About the Author
Rev. Dr. Monica L Cummings

DRUUMM Regional Conference January 17-19, 2014

Diverse, Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)* will present a full weekend Regional Conference January 17-19, 2014 at First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego, California. “Creating Family in Community” is the theme that sets the stage for intergenerational exploration of the ways we examine, redefine and name ourselves in relationship to others. In a spirit of openness and welcoming we build the beloved community, sometimes grappling with the tough issues of oppression and privilege, but always circling back to the ways we celebrate together with love, joy and compassion.

Friday night opens with a joyous celebration open to everyone. Hosted by poet and spoken word artist, Christopher D. Sims, the evening will feature an all ages line-up of local and imported poets, spoken word artists, musicians, and dramatists. Performers will have an opportunity to garner donations for their organizations that are in alignment with the vision of DRUUMM as we seek to build a meaningful anti-racist, anti-oppressive multicultural, multiracial community. Refreshments will be served at a late evening reception.

Saturday will be a day filled with workshops and identity caucuses for DRUUMM members and friends. Anyone is welcome who self-identifies as a Person of Color (not considered “White” in the USA, such as people with African, Asian/ Pacific Islander, Latino/Latina/ Chicano/Chicana/ Hispanic, Native American/ Indian/ First Nations, West Indian/ Caribbean, Middle Eastern, or multiracial heritage), or who has encountered personal oppression in overt or subtle forms because he or she appears to be of a racial or ethnic identity other than White or Anglo/European.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. Saturday night’s family gathering dinner will give multicultural, multiracial families of many definitions and configurations an opportunity to relax and unwind together followed by some fun music and our best dance moves as we venture out to enjoy some of the sights and sounds of San Diego.

A bevy of DRUUMM ministers from across the country will preach at all three worship services on Sunday, 9:30 and 11:30 at the Hillcrest Campus and 9:30 at the South Bay Campus. All are welcome to attend. This remarkable event will reach even further in deepening our connections and understanding at a Sunday community luncheon and forum where the congregations will share their reflections with each other and then bid farewell to enjoy the beautiful San Diego region before heading home.

Registration fees and other details will be announced soon. The conference is partially sponsored by the church’s ROAR with SOUL (A Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Team) – We Resist Oppression And Racism with a Spirit of Openness, Understanding and Love.

Find out more by contacting Jan Carpenter Tucker, roarwithsoul@cox.net or Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/JTWSD

* DRUUMM provides support and advocacy for Unitarian Universalist (UU) People of Color (POC) and works to build a community in UUism. We work for self-determination, justice, and equal opportunity; empower our various ministries; celebrate our diverse heritages; overcome racism through resistance; and transform and enrich UUism through our multicultural experiences. We strive for an accountable relationship with our allies of Anglo/European descent for the purpose of building a larger UU community committed to transforming UUism into an anti-racist, ethnically multicultural movement.

While Government Shuts Down, Immigration Reform Steps Up

PeterRev. Peter Morales

President, Unitarian Universalist Association





As members of Congress continue to bicker and stall over the federal government shutdown, tens of thousands of people descended on the U.S. Capitol to redirect the conversation back to immigration reform.

On October 8, I was arrested along with faithful partners, committed organizers, and community leaders in Washington, D.C. We stood together, were handcuffed together, and led away together for one purpose — to tell Congress to get back to work on compassionate immigration reform. We hope that by momentarily suspending our freedoms, we give voice to the millions of people denied theirs every day.

As a leader in the Unitarian Universalist religious community, I felt compelled to come to Washington, D.C. as part of a 3-day event that began on October 5, National Day of Dignity and Respect, to bring attention to the 11 million immigrants currently being held hostage by the federal government because of inaction.

Immigration reform isn’t just a religious or partisan issue — it is a moral issue. Equality is not only a religious value, but a basic American value: there should be no “second class” U.S. citizen. One’s immigration status does not change their worthiness of basic human and civil rights. No one should be despised or scapegoated. No one should be criminalized unjustly. No human being is illegal.

I went to Washington and participated in peaceful civil disobedience to tell Congress that now is the time for compassionate immigration reform; now is the time to heal these broken families; now is the time to restore their hopes and dreams and to give them the respect and dignity they deserve. Please join me in sending this message to Congress. Contact your senators and representative today and tell them you want compassionate immigration reform now.

When I was elected the first Latino president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I felt a sense of duty to bring attention to this issue. From the beginning of my presidency in 2009, I championed immigration reform as a moral issue within the Unitarian Universalist community leading to the adoption of our Statement of Conscience “Immigration as a Moral Issue” at the UUA’s 2013 General Assembly.

In 2010 in Phoenix, Ariz., along with local partners and Unitarian Universalists, I was arrested for civil disobedience in an effort to combat Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB1070. Afterwards, we worked with our UU state networks to defeat Arizona “copycat” bills across the nation and to support immigrant-friendly legislation. And we joined with other leaders of faith calling on President Obama to suspend deportations and grant administrative relief to migrant families while we wait for Congress to act.

It was a long struggle to finally convince Congress to pay attention to the issue of immigration reform. We must not let them turn their backs on 11 million people now. We must not let families continue to be torn apart. We cannot let our elected leaders fail us. We have the votes in the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship–we just need the House to schedule the vote. And that is why the time is now. The consequences of inaction would be devastating for so many people living in this country–just this summer nearly 50,000 people were deported. We cannot let that number rise anymore. Please add your voice to mine. Contact your senators and representative today.

I invite you to stand on the side of love with me. Love keeps families together. Love respects the inherent worth and dignity of all people. And love has no borders.

Youth Leadership 101 Webinar

hands pic MLC 2010Want to know how to build the leadership capacity of your youth?  Looking for ideas on how to support your youth leaders?  Curious about how to make your mostly-adult committees welcoming and accessible to youth?

This webinar is intended for adults who work with youth (youth advisors, religious educators, ministers, etc) and focuses on best practices for fostering youth leadership, both within youth groups and as part of the larger community.

Some of what we’ll discuss:

  • Shared youth–adult leadership, with examples of how these ideas work in practice
  • Tips and tricks for supporting youth leaders
  • How to include youth on boards, committees, task forces and teams
  • Opportunities that your youth can take advantage of from the UUA

This webinar on October 15th at 3pm Eastern will be recorded and made available at a later date on the UUA website.

If you e-mail youth@uua.org to let us know you’re coming we’ll send you a reminder… but it’s not required.

Here’s how to join the webinar on October 15th:
FULL WEBINAR: To join the meeting from your computer or mobile device, click or copy and paste this URL into your browser:

PLEASE NOTE: You can listen in if you have speakers, but participating in discussion or asking questions requires a microphone.

AUDIO ONLY: To access the audio only (or to provide additional listening/participating capability to accompany the video on your computer):

  1. Dial +1-347-817-7654
  2. When prompted enter the pin number.
  3. Attendee Pin Number: 21588251

Having trouble joining this meeting?
Click or copy and paste this URL into your browser to visit the Fuze Support page:

– See more at: http://blueboat.blogs.uua.org/2013/10/01/youth-leadership-101-webinar/

Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Hi Family,

pic of me with love signI hope this pastoral message finds you well. As some of you are aware today is the start of open enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.  And based on what I have heard via various news outlets, a huge number of people are totally mystified about the ACA.

Pastoral care encompasses a lot more than just spirituality or spiritual fitness. It is also concerned with the physical fitness of beings. So I am going to try and demystified the ACA for young adults who need health care insurance and are overwhelmed and/or unsure where to begin.  The first thing you need to know is if you are 26 or younger you can remain on a parent’s health insurance.  For more information about this topic click here.  If your parents do not have health insurance, I suggest you share this message with them.  The second thing you need to know is there are four categories of insurance plans (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum) for you to compare and choose from.  You can find that information here.  A third thing you need to know is that the ACA makes it illegal for you to be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.  You can learn more about that here.  A final thing you need to know is that many preventive health procedures are now FREE.  You can get more information on this topic here.

In conclusion, The Health Insurance Marketplace is Open!  Happy shopping.

As always I would love to hear from you.  You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at mcummings@uua.org or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic at http://uuyayaoc.blogs.uua.org/.


Rev. Monica,

Committees of the Unitarian Universalist Association

ChaliceThe Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Nominating Committee nominates candidates for all positions elected by the General Assembly except for President and Moderator. Candidates for elected positions may also be nominated by petition.

Positions to be elected at the 2013 General Assembly are: Board of Trustees, Financial Advisor, Presidential Search Committee, Commission on Appraisal, Commission on Social Witness, General Assembly Planning Committee, Ministerial Fellowship Board of Review, and Nominating Committee.

Read more if you are interested in serving the Unitarian Universalist Association on one of its appointed committees or fill out an online application form. The deadline to apply is December 15 for terms beginning in June 2014.

UUA President Issues Statement on Proposed Military Strikes in Syria

PeterThe Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued the following statement regarding proposed military strikes in Syria:

In response to the use of chemical weapons by the government of Syria, President Obama is asking for Congressional approval for U.S. military intervention against the Assad regime. I join all people of conscience in condemning the use of these weapons and grieve for the appalling loss of life. I urge the Obama administration to explore and then exhaust all peaceful diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the ongoing violence in Syria. Not enough has yet been done to rally international support for non-violent response to the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. The Unitarian Universalist Association joins with many other faith groups in urging our government to refrain from the use of military force at this time.

I also realize that there are times when limited military intervention is appropriate to prevent a greater tragedy. Inaction in the face of slaughter is not a moral option. The situation in Syria might at some point require some form of U.S. military intervention. I pray that this will not be necessary, that peaceful methods can be found to safeguard the lives of the innocent people of Syria.

Our General Assembly resolutions over the years all call for nonviolent methods to be the initial response to conflict around the world, but they also recognize that military force is sometimes required to counter aggression. I urge our elected leaders to use diplomacy to deescalate the violence in Syria, and to one day create peace in our world where political conflict is solved with negotiations not bombs, there are no more senseless deaths, civilians will not live in fear, and refugees find their way to a safe home.

I call upon our UU community to work and pray for peace. As we give thanks for the peace and security we enjoy in our lives, we remember the millions of Syrians who have fled from the fighting and are now refugees in other countries. We mourn the loss of life by all kinds of weapons. And we assert that the U.S. government needs to exhaust all non-violent methods to bring about an end to this conflict before resorting to military intervention.

UUCSJ Associate for Administration and Enrollment

uusc_logoThe UUCSJ Associate for Administration and Enrollment is responsible for setting up, maintaining and operating the enrollment and administrative functions of the UU College of Social Justice. These include serving as the frontline of customer service for UUCSJ in handling inquiries, providing information and resolving problems; working with UUSC and UUA Communications Staff to develop program recruitment and communications strategies and assist in their implementation; ensuring that the uucsj.org website contains accurate, up-to-date program information and setting up application forms; assist UUCSJ staff in managing the process of screening, selecting and enrolling participants; collecting participant fees, and administering scholarship funds.

More information can be found on the UUSC website.

Luminary Leaders: Youth Leadership and Recognition Program

UUA logo blogLuminary Leaders are dedicated, inspiring and involved. They can be found in youth groups, congregations, districts and communities across the Association. The Luminary Leaders program is an opportunity for youth leaders to get more involved, network with one another, and be recognized for their skill and achievement.

Youth join the Luminary Leaders program through a simple registration process. All youth who register are added to our network of leaders, connecting them to one another at to both formal and informal leadership opportunities. Youth who additionally meet the criteria for recognition as accomplished youth leaders are awarded. These recognized leaders are presented with a certificate of recognition and a lapel pin.

If you consider yourself a leader, we want you to be part of this program. There are no limits to the number of youth we can accept.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the program.


Pastoral Message, July 2013

pic of me with love signHi Family

It has been two days since George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin.  As I read social media and listen to commentators on TV give their opinions, I knew that I would have to write a pastoral message in response to the Zimmerman verdict.  However, I did not know what to write.  There are endless essays and facebook posts about the role of white supremacy, our unfair justice system and how black and brown males are profiled and assumed guilty because of the color of their skin.  Do you know the saying, “same stuff different day?”  Well that’s how I feel.

I grew up in public housing in Philadelphia during the 1970’s and it was common for my brothers and other black males in my community to be profiled, stopped, questioned (sometimes pushed around), and frisked by Philadelphia police officers. I grew up thinking police brutality was normal and people got the best justice they could afford to buy.

My thinking has not changed over the years in regard to justice favoring those who have the access to pay for it.  What has changed for me is the belief that I am not powerless to work for change.  As a Unitarian Universalist, our First Principle calls us (that means you and me) to “Affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”  In other words, our first principle calls us to demand change and justice to insure that black and brown males are not profiled and assumed to be a threat by police and armed citizens.

So you may be asking yourself what can I do?  Answer, plenty.  You can begin by working on your ethnic/racial identity (white youth, youth of color and young adults) and the stereotypes about other ethnic/racial groups you carry.  If you live in Florida or another state that has a Stand Your Ground law, suggest to your youth group that you work to abolish or amend it so it does not protect someone who profiles, then stalks and kills an unarmed person.  Or your youth group can work on the Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) condemning racist mistreatment of young people of color by police that was approved at this year’s General Assembly.

 If you are person of color and you find yourself being stalked by a stranger, call 911, give them your name, age, location and a description of what you are wearing, what your stalker is wearing, and tell them that you fear for your life.  Also request that the 911 operator stay on the line with you until police arrive.  And while you are on the line with 911, keep talking, just in case…

 As always I would love to hear from you.  You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at mcummings@uua.org or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic at http://uuyayaoc.blogs.uua.org/.


 Rev. Monica,