About the Author
Gray
Communications manager, Stewardship and Development, Unitarian Universalist Association.

The Move is Here!

Our physical move will take place the weekend of May 16-18, 2014. To facilitate moving our technology, our offices will be closed on Friday, May 16, and email and phone service may be sporadic from Friday, May 16 through Monday, May 19.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we prepare to continue our service to you and to our movement.

As of Monday, May 19, the UUA’s mailing address will change to:

24 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210-1409

We look forward to sharing more photos and stories about the new building and all the ways it allows us to serve you better.

Sustainability and Spirituality

Dear friends,

The move to our new building is closer than ever! We have begun to pack our boxes and put the final touches on our new space. We expect to move May 16-May 18.

Throughout this process, Jean Carroon, our principal architect, has been a steady and purposeful guiding hand in our efforts to create a sustainable, healthy workplace. Jean has an outstanding record in green architecture (she actually wrote the book: Sustainable Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings) and her efforts on our behalf are leading us to seek a strong LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. As Jean says, “It is typical of what the UUA is, that you are part of what will change the world.” The LEED certification will be an acknowledgement of the importance we placed on creating a green workplace, and we hope that our efforts will be a model that other organizations and architects will follow.

As Unitarian Universalists, environmental justice is of primary importance to us. I’ve asked the Rev. Sarah Lammert, our Director of Ministries and Faith Development, to share her thoughts on the connection between sustainability and our UU faith.

Thank you for joining us on this journey to our new faith home. I look forward to sharing pictures and additional updates with you in the coming weeks as we move to our newly-renovated green building.

In faith,
Morales Peter 24 Farnsworth
Rev. Peter Morales
UUA President

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Back in 1992 I attended my first General Assembly in Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. I was a twenty-eight year old seminarian, and I was invited to join the board of the 7th Principle Project, the precursor to today’s UU Ministry for Earth. That small, dedicated band came up with the Green Sanctuary program, which is our Unitarian Universalist version of LEED for congregations, as well as many environmental justice resolutions. It was my first taste of denominational leadership. More importantly, it helped form me as a minister because it provided a bridge between justice advocacy and spirituality.

As Unitarian Universalists, we know that the life of the spirit cannot be separated from our physical existence here on earth. Our UU faith is bookended by two principles, the first declaring the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the seventh declaring that we are interdependent with all life.

What this means is that we hold an expanded definition of the self, one that values the preciousness of every unique person while also recognizing that none of us is a self alone.

Our UUA has a proud history of leadership in environmental justice. Over and over again, I have seen us affirm sustainable, healthy ways of living with our Earth. And today, I would like to challenge every one of us to consider the ways we can live out our commitment to our world in our homes, our offices, and our congregations.

May we live knowing our fundamental relatedness to all beings. May our new building be a beacon as we take up the mantle of the leadership for a greener, more just, more sustainable way of living as people of faith.

In hope,
Sarah Lammert
Rev. Sarah Lammert
Director of Ministries and Faith Development

Our Brand New Bookstore

Dear friends,

There are so many things I am looking forward to in our new space at 24 Farnsworth Street: enhanced services for congregations, a more welcoming and accessible space, the Heritage and Vision Center.

I’m also excited that we will have a new brand-new space for our UUA Bookstore. This is an opportunity for us to branch out and begin to include other kinds of merchandise in our Bookstore, as well as providing a welcoming place where visitors can learn more about our movement.

For more details, I’ve asked Rose Hanig, our Bookstore Manager, to tell us more about what she’s looking forward to in the new building.

In faith,
Morales Peter 24 Farnsworth
Rev. Peter Morales
UUA President

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After 15 years managing your UUA Bookstore just off the lobby in our 25 Beacon Street headquarters, I’m excited about the possibilities of the new Bookstore space at 24 Farnsworth St. For those of you who have visited our 25 Beacon store, some things will seem familiar. At our new space, we will still be located just inside the main entrance adjacent to the welcoming area for visitors in the lobby. We will still be selling many wonderful titles about Unitarian Universalism from Skinner House Books. You’ll still be able to find superb publications from Beacon Press. There will still be excellent titles from other publishers that I’ve selected with you in mind. And our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be ready to help you select books and gifts when you come in—just as they always have.

But there will be changes, too.

Our inventory is expanding to include new items of beauty produced by companies we believe in. I’m incredibly excited about the unique jewelry made by Mayan women in Guatemala who work in clean, safe conditions and earn fair wages. We’ve found several companies that produce vibrant and fun products—key chains, cups, and jewelry—made from sustainable materials. I can’t wait to show them to you.

We are also upgrading our inventory of Standing on the Side of Love and UUA identity merchandise. You’ll be able to shop for new t-shirts, tote bags, and even onesies for babies. We will also be selling many of these items at our UUA Bookstore booth in the exhibit hall at General Assembly in Providence this year, so please be sure to visit us while you are there.

And one thing will never change. We remain steadfast in our commitment to offer merchandise that is produced in accordance with our UU values of equity and compassion for workers and respect for the environment.

I look forward to seeing you in our brand new store this Spring.

Sincerely,
Hanig, Rose
Rose Hanig
Bookstore Manager

Stewarding Our Resources

Dear friends,
Our move from 25 Beacon to 24 Farnsworth in Boston is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of our Association and our movement. The new offices will allow us to better serve our congregations and to lift our shared moral values in the world.

The move is also an important means by which we can steward our resources. I’ve asked Tim Brennan, UUA Treasurer/CFO, to share some of his thoughts on the importance of stewardship to the future of our UU movement.

As always, thank you for your encouragement and your gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

In faith,
Morales Peter 24 Farnsworth
Rev. Peter Morales
UUA President

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Cherishing the Past at our Beacon Benediction

Dear Friends,

On Friday, February 21, 2014, we celebrated the history of our Boston home at 25 Beacon St. in in a special Beacon Benediction. One hundred friends from across the country attended in person, and 300 additional people joined us online. The service was funny, poignant, and reflective, and looked forward to our future while honoring our past.

As part of the service, the portraits in Eliot Chapel came to life. In skits, Samuel Eliot, Mary Livermore and others relived events that they witnessed during their years on the walls of 25 Beacon. I shared some items from the 1926 time capsule found in our cornerstone, including newspapers, Unitarian and Beacon Press publications, letters, notes, invitations and, amazingly, items from the 1884 sealed time capsule from our first headquarters. We encouraged guests both online and in person to make a donation to our Association or to name part of our new building after themselves, their congregation, or a meaningful UU in their life.

People gave generously from their hearts. And those joining us online told us: “Who knew this small chapel could hold so many hearts. — So glad I could join you without traveling. What a splendid way to end a week and begin a new journey. Blessings all!” “My heart-space is happy and at peace—thank you, thank you!” “What a beautiful, creative, and moving service…wonderful to be part of!” and “Wonderful to share this moment with all of you.” For more information about the Beacon Benediction, check out the UU World’s coverage.

Pictures and a video of the Beacon Benediction are available on our blog for anyone who wasn’t able to join our celebration on the 21st.

We’re looking forward gathering again at the Farnsworth Dedication on October 4, 2014, which will mark our new headquarters as a spiritual home and important location in UU history. As we continue to embrace the dawning future, I hope you will also consider making a gift to the Join the Move Fund or naming an item in our new building!

In faith,

The Rev. Peter Morales

Photos and Video from the Beacon Benediction

Check out some of the photos from our Beacon Benediction!

A recording of this moving service is available on YouTube.

Help Us Say Goodbye to 25 Beacon Street!

Dear friend,

Your Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) staff is looking forward to moving into a new space at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, in just a few months. There is a shared feeling of excitement for collaboration and new possibilities for our faith. We acknowledge, though, that 25 Beacon has been a spiritual home and a religious destination for many through the years, and we are planning a meaningful farewell.

Please join us online. On February 21, at 5:00 p.m. EST, we will live-stream a special Beacon Benediction service to honor our history and celebrate our future. To access the live-stream, please visit www.uua.org/BeaconBenediction on February 21 and you will find instructions.

This hour-long service will highlight some key moments from our past and will also include some items from the 1926 time capsule recently unearthed from the cornerstone. This time capsule and its contents will become part of our new Heritage and Vision center at 24 Farnsworth. We look forward to sharing its contents publicly, with you, for the first time at this Beacon Benediction.

I hope you will join us online for this special event.

In faith,

Morales Peter 24 Farnsworth
The Rev. Peter Morales
UUA President

Leave Your Mark: A Unique Holiday Gift

Dear friend,

In this season of gift giving, I hope you will remember to support our faith.

Here’s an opportunity.

Our move from 25 Beacon to 24 Farnsworth in Boston is a short move physically but a huge move symbolically, culturally, and organizationally. This is an exciting time to shape the future of our movement. Our new offices will allow us to serve our congregations better and to reach out to those who are leaving traditional religion behind. Your support is critical to our success. Yes, you really will make a difference and here’s how.

Make a gift, and your name, or the name of the person or congregation you designate, will become an integral part of 24 Farnsworth. When you buy a brick, a hymnal, a chair for the new chapel, a meeting or conference room for yourself or in honor of a UU in your life, we’ll make sure that name goes down in history—for our future. Maybe your congregation will support the UUA in this way. Maybe your board, your cluster, your colleagues, your social action group, your choir, your youth group will do the same. What is given is returned in many ways.

Once you’ve made a gift, we’ll send you a certificate to keep or to give to the person named. If you have questions, please contact our Stewardship and Development staff at development@uua.org.

I hope you will add your name. I hope you will honor those UUs who have changed you and our movement for the better. We have always been a faith filled with people who see possibilities. It is at the core of who we are. Your donation will help fund a vision of our faith that continues to build upon our success while seizing new opportunities in our changing world.

We are better together. Thank you for strengthening our faith every day.

In partnership,

Morales Peter 24 Farnsworth
Rev. Peter Morales
UUA President

P.S. I hope you’ve seen my recent holiday message, in which I wish you all the blessings of the season. Happy holidays!

The UUA Moderator’s Reflections on the Move

Dear friend,

Your UUA Board of Trustees met in Boston from October 17 to October 20. It was an energetic and exciting meeting! You can read more about the meeting in the UU World article and the report from the Board. The move of our UUA offices from Beacon Hill to Boston’s Innovation District provides us with an opportunity to refashion our vision for the future and decide where we, as a religious community, are going and how we get there together. I am inspired every day by the work being done at all levels of our Association, and I look forward to all the work there still is to do.

I have asked the UUA’s Moderator, Jim Key, to share his own reflections on how the Association’s move to a new building will deepen our relationships and build community together.

In faith,

Morales Peter 24 Farnsworth
Rev. Peter Morales
UUA President

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Join the Move Sunday Pictures!

Dear Friend,
Over 150 congregations committed to Join the Move Sunday. Many celebrated on October 6. Many more plan to hold their service sometime this year. The date doesn’t matter. The purpose does. When our communities join together to demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to our movement and our Association, we are in turn strengthened. As one of the 150 plus, your combined contributions fuel our movement. We are more vital because of you. For others, I invite you to hold a special Join the Move worship service this church year. Sign up on this page or send an email to development@uua.org. We have resources for you.
I was honored to spend October 6 at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Maryland. My message focused on our moral obligation to reach out in love to the spiritually hungry and religiously homeless and to connect with one another. I challenged this vibrant congregation to think even more innovatively, not only to be even more accessible and welcoming to UUs and seekers, but to really reach out into the community. Our future depends on these relationships. We need to move. Complacency is not an option. Join the Move Sunday is about taking a day to have a deeper conversation about what’s next for your local religious community and to affirm the partnership between you and your national UUA staff.
Here are some photos from my trip to Cedar Lane. Please share your photos and stories of your Join the Move Sunday. Simply write to development@uua.org. The staff will talk you through the process. Your story, your photo could be the right thing at the right time to inspire others.
With gratitude for all that you do for Unitarian Universalism,
Morales Peter 24 Farnsworth

Rev. Peter Morales

UUA President

 

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