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Together, we transform lives through love, service, and our welcoming faith.

Justice in the Middle East (JME) is a group of members of the Main Line Unitarian Church who work to promote peace and justice in Israel-Palestine. JME affirms the right to equality, dignity, freedom, and security of all peoples involved.

Education and discussion within our congregation and in our community are important contributions toward the goal of justice. Accordingly, we strive to inform people instead of trying to form their beliefs. We also promote political action in support of justice, based on our understandings and beliefs..

We provide films, presentations, speakers and an opportunity for dialog at MLUC.  We are affiliated with the national UU group UUJME. Please contact if you want additional information. Suggestions are welcome.  We are always looking for interesting programs.


Past Events

 Friday, October 10, 7:00 p.m.

The Law in These Parts - Film and Discussionposter-english in the McGuinness Room

This documentary is an unprecedented exploration of the evolving and little-known legal framework that Israel has employed to administer its 40-year military occupation of the West Bank and, until 2005, the Gaza Strip. It won the Best Documentary award at the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival and the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Celebrated Israeli filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz elicits this story from the very military judges, prosecutors and legal advisors who helped create the system and who agreed to take the cinematic witness chair to explain their choices. These interviews combined with archival footage, create a comprehensive and evocative portrait of one of the world’s most stubborn and enduring conflicts.

The film asks some crucial questions that are often skirted: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principles of rule-of-law? What are the costs that a society engaged in such a long term exercise must bear? Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values? The Law in These Parts reveals not only the legal architecture of military occupation, but also its human impact on both Palestinians and Israelis.

 

watsonSunday, February 19, 12:30 p.m.

Waking Up to Shatter the Silence

All are invited to the McGinness Room for a video screening of Hanan Watson's award-winning sermon from the 2011 General Assembly in North Carolina. "Waking Up to Shatter the Silence" was the winning entry for the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East’s (UUJME) contest, which had the theme "Why are UU congregations reluctant to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how can they overcome this reluctance to help our faith community contribute more meaningfully to the cause of peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians?"

Hanan Watson, of All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City, was chosen to present her moving sermon at GA 2011. Watson was born in Jerusalem to Palestinian Christian Arab parents and in 1948 became one of the 750,000 refugees from the newly established State of Israel. She earned Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the American University of Beirut. After moving to New York in 1966, she worked in the executive search field until retiring to devote herself to volunteer work.

 

Thursday, March 1
morningsinjeninMornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
Potluck Dinner in the Fireside Room at 6:00 p.m. followed by an author presentation at 7:00.

Each year the MLUC Social Action Leadership Council recommends a book that corresponds with a social justice issue of interest and relevance to the entire congregation. The choice for 2012 is Mornings in Jenin, a novel by Susan Abulhawa.  On Thursday, March 1, the author will join us for a potluck dinner with book discussion to follow.  All are welcome to attend. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the MLUC book cabinet.

This novel is the story of four generations of a Palestinian family exiled from their village and their struggles during the over 60 years of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The story takes us from the Jenin refugee camp to Jerusalem, to Lebanon and to the anonymity of America.  The human voices of this riveting story encourage us to take another look at one of the defining political conflicts of our lifetime.

Susan Abulhawa was born to refugees of the Six-Day War and moved to the United States as a teenager. She is a resident of Philadelphia and founded Playgrounds for Palestine, an NGO that builds playgrounds for Palestinian children in refugee camps and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

 

Recent Film Screenings

Budrus
An award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer

Amreeka
Journey into the lives of Palestinian immigrants

Beyond Belief
The story of two pregnant 9/11 widows

Sentenced Home
Cambodian refugees growing up in America

Very Young Girls
The tragedy of human trafficking

 


Resources

For more information about these issues, visit:

Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East

Two Peoples One Future

Jewish Voice for Peace

Foundation for Middle East Peace 

American Muslims for Palestine

Complete your 2018-2019 pledge here.

Read Our Mission Statement

May 27
Rev. Naomi Washington Leapheart
Music: Wendy Shmid, soprano
Preparing to officiate at the wedding of a young couple has made Naomi reflect on the radical act of choosing to love in a world that seems indifferent to lifelong commitments. She'll explore what it means to love based on what she has learned in her thirty-something years of life.

June 3: Coming of Age Service

Services are held at 10:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted.
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Latest News

Meet The Nominees for 2018


03 May 2018 Views: 187

Meet The Nominees for 2018


03 May 2018

Mindfulness & Meditation Retreat


08 March 2018 Views: 467

Mindfulness & Meditation Retreat


08 March 2018

Jubilee Anti-Racism Training


03 January 2018 Views: 434

Jubilee Anti-Racism Training


03 January 2018

Democracy Movement PA


06 December 2017 Views: 430

Democracy Movement PA


06 December 2017

Capital Campaign Update


17 November 2017 Views: 421

Capital Campaign Update


17 November 2017

Holiday Workshop December 10


10 November 2017 Views: 715

Holiday Workshop December 10


10 November 2017

MLUC Kirtan Workshop


22 September 2017 Views: 466

MLUC Kirtan Workshop


22 September 2017

Water Communion: September 10


31 August 2017 Views: 544

Water Communion: September 10


31 August 2017

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RUNNING FOR Committee On Ministerial Health – Trish Brandon
Trish joined MLUC in 2016 when she moved to the area with her husband. Being an active and passionate UU for 27 years made proximity to a UU church a priority in deciding where to live. Trish has been involved in church life at MLUC in various ways. She participated in the Church Summit, a Small Group Ministry, promoted the book “Toxic Charity,” led a discussion group on it, and helped develop Guidelines for Service for MLUC outreach. She initiated several potlucks and volunteered in some church events and programs.

Trish loves children. She taught elementary school before taking time off to be with her own children and then became the DRE at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg for 15 years. As DRE, she took advantage of training and educational opportunities for DRE professional development, including leadership development, development of Covenant of Right Relations, policy governance, anti-racism, as well as those related to children and youth. She was also active in social justice initiatives.

Trish’s biggest pride and joy is her growing family, which in addition to her husband, includes three wonderful sons, a daughter-in-law and one soon to be daughter-in-law, as well as 73 others including her mother, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She also has an energetic 2 year-old German Shepherd who makes sure she goes for lots of walks.

RUNNING FOR BOARD – Carolyn Jaegerc2
In 1976 Carolyn and her husband Wolfgang walked into a Unitarian church in Wayland, MA. “It wasn’t long before we knew we had found our spiritual home. Unitarian Universalism with its focus on compassion and justice is one of the most important life-shaping experiences we share,” she notes. After moving to Pennsylvania, they became members of MLUC after sampling other UU churches in the area. “We love being part of MLUC’s diverse community, which continues to have a powerful impact on our values, our personal growth, and the quality of our lives.” 

Both are active MLUC volunteers. Carolyn currently chairs the Legacy & Endowment Committee, which led the 2017 effort to establish the MLUC Legacy Circle in order to encourage bequests to our congregation. Carolyn is recently retired from a position in planned giving. The Legacy & Endowment Committee has afforded the opportunity to use her professional experience to serve an organization that means a lot to her. She’s also a member of the Finance Committee, a substitute teacher in the Pre-K RE class, and part of the team charged with planting and maintaining the landscape at MLUC, and a veteran Green Striper.

RUNNING FOR BOARD – Craig Farrc1
Craig has been a member of the Main Line Unitarian Church since 1991 after moving with his wife, Linda, and son, Wil, from St. Louis, where they were active in an historic UU congregation. An intern minister in St. Louis had provided the demographics for six UU congregations in the Philadelphia area and they chose MLUC primarily because of the church school program for Wil.

Getting settled at MLUC Craig began by volunteering for and participating in the RE programs as a Sunday School teacher and as a member of the Adult Education committee. He was also a youth advisor and a member of the Youth committee which he ultimately chaired. In Philadelphia he was fortunate to have the opportunity to create, from scratch, a 20+ person department of toxicologists and product regulatory specialists dealing with regulations from EPA, FDA and OSHA, for the largest French chemical company. Throughout his career, Craig had the opportunity to extensively travel throughout Europe and had many trips to Asia. 

Currently at MLUC Craig has developed a passion for social action. He is the MLUC representative for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and is active in Racial Justice and Good Government issues.

RUNNING FOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE – Bruce Pappas c3
Bruce has been an active MLUC member since 1991: teaching church school classes: Coming of Age, Our Neighboring Faiths, and OWL; he chaired the Adult Religious Education committee for several years, and organized justice work in New Orleans for church members in 2005. Bruce was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2013 and served as the church’s interim administrative director in 2016. He currently participates in Small Group Ministry and the Men’s Support Group. Bruce has one son, Ben, who is 29. Bruce met and married his wife Jenny Campbell at MLUC in 2012. After 30 years working as a computer systems analyst, Bruce went back to school and in 2009 received his master’s degree in social work.

RUNNING FOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE – Carol Snyder 
I joined MLUC in Oct 1970. I have had many church responsibilities throughout these many years. Chaired many committees, art show, Sunday Services, Fund Drive, etc. I was Church President in 1979, my name was then Carol Agnew. Subsequently, I served on the Treasurer Committee and more recently the Personnel Committee for many years. 

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I joined the church because I thought my children needed a religious identity. Well, the church has become a "positive force" in my life. My community, as I call MLUC, has helped me develop my talents and has given me a chance to "try myself" in all sorts of ways. My participation has enabled me to stretch the limits of my abilities, and I have developed many caring and wonderful friends.

I was married for 17 years, single for 17 years, and now happily married to Harvey for the last 24 years. My children are happy adults. My daughter works for an NGO, PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), in Boston, Mass. My son has a business in Los Angeles, CA, and he and his wife have given me my only grandchild, Wesley, who is 9 years old.

After my divorce, I became an insurance agent, earning my CLU and CHFC. This career continued until 1992 when I joined Marshall Levine's new company, Alpha Scientific. I retired in 2009 after my grandson was born.

RUNNING FOR BOARD – Jess Michael c4
In 2013, Jess moved from Washington DC, where she had been teaching 5th and 8th Grade OWL for 4 years at UUCA (Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington). She came to Main Line Unitarian Church looking to continue teaching and jumped into the 8th Grade OWL team immediately. Jess became a full member of the church in 2014. Since then, Jess has continued to teach 8th Grade OWL each year. She participated in the Church Summit weekend and Action Groups in 2016. She is currently in a Small Group and spoke at a service last year about her experiences with SGM. In addition, Jess joined the Membership Committee, coordinating staffing for the Welcome Table and other committee projects.

Professionally, Jess spent most of her career working in Management Consulting, primarily in Product and Technology Delivery, working on all types of products, leading large and small teams. She moved to the Philly area to take a role at an eCommerce company as a Technology Delivery and Product Management executive, and has since done another stint in consulting, working locally on an AI based customer support tool. Jess also provides free tech support to family and friends.

Jess’ other interests include running, reading, visiting with her nieces and nephews (she has 10!), and being an avid Star Wars fan.

Exploring Practices: A Day of Mindfulness & Meditation
Saturday, May 5, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sponsored by the Pathway of Spiritual Maturity This spring MLUC is excited to host educator, Lelia Calder, who will lead a meditation retreat designed to explore a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices. The day will include traditional silent meditation, chanting, and movement for participants at all levels. $20 suggested donation/$10 lunch (optional) For information contact Nuala Carpenter

To register, print and return this form.

yogaretreat

Jubilee Anti-Racism Training 
Friday–Sunday, March 2–4 | Led by facilitators from the Central Eastern Region of the UUA

Do you wish to nurture our multicultural future in the face of opposing cultural currents? Do you wish to deepen your understanding of how race and ethnicity play out in our institutions and our daily lives? Jubilee Anti-Racism Training helps participants understand what is involved in nurturing a multicultural community and working against racism in all of its forms.

Goals:

  • To develop a shared analysis of racism and its individual, institutional, and cultural manifestations
  • To begin to apply this common understanding to the history, culture, and institutional structure of our congregation, and to envision next steps

The training includes presentations, discussions, videos, exercises, small group work, worship services, and shared meals.

The workshop requires a weekend commitment, and it is worth every minute. The cost for this workshop  is $155 - assistance with this cost is available if desired (email ).

 

Register here by February 19.

Join the Democracy Movement in Pennsylvania
Sunday, January 14: Sermon by Michael Pollack at 10:00 a.m., Forum at Noon at MLUC
Hosted by March on Harrisburg, Daring Democracy, and Poor People's Campaign

Interested in getting more involved to #endPAcorruption and restore democracy in Pennsylvania? Join us for an afternoon of speakers and organizing to learn how to participate in the struggle for democracy.

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Speakers include Adam Eichen, co-author of Daring Democracy (the UUA Common Read for 2017-18) and Michael Pollack, Executive Director of MarchOnHarrisburg.

Share this event flyer with friends.

Visit marchonharrisburg.org for more information.

If you missed the Capital Campaign update last month, click the video below to see our progress thus far. 

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Holiday Workshop and White Elephant Sale white 304608 960 720
Sunday, December 10, 2:00-5:00 p.m. at MLUC

Capture the spirit of giving and attend a fun-filled afternoon at the MLUC Holiday Workshop. As always, the workshop is a great way to make or purchase quality inexpensive gifts for the holiday season for teachers, friends, and family! The afternoon includes our favorite craft tables, holiday flea market, music, food, and MLUC community tree decorating! This event is open to the community so grab your family and friends and get into the holiday spirit!

We are still accepting some donations and looking for volunteers - visit us in the Atrium Sunday, November 19 & December 3 to find out more or Contact Rebecca Polss

Sign up to donate food here. Food donations can be dropped off in the kitchen on Sunday, December 10 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Gluten-free and nut-free donations are encouraged.


WHITE ELEPHANT SALE - ITEMS NEEDED!

We ask each church member to locate your most wonderful treasures that you are willing to part with. Think of it as an opportunity to clean out your closets, drawers, & cubbies before the holidays while donating amazing treasures to our White Elephant Sale! Your baubles will certainly become another's treasure with all proceeds going to MLUC. 

Examples of items we are hoping to collect:

  • Costume jewelry & accessories (purses, scarves, belts, pins, children's jewelry & any special trim) 
  • Housewares & gifts (holiday-themed or not)
  • Pottery, ornaments & any neat items that you can think of!

Donations for WHITE ELEPHANT SALE can be dropped off after 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and anytime on weekends to the "Donations Station" located on the lower level of MLUC (past the bookstore & after the coat closet). If you need to make a donation before 4 on weekdays, please see Mary Heil in the MLUC office.

If you have any questions or need more information please email Margaret Jackson

We thank you for your efforts!

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Weaving Community: Chanting and Resilience Practices for Healing Our World
Saturday, November 18

An experiential workshop on Kirtan, a call and response chanting technique for mindfulness, presence, and resilience.

Workshop: 3-5 pm | Potluck Dinner: 5:30-6:30 pm | Kirtan: 7-9 pm
Suggested donation: $20 workshop | $20 Kirtan | $30 for both
No one turned away for lack of funds
Childcare available with pre-registration

Led by workshop facilitators Steven Groff and Sarah Halley, who will be joined by friends: Shakti Devi, Angelo John, Randy and Marianne Sutin, Laura Kalnajs, and Mira for an evening of lively music and inviting chanting.

Sign up here  -->  Registration Page

 

waterWelcome Back!

After a summer of church renovations and personal vacations, we will gather back together to start a new church year with our traditional water communion—only this year, it will not be so traditional!

On September 10 please bring two items with you:

  • A small container of water from wherever you spent your summer, whether at home or some faraway location

  • And a canned food item, which will be collected at our service by our children. Our own Ed Barrett will distribute these food donations at Trinity House, a low income housing project here in our community.


And remember, we will have a single, unified service this church year at 10:00 a.m.