About the Author
T. Resnikoff
Ted Resnikoff is the Digital Communications Editor at the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Poetry, November 2010, soul lost, by Lehna Huie

soul lost
spirit found
all at the cost of my being
 bound by presentation 
ideas of equality 
handed to me on a silver platter 
soul lost
 spirit found
 all for the healing of my being
 free to navigate the trails of my history 
hope for justice 
embedded in my heart
light the wick 
soul lost
 spirit found
 all for the truth of my being 
silenced by performers
 lifted by the crowd
 take a bow
take a stand
soul lost spirit found all for the love in my being 
birds of a flock always stick together 
survival of the fittest 
let us fly
-Lehna Huie

UU of Month, November 2010

My name is Lehna Huie.

I am 22 years old and loving discovering life.

I grew up UU and Community Church is my home church in NYC. I became very involved in social justice work through my youth group and YRUU [Young Religious Unitarian Universalist]. I hold my UU values as core values of living- it has been the backbone of my spirituality, and struggles and joys of being an artist and activist.

As a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts (BFA) and being an activist and UU Sunday School teacher, I have composed a language that is ever broadened by indulging myself physically and mentally in the community.  My responsibility and commitment to the urgency of social change and awareness brings me to.

I am enlightened and motivated by the power of the collective voice- awareness and community through shared knowledge and heightened consciousness. My art is representative of my spiritual journey and quest for answers. As a Black woman committed to being an agent of change in this world- art is a positive tool for change.

I am committed to collectively bring young Black artists together to do projects. In recently founding the art collective Native Tongue, I recognized the urgency for growth for supporting young Black creators within NYC’s community. We are a group of 15 black artists and activists finding alternative strategies for sharing knowledge and creation beyond the group. The aim is to build a self-sustainable community of Black artists committed to resisting oppression, and documenting and delivering our voice where it matters most. We will do so in developing new ways of sharing information, creative insight, history and knowledge on an intergenerational and multidisciplinary level in community with one another.

I am also am aspiring to become a Yoga teacher. I wish to observe and practice fusion of the body, mind and spirit in healthy ways and sharing that with others.


The figures are mostly women, with a focus on the body.
How are our spirits represented in art? Are our bodies as Black women commodity? NO.
Our bodies are full of fire, lust for life, dance, soul and sweet music. We are full of joy, pain, sorrow and scar stories.
The food I eat, my family, teachers, icons and friends’ spirits find their way into the sp ace through bold colors-a life mostly influenced by women.
There we are…we are present.
You can feel our spirits while you thank us for having a large role in sustaining and cultivating this world.
Out of the paintings, these women are universal and representational of my mothers, ancestors, sisters, myself and any woman who is graces us with her presence day to day.
Be it raising a child or braving this harsh world just to survive and flourish.
Humility in tact- the true definition of a goddess.
With knowledge of the history of what has been done to our Black Bodies, many of us can only escape in dreams. I choose to paint the emotion I feel from my how these women affect me.
How wonderful it is to get up and find ways of facing the day with strength, power, faith, and grace.
Blue Self

UU of the Month, September/October 2010

Elias Waddington

Elias Waddington has been an active Unitarian Universalist for just over a year and has been a member of the Countryside Unitarian Universalist Church for just over half a year. He discovered the UU community at Camp De Benneville Pines where he realized that he has been raised with UU ideas. His American father has been a UU since High School.
Elias has been playing piano since he was five and at Camp De Benneville Pines, he discovered a new way to express his spirituality through music. He draws inspiration and influence from widely varying genres including cool jazz, classical, and power metal.
In his church, Elias is an active member in the youth discussion group, the Senior High youth group, and youth and adult committees. He has also been elected to the Central Midwestern District’s Youth Steering Committee as the communications director, writing articles for the CMwD newsletter, the Midwesterner. Elias’s main contribution to Unitarian Universalist gatherings is his music. Playing both piano and percussion, Elias uses his music to enhance worship services that promote relaxation and self expression. Beyond music, his hobbies range from miniatures to computer and information technology. He is currently planning to pursue a career in aerospace and systems engineering.

Poetry, September/October 2010, by Nikki Giovanni

The Rain
Spring rains are my favorite
they help the flowers grow
Winter rain makes good ice cream
because it’s really snow
Traveling seeds ride windy rains
Thirsty trees scrape windowpanes
Autumn rains make all leaves change
from green to burnished reds
Soft rains wash our tears away
and rainbows warm our beds.
– Nikki Giovanni

Pastoral Message, September/October 2010

The Quest for Wholeness

Our deepest bonds are formed in right relationship with each other. The quest for wholeness through spiritual growth is a global phenomenon; individuals in all parts of the world are involved in the inner work of the spirit, trying to get in touch with imagination, creativity and soul.  Personally I equate spirit with religion, because I believe that religion is much more than a set of beliefs. It is more about what we love than what we believe, need I remind you in the words of founding father Francis David, “we do not have to think alike to love alike”.  But, it appers as though many Unitarian Universalist are conflicted, albeit afraid of the “spirit” itself. And while we may not be able to define “spirit” most of us are somehow acutely aware of those who claim to speak for god or spirit through misinformation. However, the potential power of the spirit is too important for us to ignore, because individually we all have times when it is necessary to trust the spirit, any spirit, for just some strength to survive. And I believe that we all need more of the spirit called courage, positive attitude, and yes, love. Real spiritual growth however is manifested through our willingness to be transformed, so we must remind ourselves that we are spiritual heirs of those who were unafraid to let go of the past and look toward the future. Therefore the greatest test in our quest for wholeness is the ability to embrace the future of all possibilities, while letting go of fears and outmoded ideas that no longer serve us from the past.
In Love and Light,
(The) Rev. Addae Ama Kraba

Pastoral Message, August 2010

Hi Family,
I just spent the last week at Camp deBenneville Pines in the Pacific Southwest District where I was co-chaplain for YRUU senior high summer camp.  This past camp was particularly special for me. It was my fourth senior high summer camp, which meant that I was present to see one generation of senior high youth grow up and grow out, which was the theme of this year’s camp.
While at camp I spent time talking with members and a youth advisor from the UU Congregation of Phoenix.  During my conversation with the youth advisor I shared with him the shock and sadness I felt at GA while watching the Film: “Standing On the Side of Love in Arizona” and hearing members of our PSWD YRUU camp family tell the story of their mother’s deportation.  The youth advisor recalled his memories of the Sunday morning when a member of his youth group shared during check-in that her mother had been deported.  The youth advisor and I fell silent in our separate but shared experience of shock and sadness after hearing about these young people being separated from their mother.
As I wrote in my May newsletter column, people on both sides of the immigration debate believe their position is backed by the law, American values, human rights and/or love.  I encourage you to watch the Film: “Standing on the Side of in Arizona at http://blogs.uuworld.org/ga/2010/06/27/film-standing-on-the-side-of-love-in-arizona/ and let your conscience be your guide on how you can stand on the side of love and support a fellow YRUUer.
I will end with a reflection attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller:
In Germany, they first came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me—
and by that time there was no one left to speak up.
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/.
Living My Faith,
Rev Monica

UU of the Month, August 2010

Abhimanyu Janamanchi

Abhimanyu Janamanchi is 16 years old and is a junior at Palm Harbor University High School. He was born in India and is a lifelong UU Hindu.
Abhimanyu is an active member at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Clearwater where he participates in leading worship and Young Religious Unitarian Universalist (YRUU) related programs.
Abhimanyu is currently the worship coordinator for the General Assembly Youth Caucus, is on the Florida district board as a youth representative and is a Chrysalis trainer. Abhimanyu enjoys playing basketball, watching movies, and living out his faith every day.


DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) join with other Unitarian Universalists concerned with justice to condemn the new racial profiling laws in Arizona and we urge Unitarian Universalists who identify as people of color/Latina/o/Hispanic to express their outrage individually and collectively at these laws which allow law enforcement to target people based on race.  We particularly note the statement by  LUUNA (Latina/o Unitarian Universalist  Networking Association), which states about this law that “its very vagueness will provide a means for law enforcement agencies to harass individuals on the basis of appearance alone.”
Because some of our members have indicated their concern that they would not be safe travelling to and within Arizona as long as such racial profiling laws exist, we also support the proposed boycott of Arizona and support relocating or cancelling the General Assembly scheduled to be held there.  To hold a General Assembly without the total spectrum of our members is exclusionary.  We also urge our General Assembly delegates this year to explore other options that could keep us in dialogue with the people of Arizona.
We remind our Unitarian Universalist family that such actions do have impact.  In the late 1980s, when Arizona refused to honor the Martin Luther King holiday, Unitarian Universalists cancelled the General Assembly scheduled to be held there.  After the state changed their position, General Assembly was once again held in that state.  We believe that, even in hard economic times, Unitarian Universalists must be willing to demand that their money be guided by their principles.
We as people who affirm the worth and dignity of all people must continue to fight against racism and ethnic discrimination in all forms.  A law that singles people out by race and ethnicity is by its nature racist.  We condemn this law and urge people of faith throughout our country to let their voices be heard.
The Steering Committee of
DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries)

UU of the Month, May 2010

Natalia (Natty) Maria Francisco Averett

Natty’s nonprofit experience includes organizing workshops on race for the Anti-Defamation League and involvement in the Environmental Club, and black, Latino, Queer and multicultural organizations. She has worked as a volunteer coordinator, co-managed a women’s center, interned at Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project and Libreria Del Pueblo, and worked as a campus organizer for the Feminist Majority Foundation. She is currently a member of the D.C. HIV/Prevention Community Planning Group, a joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and the D.C. Department of Health.
In the UU world, Natty served on the Joseph Priestly District Young Adult Network Steering Committee and has been involved in young adult activities at the national level. She was a leader in the UU Church of Arlington’s (UUCA) young adult community, where she helped organize a conference inspired by the Our Whole Lives pilot course for young adults. She has been a UUCA covenant-group facilitator and was a member of the congregation’s 2008/2009 Strategic Planning Task Force. In 2009, she joined the Board of Trustees and was recently elected Chair for the 2010/2011 fiscal year. Over the last few years, she’s been involved in several UU racial justice trainings and activities.
In her day job, Natty works for the consulting firm SAIC, where she provides industrial security strategic planning assistance, policy advice and training to company leadership and professional colleagues. She is active in her company’s multicultural network and women’s network, where she chaired community outreach and was nominated for an achievement award for Excellence in Corporate Responsibility.
Natty strives for personal connection, consensus and efficiency. She enjoys walking, sleeping, sitting outside, reading, art, film, puzzles, music, dancing, beaches, food culture, and finding “the funny,” the small thing that makes something hilarious when it would otherwise not be funny at all.

Pastoral Message, May 2010

Hello Family,
Fear is a powerful emotion.  It can motivate people and communities to behave in ways that seem irrational and self-destructive.  There are things we all fear.  For example, not getting what we want or losing what we already have.  Some parents fear their children will not receive their fair share of programs supported by their tax dollars.  Communities fear not being able to stretch their resources to meet increasing demand.
We live in a time when politicians have mastered the strategy of “manufactured fear.”  The more fear generated by those in power, the more people are willing to vote against their own best interests to alleviate their fear.  When voters in our country are willing to see the “other” as the problem, they are less likely to focus on the individuals, groups and businesses that profit from their fear.
Over the past few months, stories about immigration have increased.  Most noteworthy is the Anti-Immigrant Law passed in Arizona in April.  People in support of tightening our borders and deporting those who are undocumented believe they stand on the side of law and order.  People who support amnesty for undocumented immigrants believe they stand on the side of economic justice, human rights and love.
I encourage you to get in touch with what you fear, because if you are in control of what you fear instead of being controlled by what you fear, you will be one less consumer of the current political strategy of manufactured fear.
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/.
Living My Faith,
Rev Monica