First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

The May Beacon is hot off the press, so please be sure to check it out online, or pick up a copy next time you're at the church.

The May issue contains upcoming church event info, as well as:

  • a seminarian's reflection on humanity
  • a reflection on the UU Buddhist Fellowship Convocation
  • a commentary about North Carolina's controversial proposed resolution

Enjoy, and please remember that your submissions for the summer edition of The Beacon are due on May 15!

UU Bulletin
A monthly newsletter from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to keep you and your congregation informed.
General Assembly 2013: From Promise to Commitment

This year, the theme of General Assembly (GA) 2013 is "From Promise to Commitment." Building on the experience of Justice GA, we will gather in Louisville, KY, to examine and renew our covenant to our faith, one another, our congregations, and the larger world. Program and worship information is available. Housing is also still available; rates are guaranteed through May 16. 


Those unable to attend GA in person are still invited to participate in GA business. As an off-site delegate, you can use your telephone and internet-ready computer to debate and vote in plenary business sessions from your home, office, or congregation. Find more information here.

In addition to four stewardship workshops at GA, the Congregational Stewardship Network is also offering free 30-minute individual consultations. To reserve your consultation spot and to find out more, contact Brent Jurgess at
Message from Kathleen Montgomery, UUA Executive Vice President

The UUA has recently become aware that its Data Services Office inadvertently violated the UUA policies governing the election of Association officers by making available congregational email addresses to Jim Key's campaign for UUA Moderator. Section 9 of the Data Services policy explicitly prohibits making congregational email addresses available to campaigns.


To redress this error, the same congregational email addresses that were provided to the Key campaign will immediately be provided to the moderator campaign of Tamara Payne-Alex.


This error gave an advantage to the Key campaign and resulted in the mistaken impression that the Payne-Alex campaign was less interested in communicating directly with our congregations. We regret the error and the resulting misleading impression. The Data Services policy is being thoroughly reviewed to prevent any future errors.

Dream Study with the CLF
The Rev. Jeremy Taylor tells us that, "Working with dreams means remembering and exploring them from sleep with an eye to their deeper meanings." Dream Work Online, from the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), is an online group that offers intensive study and reflection into those deeper meanings.

Dream Works Online groups will meet weekly for five sessions, beginning in early May. Visit the CLF website to register, or contact Lara Campbell at
with questions. 
Raise Your Voice for Compassionate Immigration Reform
 The "Gang of 8" recently introduced an immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate. While the bill does include breakthrough provisions, it falls short in many other areas about which we care deeply as UUs. Your members of Congress need to continue to hear from you! Visit Standing on the Side of Love to learn more about advocating for compassionate immigration reform.
New Books from Beacon Press and Skinner House
Beacon Press has published numerous books that look at immigration in the U.S. from various perspectives. Explore this current and important issue with your congregation in greater detail by checking out our most recent titles: "They Take Our Jobs!": And 20 Other Myths about Immigration by Aviva Chomsky, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalize... by David Bacon, and The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Border... by Margaret Regan.

While There is Light: Writings from a Minister Facing Death is Nancy Shaffer's heartrending and heartwarming account of her final years as she came to terms with impending death. Part journal, and part reflection, Shaffer's journey through denial to peaceful acceptance will lend inspiration and courage to those in need. This newly published Skinner House book is available at the UUA Bookstore. 
Green Sanctuary Call-in Support
 The Green Sanctuary (GS) program is offering call-in support opportunities for GS teams who have questions about the application process, or are looking for feedback on their ongoing projects. The first call-in date is May 15 at 7 p.m. ET, with three other dates and times to follow. For more information, and conference dial-in information, please contact
Sign Up for the Multicultural Leadership School
Designed specifically for UU youth and young adults of color, the Multicultural Leadership School (MLS) trains participants to be leaders in their UU congregation, district or continental committee. The 3 ½ day school, August 2-6 in Boston, MA, features the leadership of experienced facilitators and opportunities that will foster relationship building, racial/ethnic identity development, leadership skills, inter-cultural collaboration, and deepening of faith. The application deadline is May 15. For more information visit the MLS page.
Virtual Gathering for UUs of Color
UU people of color are invited to participate in a monthly virtual gathering. All you need is a phone or computer, 90-minutes of free time, and the desire to form a community across the barrier of geography. The first meeting will be Sunday, May 19 at 4 p.m. ET. For more information, visit Living Mosaic or contact Jessica York at
International Engagement
UUs are invited to be engaged internationally and to find inspiration in the international work of our congregations and the Coalition of International UU Organizations. For available guides and tools for strengthening and developing your church's international connections, visit Faith Without Borders for more information.
Affordable Care Act Information and Updates

The Office of Church Staff Finances (OCSF) has completed a review of the Geo Index listings and Salary Guidelines. Updated information, effective on July 1, 2013, is available now.  


The OCFS urges you to review information now regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be implemented by January 2014. Employers, including congregations, must learn about the ACA and make decisions regarding benefits and health insurance. To subscribe to ACA alerts from the OCSF, email Insurance Plans Coordinator Patti Angelina at  

Growing Unitarian Universalism
 "When UU congregations speak of practicing hospitality, they're usually thinking of guests in the pews, not the pulpit," writes Rev. Erika Hewitt. "I've learned, however, that worship planning itself is an act of hospitality." Writing for the Growing Unitarian Universalism blog, Hewitt offers six concrete ideas to help congregations plan worship that is inviting as well as inspirational.
Planned Giving Resources, Free of Charge

If your congregation is starting, growing, or revamping its planned giving program, the UUA can help! Click here to find customizable resources that will help you promote your program and build awareness about planned giving for your members.


The UUA's Legacy Gifts Office also offers free workshops on planned giving, providing guidance and support for congregational leaders working to make your planned giving program as strong as it can be. Email to discuss the possibilities!

Annual Program Fund Updates

The end of the fiscal year is rapidly approaching! Don't forget to send in your FY13 pledge payments as soon as possible so that we can recognize you and your congregation with Honor or Merit Congregation ribbons at GA. Watch for your FY14 pledge letters in early May! As always, if you have any questions please contact

Your congregational gifts make all of our work possible. Thank you for your generosity!

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