News

White Supremacy & UU?

Posted by on Mar 15, 2018 in Feature Stories, From Rev. Dave, Justice Opportunities, News, Social Justice Activities | Comments Off on White Supremacy & UU?

Love church allegheny Unitarian Universalist spirituality community nourish spirit worship

All of us need all of all of us

On February 4, 2018, Allegheny’s Get Woke/Stay Woke and the Worship Ministry answered the call from the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism Organizing Collective (BLUU) to create a worship experience centering the voices of Unitarian Universalists of color from across the denomination.

Grateful to be part of a church that has been doing a lot of good things for years that BLUU has challenged Unitarian Universalists to do, like lifting voices of people of color in worship and actively engaging with local organizations that are run by people of color; we still remain vigilant to recognize, address, and heal from remnants of the legacy of White Supremacy that continue to live within the culture and structures of even this Beloved Community of spirit and engaged compassion.

Conscious of the characteristics of White Supremacy culture, our engagement with BLUU challenges and inspires us to live even more deeply into the Beloved Community we seek. Not content to tolerate diversity, we celebrate it. Not seeking to resolve conflict, we welcome it as a healthy sign of life. Not enduring messiness, we embrace the bless of mess. Not giving in to the urgency of now, we live into the deep presence of now. Not reacting with defensiveness, we respond to agitation and criticism with faithful curiosity. Not attending to measurables only, we revel in the immeasurable values of emotional intelligence, conscientious process, and radical inclusion. Not adjusted to hierarchical power, we collaborate and encourage all stakeholders to share in responsibility for leadership. Not relying on the myth of objectivity, we recognize that all of us need all of all of us and lean into learning from those with world views radically different than our own. Not resting in a presumed right to comfort, we are creatively inspired by discomfort to grow our soul.

We’re not looking to ply a new dogma. Nor are we given to the self-righteousness of perfectionism of those who announce themselves as enlightened. We know we will fail. And we commit to “fail forward.”

And so we become the change we seek in the world.

[published March 15, 2018]

A group of Unitarian Universalist leaders have asked our congregations to foster a deeper understanding of how White Supremacy and institutional racism intersect even within our UU institutions–like our congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) itself. Clearly, the UUA is not White Supremacist in philosophy or theology. But just as clearly, our history is full of assumptions and policies that carried notions of the supremacy of Northern European values and the natural inferiority of other “races.”

Part of healing from this legacy is listening–listening especially to UU People of Color who are our leaders– and taking seriously their admonitions. Even when–maybe especially when it makes some of us uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we chose the term “White Supremacy.” We knew it would make some of us squirm.

It’s serendipitous (which is, as I sometimes say, another word for “God”) that the spiritual focus for worship this month is “Freedom with Responsibility.” We are free from dogma, free to create the church that our neighborhood and world needs now. So we have to take responsibility for the church we build, our beliefs, and behaviors.

love church spiritual racism racial justice african american allegheny unitarian universalist church pittsburgh Rev. Tines preaching it from the pulpit at Allegheny–or what he affectionately calls “my UU church.”
For our congregation, taking responsibility by joining in the “White Supremacy Teach-In” is part of an ongoing work. Here’s the worship synopsis I wrote for Sunday, May 7, 2017, following on Rev. Deryck Tine’s powerful personal reflections the previous Sunday:

Taking responsibility for creating intentional community is extremely counter-cultural in our place and time. In response to Leaders of Color in the UUA encouraging all UUs to reflect on the institutional structures and legacy of White Supremacy, Rev Dave celebrates our annual Founders Sunday by exploring from his perspective the ways that spiritual community intentionally offers both comfort and affliction… and might just save humanity.

Following our May 7 worship, we continued exploring the damaging effects of toxic Whiteness and how to work through it to a place of compassionate and well-informed action during a specially re-scheduled “Stay Woke” gathering.

Some people refer to the Unitarian Universalist faith as “A Movement.” But of course it’s more. Sometimes we have to take a stand. We take many stands. But we don’t stay in one place. To do so would be to have a dead faith. In the words of the Ghanaian song Woyaya we sometimes sing, “We are going. Heaven knows where we are going. But we know within.”

Here’s to going with you!

See you in worship.

Always Love, Rev Dave

PS: Here are resources that have been provided by Black Lives of UU if you’d like to go deeper yourself.

PSS: If you have sympathy for this way of putting Unitarian Universalism into action, but some of this happens to be too far outside your comfort zone, let me leave you with words from James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

PSSS: Join “Get Woke Stay Woke” conversations and actions toward racial justice, regularly scheduled following Fellowship on the Second Sundays of the month.

[published May 6, 2017]

Seeking Lead Religious Educator

Posted by on Mar 1, 2018 in News | Comments Off on Seeking Lead Religious Educator

Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church on Pittsburgh’s North Side is looking for a collaborative, caring individual to oversee our faith development program for pre-K through 12-year olds, teaching 8-11-year olds twice monthly, and recruiting and supporting adult volunteers. Love and clearances are must-haves. If you or somebody you know would be an asset to this ministry to children, please apply!

About Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church
We are a welcoming, urban congregation that puts Unitarian Universalism into action by celebrating life, nourishing the spirit and inspiring a commitment to justice. Founded in 1906. Located at W North Ave & Resaca on Pittsburgh’s North Side in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood.

Job Overview
Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church is seeking a responsible, caring individual to oversee the pre-K and Elementary programs Sunday mornings from 10am until 12pm. This is a year-round, on-going staff position for 8 hours per week (2-3 hours per week) supervised by the Minister.

Responsibilities
Religious Educator will be primarily responsible for:
•  Teach elementary classes twice monthly on Sunday morning
•  Contribute to at least quarterly all-ages services
•  Offer all-ages focus (story, lesson, song, etc.) at least monthly during Sunday worship
•  Coordinate, recruit, and support volunteers

Qualifications
•  Prior teaching experience, especially with behavioral needs children
•  Enthusiasm for and the ability to interact well with children
•  Caring and nurturing, and able to work collaboratively
•  Flexible and creative with children
•  Respect and teach the principles of Unitarian Universalism
•  Meet legally required clearances

How to Apply
Please send cover letter, resume, references and other relevant materials.

Email: re at alleghenyuu.org

Postal mail: Allegheny UU Church, 1110 Resaca Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Wintry Weather Adisory: We’ll be OPEN!

Posted by on Jan 17, 2018 in News | Comments Off on Wintry Weather Adisory: We’ll be OPEN!

clearing sidewalks

 

With wintry weather here again a reminder that regardless of weather we gather each Sunday for a 10:30am worship service. That means if you can get here, we’ll be here! If the weather is severe enough that speakers, worship hosts, musicians, etc can’t make it, then we may all need to be flexible and the service format may be a little different. Maybe an intimate fireside gathering in the Emerson Room. But we’ll strive to get the sidewalks and steps cleared and to offer a meaningful spiritual experience for anyone who does attend. Your safety is the most important thing – evaluate the conditions and your trip to and from the North Side. We realize that bad roads, or cold temps, or a threatening forecast may keep you away. We will miss you but we’ll understand if you stay home. Hope to see you Sunday!

Share the Plate supports 2018 Summit Against Racism

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports 2018 Summit Against Racism

Summit Against Racism logoOur Share the Plate collection during November and December 2017 raised $686 for the January 20 2018 Summit Against Racism, which works to bridge Pittsburgh’s racial divide and move people to fight for racial justice. 2018 will be the 20th gathering, held annually following Jonny Gammage’s 1995 death during a traffic stop.

Allegheny’s Share the Plate program began in 2010 and directs half of our Sunday plate collection to justice partners doing important work in the communities of Pittsburgh’s North Side and beyond. To date we have collected and distributed $29,480 to 37  justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good works contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.

 

Share the Plate supports Northside Common Ministries

Posted by on Jan 9, 2018 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports Northside Common Ministries

Our Share the Plate collection during September and October 2017 raised $721 for Northside Common Ministries, which offers vital support and resources to neighbors in need including the Northside Community Food Pantry and the Pleasant Valley Men’s Shelter. In November, Allegheny UU Church was recognized as NCM’s “Congregation of the Year” for our efforts toward social justice, working with immigrant communities, food pantry collections, and Share the Plate collections.

Allegheny’s Share the Plate program began in 2010 and directs half of our Sunday plate collection to justice partners doing important work in the communities of Pittsburgh’s North Side and beyond. To date we have collected and distributed $28,794 to 36  justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good works contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.

Find It Here

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Feature Stories, News | Comments Off on Find It Here

Love. Spirit. Trust. Compassion. Forgiveness. Humanity. Oneness. Difference. Hope. Justice.

Find it here.

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Toys for Tots Collection

Posted by on Nov 5, 2017 in Feature Stories, News | Comments Off on Toys for Tots Collection

Allegheny UU and other UUs of Greater Pittsburgh congregations will be collecting for the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program again this year. Donated toys will go to Marine Corps collection points and will be distributed to children whose families might not otherwise be able to provide that joy on Christmas morning that comes when kids open gifts from family or ‘Santa’. It’s easy to participate! Bring new, unwrapped toys to church by December 10th. No food items are permitted, and no used toys. Realistic looking toy weapons will be rejected. Toys should be in their original packaging, and if possible remove price tags. Please show the spirit of our beloved community and generosity and help disadvantaged families to have a merry Holiday Season.

 

toys for tots logo

 

You can learn more at Toys for Tots.

Share the Plate supports the Refugee Resettlement Program of NAMS

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports the Refugee Resettlement Program of NAMS

Our Share the Plate collection during July and August 2017 raised $580 for the Refugee Resettlement Program of the Northern Area Multi-Service Center which provides refugees and immigrants services and support they need to rebuild their lives.

Allegheny’s Share the Plate program began in 2010 and directs half of our Sunday plate collection to justice partners doing important work in the communities of Pittsburgh’s North Side and beyond. To date we have collected and distributed $28,073 to 35  justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good works contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.

Share the Plate supports the UU PA Legislative Advocacy Network

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports the UU PA Legislative Advocacy Network

UUPLAN logoOur Share the Plate collection during May and June 2017 raised $550 for the Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN), which leverages the commitment and skills of over 6,000 UUs and 40 UU congregations in Pennsylvania to raise a loud and effective voice for social justice issues and corresponding legislation in Harrisburg.

Allegheny’s Share the Plate program began in 2010 and directs half of our Sunday plate collection to justice partners doing important work in the communities of Pittsburgh’s North Side and beyond. To date we have collected and distributed $27,493 to 34 justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good works contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.

RE kids raise $500 in Healthy Snack Drive

Posted by on Aug 10, 2017 in News, Social Justice Activities | Comments Off on RE kids raise $500 in Healthy Snack Drive

Healthy treats make the summer tastier and far less stressful for families that rely on the Northside Community Food Pantry. The families that depend on  the Food Pantry struggle at home during the summer to make up for the free breakfast and lunch that their kids get at school.

This summer our Religious Education kids decided to put on a Summer Healthy Snack Food Drive for the Northside Food Pantry. After publicizing during church, going door-to-door in the neighborhood, and having a table at the Open Streets festival, the kids raised money and collected an estimated $500 in healthy snacks! On August 6th, the kids filled grocery carts, wheeled them over to the Northside Food Panter, stocked the shelves, and learned about how families access the pantry.

Ronald and Raven are 6 year-old twins that live with their mother and two older siblings. The twins love chewy fruit snacks but their mom rarely sees the treats at the food pantry and there is never enough money on her food assistance card for treats after she buys the basics needed to feed a family of five. Ronald and Raven came to the food pantry this week with their mom and they were thrilled to be able to each select a box of fruit chews  to have with their lunches at home this summer. Thanks to the Healthy Snack Drive sponsored by the kids at AUUC, Ronald, Raven and dozens of other kids whose families depend on the pantry for food are finding a special healthy snack with their lunch this summer.

Kids' Food Pantry Drive