton.