Rev. McLean Stands on the Side of Love

UUMinistersLoveWhen the news first broke that Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes was issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the congregation of Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) was abuzz with excitement. The church has a long history of advocating for marriage equality, and is designated as a Welcoming Congregation by the Unitarian Universalist Association. This means MLUC has taken specific steps to welcome individuals of any gender identity or sexual orientation.

The issue of marriage equality is also very important to Rev. Morgan R. McLean, Associate Minister at MLUC. She and her new husband chose to be married in Maryland to demonstrate their disagreement with Pennsylvania’s marriage law. When Morgan was asked to sign one of the marriage licenses issued by Hanes, she agreed without hesitation. Fully aware of potential legal complications and personal consequences, Morgan chose to stand on the side of love, and will continue to sign licenses, perform marriage ceremonies, and speak out on this extremely significant topic.

McLean says, “The couples I have married this week have shown exactly what I hope to see whenever two people come to me for marriage. They are loving, committed couples.”

She continues, “Many members of Main Line Unitarian Church, people I love and care for, face the heart-breaking reality that their love cannot be legally recognized in Pennsylvania. It is past time to treat couples in love equally under the law.”

McLean has the full support of the MLUC congregation. Rich Fritzson, longtime member and current President of the Board of Trustees, says, “I and the members of this congregation are very proud of Rev. Morgan for her willingness to lead on this important matter. The first principle of Unitarian Universalism is to promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We’re honored that our church can host this affirmation of love, worth, and dignity for this couple, and in support of all couples who deserve to have their loving relationships legally recognized.”

Rev. Morgan and MLUC members will continue to monitor the ongoing legal suits filed by the state Department of Health, Montgomery County, and the ACLU. All are hoping that love prevails.

Local News Coverage

License in hand, Paoli same-sex couple hopes to wed soon at Main Line Unitarian Church 
Main Line Media News - July 29

Main Line Unitarian Church minister marries Paoli same-sex couple despite state lawsuit
Main Line Media News - July 31

Same-sex couples continue receiving marriage licenses in Montco - August 1

Ex-Phila. officials get license, marry within the hour
Philadelphia Inquirer - August 2

Couple Makes Wedding History at Local Church
Radnor Patch - August 5

Main Line minister marries multiple same-sex couples
Main Line Media News - August 6

Church Member and Gun Control Advocate Sue Smith Featured in UU World

GunVigilMLUC member Sue Smith has long championed the idea that no more innocent young people should be lost to gun violence. Working with the interfaith organization Heeding God's Call, Sue has held gun sellers accountable and supported legislation to address this increasingly visible social issue. Elaine McArdle wrote a powerful feature story on Sue that is in the Summer issue of UU World, a periodical issued by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Sue will continue to be a leading voice on this issue at MLUC, and inspire others as she lives out her values. Keep it up, Sue!

Symposium on Haitian Service

SymposiumGroupFor the second year, Main Line Unitarian Church hosted the Greater Philadelphia Area Symposium on Haitian Service, which is a way for local individuals and organizations to share their experiences of volunteering in Haiti.

Born out of a group of church members who visited Haiti on a service trip in 2012, this year’s Symposium was organized by Dan DiLucchio, whose commitment to the cause attracted 17 different organizations to present their stories on Saturday, June 8, with several other groups sending messages of support.

One of the main rallying points for this year’s attendees was current U.S. legislation affecting Haiti. Shelly Moskowitz, Manager of Public Policy and Mobilization for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) provided an excellent briefing on what the Symposium participants can do to influence support of the Assessing Progress in Haiti bill.

In addition to passionate presentations from organizations like Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia, Men Anpil, and St. Joseph’s University, the Symposium members were treated to a special Skype call from Amy Wilentz, award-winning author of Farewell, Fred Voodoo. Ms. Wilentz was very gracious with her time and answered some excellent questions from the audience.

After a spectacular Haitian lunch catered by Wilfried Gabriel, breakout groups shared ideas and experiences along lines of interest such as Education, Healthcare, and Agriculture.

The 2nd Annual Greater Philadelphia Area Symposium on Haitian Service truly was a collaborative and inspiring event. New connections were made, friendships formed, and the energy generated in support of Haiti was palpable. Plans are already in the works for next year’s event!

To stay up to date on the events of the Symposium and its members, “Like” their Facebook page.

A photo gallery of this year’s event is available on Main Line Unitarian Church’s Facebook page.

Photo: Participants of the 2nd Annual Greater Philadelphia Area Symposium on Haitian Service gather at Main Line Unitarian Church on June 8. Seventeen organizations shared their specific focus on service work in Haiti.