MLUC Wins UUSC Social Justice Award

MLUCSocialJusticeAwardMembers at Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) were thrilled to receive the news that the church had won the Congregational Social Justice Award from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). The award recognizes a church’s overall institutional efforts to advance human rights work, and was presented at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rev. Dr. William Schulz, President of the UUSC, praised MLUC’s efforts to raise money and awareness for social justice issues at the local, national, and international level. He said,

“In addition to their phenomenal support of UUSC’s Guest at Your Table program, Main Line frequently conducts collections for emergency appeals such as the Somalia and East Africa Famine Relief Fund. Main Line was also one of the first congregations to form its own delegation for a JustWorks service learning trip, which involved a week building an eco-village in Haiti and hosting a Symposium for Haitian Service after their return. Main Line’s impressive efforts raised more than $50,000 for UUSC in fiscal year 2012. But more importantly, Main Line’s deeper connection with UUSC and their broad outreach merit the Social Justice Congregation Award.”

Rev. Morgan McLean, Associate Minister at MLUC and leader of this year’s General Assembly delegation, was proud and happy that the church’s efforts were recognized by the UUSC. More than 50 percent of MLUC members are active in UUSC.

“As Unitarian Universalists,” McLean stated, “we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and our social action programs allow us to put our faith into practice. I am so proud of our congregation for their commitment to justice at home and around the world.”

Main Line Unitarian Church is hosting a Social Action Fair on Friday, September 21 that leads into a CD Release Concert from activist songwriters emma’s revolution. The fair is free and open to the public, and will feature opportunities to learn about and get involved in the variety of social action programs at the church, addressing issues such as reproductive justice, immigration rights, LGBT rights, environmental justice, voting rights, and more. Tickets for the emma’s revolution concert can be purchased online at www.emmasrevolution.com/live.

The social action program at MLUC has recently been restructured to be more comprehensive, encompassing information on the many annual, semi-annual, or one-time service events and educational programs offered by the church. The Social Action Leadership Team includes representatives from each committee or group that has organized outreach events in the past, and makes it easier to point visitors and new members in the right direction to meet their desire to serve. To learn more about social action at MLUC, visit www.mluc.org/social-action.

Photo: Members of Main Line Unitarian Church are presented with the Congregational Social Justice Award at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona, in June 2012. From left: church members Hiro Nishikawa, Rob Williams, Grace Williams, Rev. Morgan R. McLean, UUSC President Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz, Catharine Williams, Rachael Milles, Susan Milles, and Sam Wilson.

Announcing New Director of Religious Education, Joy Berry

 Main Line Unitarian Church is pleased to announce the new Director of Religious Education, Joy Berry. The search committee unanimously and excitedly recommended Joy as our top candidate. We received 16 applicants, invited six for phone interviews, and three for in-person interviews. Pam Lehman, Kyle Cunningham, Mark DiMarino, Brock Myers, and Chris Stevens were a tremendous group! They dedicated a lot of time to reviewing the materials, interviewing the candidates, talking to references, and discussing as a group what each candidate would mean for this church.

joyberryJoy Berry is excited to join MLUC after three years with a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Arkansas. She is passionate about UU identity and community, and especially enjoys bringing moments of wonder, mystery, and awe into the lives of children, who she believes are naturally religious, asking big questions with an open mind about all possible answers.

A mother of three children, aged 18, 9, and 3, Joy has spent her life deeply engaged with questions about what children need to thrive, to grow, and to see themselves as powerful agents of good in a challenging world. She sees the future of Unitarian Universalism as one that models for children and youth how to use their hearts, minds, and hands to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Formerly a children's museum educator, she is particularly interested in hands-on learning that supports holistic learning experiences. Joy was a long-time volunteer leader with La Leche League, and has been involved with many projects focusing on community and parenting. She earned her Master's degree in Sociology with an emphasis on cross-cultural and American mothering and childrearing. For fun, Joy has been raising and breeding a line of olive-green egg-laying chickens as well as the critically endangered Black Javas. She hopes to continue beekeeping and chicken-raising, as well as organic gardening, here in her new home, along with her husband and children.

Thank you all for your continued interest in and support of our Religious Education program. We are very excited to have Joy on board!

Family Support Line Treats and Prevents Child Sexual Abuse

familysupportlinewebRecently, Patricia Kosinski, Executive Director of Family Support Line, visited Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) to lead a forum on sexual abuse for church members and friends. In her presentation, she provided training on the responsibility of individuals and institutions to report sexual abuse of any kind, but especially sexual abuse of children. In the wake of public child abuse scandals like that at Penn State University, organizations like Family Support Line are integral in educating individuals and preventing children from being abused.

Family Support Line, located in Media, PA, began in 1984 as a group of social service professionals and private citizens concerned about child sexual abuse, and quickly grew into an incorporated organization focused on providing specialized treatment for children and their families. They also develop educational seminars that provide a comprehensive approach to the prevention and early detection of child sexual abuse.

Members of the MLUC congregation were glad for the opportunity to learn more about preventive practices and early warning signs of child abuse during Kosinski’s presentation. Pat explained to them the phenomenon of “bystander effect,” in which otherwise responsible adults neglect to report abuse when they have implicit or explicit knowledge of it.

Family Support Line shares MLUC’s core values, including the belief that all people are inherently dignified. The church named the organization as the recipient for their Offering Outreach program in the month of February, which donates half of the monthly collection to a local non-profit. Kosinski happily accepted a donation check for $2,103.

She said of the donation, “This much-appreciated support from Main Line Unitarian Church will allow Family Support Line to offer our services at a free or reduced cost. We have therapists specially trained to work with the trauma of child sexual abuse, and we provide prevention seminars for parents and children in schools and the community. In 2011, our efforts reached nearly 10,000 people.”

For more information on Family Support Line, including how to get involved, visit www.familysupportline.org. To read more about Main Line Unitarian Church’s Offering Outreach program, visit www.mluc.org/social-action/offering-outreach.