Canadian Unitarian eNews | Issue #9, October 2011

UUs Endorse ‘Occupy Wall Street’

By Ben Wolfe
CUC Communications Director

The Oak Street Market

Rev. Peter Morales, President of the US Unitarian Universalist Association

UU CONGREGATIONS and leaders across Canada and the United States have become active in Occupy Wall Street and related protests over the past month.

Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in the US, issued a statement that reads, in part: “Unitarian Universalism embodies a long tradition of working for economic justice and workers’ rights … the Occupy protests are a first step on the road to repairing our country.”

Morales writes: “The protestors have taken to the streets to draw attention to the fact that our economic system has not only failed to protect the most vulnerable among us, it has preyed on the majority for the benefit of very few.” He adds: “I reach out to Unitarian Universalists everywhere to consider how you might be of service to any among us who are struggling to provide for their families, those who have been cheated and abused by financial institutions, and all those whose backs ache under a burden of debt, unemployment, and fading hope. Let the world see the power of our faith in action.” The UUA website includes his
full statement a list of resources for economic justice.

In Canada, the protests moved into many major cities on Saturday, October 15th, as this issue of
eNews was completed, with many UUs attending and expressing support.

In a Vancouver
speech accepting an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University, distinguished Canadian ecologist, founder of ecological economics, and First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo member C.S. (Buzz) Holling called on his audience to “protest publicly, non-violently and simultaneously against the defenders of the old paradign that created the crash,” and to make this “our Big Arab Spring.” His speech compared current instability in the world economic system to warning signs of ecological collapse in fisheries, forestry and elsewhere after “myopic” pursuit of short-term interests.

In the Huffington Post under the headline
“The Church and Occupy Wall Street,” UU Minister Marilyn Sewell calls the protests “a cry from people who have been abused far too long by those who hold economic and political power,” and “a demand for responsibility from our elected leaders.”

Last Call for Oct. 21-23 Gatherings
in Peterborough and Kelowna

UUs ARE GATHERING in Fredericton and Edmonton this weekend, to celebrate, learn and worship at the first two of CUC's four annual Regional Fall Gatherings.

The programs are focused on leadership, action for social justice, music, personal spiritual development, inter-congregational networking and more.

The Oak Street Market

Renowned UU songleader Nick Page (shown rehearsing in Boston, centre left) is the feature attraction at CUC's Central Regional Gathering in Peterborough next weekend.

For UUs in B.C. or Central Canada — it’s not too late to register for the other two gatherings, taking place October 21-23 in Kelowna and Peterborough. Both events are accepting registrations through Tuesday.

Kelowna’s theme is “Building Community, Coming Home.” A full description of the program is available
here. You can e-mail the organizers with registration questions here.

Peterborough’s gathering features renowned UU music leader, songwriter and recording artist Nick Page, as well as sessions on stewardship, and stopping Ontario’s threatened mega-quarry. Page (seen singing with his group The Mystic Chorale in this
YouTube video) rarely comes to Candada, and has an unrivalled reputation as a workshop leader. His focus will be on how to get your whole community singing.

All four gatherings this year include Youth Cons, and sessions on CUC’s Active Democracy Task Force. More information about all events is available at