News

Share the Plate supports Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network

During July and August we collected $440 for the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), which brings together people of different faiths to promote social justice. They are currently piinworking on green infrastructure that will modernize our water and sewage system, raising the minimum wage, enacting better education funding, and improvements to public safety including diversifying the police force and ending police brutality.

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 Pitttsburgh’s North Side and beyond. So far we have collected and distributed $20,333 to 23 justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good work contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.

Path to Authenticity led North Side Pastor to God

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Feature Stories, News | Comments Off on Path to Authenticity led North Side Pastor to God

The Rev. Dave McFarland closed his eyes to summon details from that life-altering day.

It was Feb. 22, 1991. He was lying on the floor, surrounded by 50 people. They were performing breathing exercises at a spiritual retreat in San Francisco, where he felt the distinct sensation of “floating in space.”

Then came a message from above:

When you get off the floor, you have to start thinking about what it’s going to take to start serving.

“If anyone gets messages from God, that was mine,” said McFarland, 53, of the Mexican War Streets. “It was clear.”

McFarland, who grew up in the “bosom of the Baptist Church,” had always wanted to be a minister. It didn’t matter that life initially had other plans for him, or even that some religions — including his own — wouldn’t have him. When God spoke to him, McFarland said, “the various opinions of religions didn’t matter. God called. That’s what mattered.”

Sitting in the fifth row of pews in his North Side church, McFarland smiled. That moment 24 years ago, he observed, introduced constancy to a life of shifting identity.

Read Path to Authenticity led North Side Pastor to God at the Tribune-Review website.

 Path to Authenticity led North Side Pastor to God

Share the Plate supports UUPLAN

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports UUPLAN

During May and June we collected $532 for the Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN), which organizes 6000+ UU’s UUPLAN logofrom 40 congregations around the state to embrace, articulate, and advocate for social justice and advance legislation that creates a fairer Commonwealth.

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 Pitttsburgh’s North Side and beyond. So far we have collected and distributed $19,893 to 22 justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good work contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.

Marriage Equality Becomes Law!

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Feature Stories, News | Comments Off on Marriage Equality Becomes Law!

celebrating equality ruling at ga

 

Today the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land when it ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are not legal. The 4500 Unitarian Universalists attending General Assembly in Portland celebrated with cheers, tweets, worship, and song. Unitarian Universalist Association president Rev. Peter Morales offered this:

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court stood on the side of love with its 5 to 4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishing federal recognition of same-sex marriage. I applaud the court’s ruling as a major step in recognizing full civil rights for LGBTQ people. The ruling is cause for celebration.

Unitarian Universalists have been vocal supporters of equal rights for LGBTQ individuals for decades. In 1996, the UUA passed a resolution in support of the right to marry for same-sex couples, the first religious denomination to do so. We have been party to amicus briefs in all the major freedom to marry court cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges.  I am grateful for the unwavering dedication and commitment by Unitarian Universalists in support of marriage equality.

In celebration of this historic victory for equal rights, selected Unitarian Universalist ministers and congregations will offer free weddings for same-sex couples nationwide.

Marriage equality illustrates that love has no boundaries. And while today we celebrate this victory in the name of love, tomorrow we rededicate ourselves to achieving full legal protection for LGBTQ people in all spheres of our society.” – Rev. Peter Morales. Full statement.

obergefell-v-hodges-page1“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” – Obergefell v. Hodges. Read the full brief.

Unitarian Universalists have made LGBTQ issues including marriage equality central to our justice work for many years. Thirty-one years ago the 1984 General Assembly passed a resolution supporting union ceremonies. Nineteen years ago the 1996 General Assembly approved this Resolution of Immediate Witness: Support of the Right to Marry for Same-Sex Couples. In Pennsylvania, we had a May 2014 preview of the SCOTUS decision when the PA Supreme Court ruled that the state’s 1996 statutory ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Allegheny believes in the inherent worth and dignity of every person and has long supported the right of anyone to marry. We look forward to continuing to advocate for equal rights for all people!

 

Rev Dave at GA

 

 

We Have a New Facebook Page!

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in News | Comments Off on We Have a New Facebook Page!

 

Click the image or: Allegheny UU on Facebook.

 

Connect With Us on Twitter!

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Connect With Us on Twitter!

Click the image or: Allegheny UU on Twitter

Pride 2015 Statement from Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Feature Stories, News | Comments Off on Pride 2015 Statement from Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh

Standing on the Side of Love

 

As 11 congregations that comprise over 1100 Unitarian Universalists, the controversy surrounding Pittsburgh’s 2015 Pride events has prompted considerable reflection and discussion. While that conversation has been challenging it has also been healthy and enriching and made us grateful that our faith tradition encourages us to stay connected, evolve mutually, and move forward together.

Unitarian Universalism affirms the worth and dignity of every person. Our churches are welcoming to all and we work to build a society where justice, equity, and compassion exist for everyone, and where all people are treated equally. We are committed to creating an environment that is inclusive, safe, and supportive of the entire LGBTQ community and where all people can be proud of who they are.

We acknowledge that under the sponsorship of the Delta Foundation the visibility and impact of Pride has grown dramatically. However we call on Delta to acknowledge the failure of its current approach to be inclusive of all LGBTQ people. We ask Delta to examine its vision and leadership and live up to its mission and role as the leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender organization in Western Pennsylvania.

We call on all LGBTQ and allied organizations to be part of a community discussion to re-imagine how the Pittsburgh region recognizes and celebrates Pride each June. Let’s create events that are inclusive with regard to age, gender identity, ability, class, and race. Let’s build a bigger tent together. We commit to being part of this effort and to enter it with open minds and loving hearts.

The substitution of another artist for Iggy Azalea as a response to community concerns is a positive step. We believe that more can still be done immediately to begin rebuilding trust and relationships. There is more we can do to improve this year’s Pride before we step back and focus on 2016.

Unitarian Universalists have become too comfortable just showing up for the Pride March. This is no longer enough. We can have more impact by embracing more events, being in solidarity with more communities, finding more ways to advocate and more ways to show love. We must especially seek out and support those who are most marginalized and in need of representation. We applaud the organizations that have brought new energies to Pride and raised our collective mindshare around how diverse Pittsburgh is and how far we still need to go.

We encourage all Unitarian Universalists to listen to their own conscience and participate in Pride events as they are so moved. Be there for the Pride March for Equality, the Roots Pride Healing Circle and Riverwalk, the Dyke Trans March, or Pittsburgh Black Pride. These and other events will each offer opportunities to “Stand on the Side of Love” and support the LGBTQ community. There will be powerful experiences and unique audiences at each. We never know who along the road is in need and whose life we can change by our presence and witness. So get out in the streets!

 

Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh

We are: the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Smithton, First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Morgantown, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana, Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills, Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills, East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church, Ohio Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ligonier Valley, and Ginger Hill Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

 

Download the Pride Statement

 

Share the Plate supports Gwen’s Girls

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports Gwen’s Girls

During March and April we collectGwen's Girlsed $761 for Gwen’s Girls, which works to empower girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education and experiences. Thank you to everyone who donated!

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 Pitttsburgh’s North Side and beyond. So far we have collected and distributed $19,361 to 21 justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good work contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.

Progress Report on Founders Hall Acoustics project

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Progress Report on Founders Hall Acoustics project

Planning and fundraising continues for Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church’s Founders Hall Acoustics project, announced in Fall 2014 and expected to be completed by Summer 2015.

The Ohio-Meadville District (OMD) of the Unitarian Universalist Association selected us as recipient of their November 2014 Chalice Lighter’s Call to support this project. Over three months $3,035 was raised from donors across the district, which encompasses 44 congregations in Ohio, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and southwest New York. On March 8th Ron Smutny of the OMD’s Resource Development team visited Allegheny to present a check to the congregation.

Separately, Allegheny has now raised another $4,500 from members and friends of the congregation and the surrounding community, bringing the total raised to over $7,500.

With the pro-bono help of architectural acoustical services company Sextant Group, the space was evaluated and determined to be “too lively” making it hard to converse and hear. The resultant remediation plan is to install fabric-wrapped, acoustically absorptive panels onto the ceiling.

The project will improve accessibility and intimacy of the space for church and denominational events as well as community functions. The congregation would like to make greater use of Founders Hall for worship services, assemblies and musical events, as well as traditional Sunday fellowship hour. Our central urban location makes our church an important gathering spot for local UU’s as well as a wide variety of community and neighborhood groups, including Narcotics Anonymous, the Mexican War Streets Society, the Allegheny City Central Association, Youth Opportunities Development, and many others. Use of the space has been and will continue to be offered at no charge for community organizations and events as part of our commitment to the neighborhood.

Donations to support the project can be made using our Donate page or by contacting President Liz Dell at <president at alleghenyuu.org>.

Share the Plate supports Homewood Children’s Village

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in News | Comments Off on Share the Plate supports Homewood Children’s Village

During January and February we collected $640 for the Homewood Children’s Village, which is working to improve the lives of Homewood’s children and to reweave the fabric of the community in which they live. They envision a community of learners in which “Every Child Succeeds.” Thank you to everyone who donated!

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 Pitttsburgh’s North Side and beyond. So far we have collected and distributed $18,600 to 20 justice partners. If you know of an organization or project doing good work contact <sharetheplate at alleghenyuu.org>.