Iran: The Tale of a Complex Nation

EnghetaSunday, February 10, 1:00 p.m., McGinness Room

Justice in the Middle East will sponsor, "Iran: The Tale of a Complex Nation." Susanne and Nader Engheta, originally from Iran, will review Iran's political and religious composition in the 20th century and its effect on the world's current affairs. The history of oil, the roots of the 1979 revolution, the rise of religious fundamentalism, and the current social and political atmosphere among Iranians within Iran and abroad will be discussed.

Susanne came to the United States in 1977 for her education. When signs of revolution became evident, she was hopeful for democracy. But once the revolution fell into the hands of the religious leaders, all hope for democracy was lost. Susanne remained interested and immersed in the history as well as the current affairs of Iran. She has been active in educating others about Iran's religious and political culture in the Main Line School Night.

Nader, a professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, is well-read and interested in Iranian political and social movements. 

Together, they will present the issues that affect the lives of the people in Iran, especially those secular intellectuals who have no voice and remain unknown to most of the world.

MLUC Supports Safe Schools for LGBTQ Youth

MazzoniAllySafeSchoolsRev. Morgan R. McLean recently visited the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia to present a donation check for $1,820 to the center’s Ally Safe Schools Program as part of the church’s Offering Outreach campaign, which designates a different charitable organization each month to receive half the Sunday collection plate.

There are many organizations that advocate for LGBTQ issues, but the Ally Safe Schools Program is unique in specifically reaching out to staff and students in Philadelphia schools to create more inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth. Ally coordinates Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), which are meetings that bring students from throughout the region together for networking, collaboration, and friendship. The program hosted seven citywide GSAs this year in addition to working with 56 middle and high schools in the Philadelphia School District.

Rev. McLean explained why this match made sense: “The Ally Safe Schools Program was an exciting effort to support, as it directly lines up with our sexuality education program, Our Whole Lives. We are committed to teaching our children and youth the values of healthy sexuality as part of their faith development, and giving them support when they are ready to express their own identities.  

“Main Line Unitarian Church is also a dedicated member of the Welcoming Congregation Program of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Our members work to create a safe and welcoming place for all people, as well as engage as public advocates for LGBT issues. We’re happy to connect with the Mazzoni Center, who have been a leading voice for inclusion and care in the Philadelphia area.”

Mazzoni Center Prevention Services Director Eric Paulukonis said: “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Main Line Unitarian Church community. This donation from their Offering Outreach Program will help us to reach more youth in need of support, and enable us to create more safe spaces across Philadelphia for LGBTQ youth and allies.”

He added, “It is always wonderful to connect with organizations who share in our commitment of improving the well-being of youth, and we hope that we can continue this relationship in the future.”

Photo: Rev. Morgan R. McLean of Main Line Unitarian Church presents a donation check for $1,820 to the Mazzoni Center Ally Safe Schools Program, which reaches out to staff and students in Philadelphia schools to create more inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth. From left: Mazzoni Center Director of Development and Marketing Perry Monastero, Rev. McLean, Ally Program Associate Jaymie Campbell, and Executive Director Nurit Shein.

Fifteen Years of Fair Trade Coffee

equalexchangefairtradeMain Line Unitarian Church was recently recognized for its commitment to fair trade by Equal Exchange, a co-operative that has been empowering farmers and consumers for more than 25 years. For the past 15 years, MLUC has sourced the coffee and tea served after Sunday services from Equal Exchange, ensuring fair wages for farmers in Latin America and Africa. These partnerships are economically just and environmentally sound, and contribute to a more democratic and sustainable world. Thank you to the congregation for proving that living our values starts with the choices we make.