A new AIM Newsletter is available: http://www.equualaccess.org/aim/aim-newsletter-september-2017/
To be eligible, the sermon must be preached on or before April 29, 2018. The winner will be announced at General Assembly in Kansas City, and will receive a $500 award. Both clergy and lay-preachers are encouraged to participate.
To enter, email your sermon and a separate cover page to info@EqUUalAccess.org with the subject line “EqUUal Access Sermon Contest.” Your cover page should contain: your name, address, phone number, email address, sermon title, congregation to whom the sermon was delivered, and date the sermon was delivered. Your sermon should contain a title, and all identifying references (your name, name of the congregation, etc.) should be absent. Submissions must be in MS Word or Plain Text (PDF not acceptable.)
Entries must be submitted by May 6, 2018.
We’re pleased to announce that Rev. Helen McFadyen has been hired to be the new AIM Administrator, who will be taking over from our beloved administrator Michelle Avery Ferguson. Michelle will be training Helen over the next month.
Growing up in a blended blue-collar family in Montreal, Helen McFadyen reflects a mix of cultures including Metis (Indigenous) and French Canadian. She has worked and volunteered for years around disability rights and accessibility concerns in various municipalities, and for organizations such as Guide Dog Users of Canada and the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians.
Helen trained and worked bi-vocationally, credentialing both as a UU minister and as a spiritual health practitioner (hospital chaplain). A self-avowed lifetime learner, Helen is currently doing research that examines the impact of mutual supportive relationships on residents of intentional communities as part of a Doctor of Ministry degree program.
A dedicated member of EqUUal Access for about a decade and EA’s Consultant for International Liaison for two years, Helen now brings her enthusiasm, energy, experience, and skills to AIM.
Thanks to the Internet and telephone communication technology, Rev. Helen will be able to work closely with AIM congregations. “This is a commitment without borders”, she reflected upon accepting the Administrator position.
Rev. Helen McFadyen lives in the province of British Columbia where she serves as Developmental Minister to the UU Fellowship of Kamloops. She enjoys swimming, playing ukulele, and hiking with her faithful companion and guide dog, Camilla.
CONTACT AIM ADMINISTRATOR:
Telephone: (857) 990-6388
Here is a link to an engaging video created by Rev. Helen McFadyen for the EqUUal access both at GA in 2017 in New Orleans:
At the 2017 General Assembly there was a Responsive Resolution written by Rev. Theresa Ines Soto to change the name of the UUA’s flag-ship social justice campaign “Standing on the Side of Love” to something less ableist. After some debate, it passed overwhelmingly. It was an historic moment when ableism was at last recognized as something important within Unitarian Universalism. The picture on the left shows the vote of the delegates, with Theresa in the center. The picture on the right shows EqUUal Access leaders Rev. Barbara Meyers and Rev. Suzanne Fast during the debate.
From gatherings to celebrations and workshops, EqUUal Access is hosting an event every day of General Assembly. See below for a complete list. Plan to join us at one of our events, or simply swing by the EqUUal Access booth #408. We’d love to get to know you!
Gathering of Disabled Religious Professionals / Religious Professionals with a Disability
Who: Disabled Religious Professionals / Religious Professionals with a Disability
What: Come for community, for food, and to begin a conversation on how we might support one another’s vocations in Unitarian Universalism. Members of all UU religious professions are welcome.
When: Wednesday, June 21 from 6:15 PM to 7:15 PM
Where: Hampton Inn & Suites, Cottonmill Room
Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Gathering
Who: Local AIM Teams
What: AIM Congregations gather to discuss their experiences and ways forward.
When: Thursday, June 22 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Where: Convention Center, room 213
EqUUal Access Celebration
What: Join us as we honor our sermon contest winner, two new AIM certified congregations, and those individuals who have worked for justice for our community during their lifetime.
When: Friday, June 23 from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Where: Convention Center, room 213
The Right to Be Rescued: Climate & Disability Workshop
What: Disasters disproportionately affect people with disabilities. As the frequency and severity of disasters rises with climate change, the courts have recognized that we have a right to be rescued. Hear the stories, learn about emerging best practices, and explore how you and your congregation can be part of creating solutions.
When: Saturday, June 24 from 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Where: Convention Center, room 433
Dr. Kimberley Jackson’s sermon, Disability, Identity, and the Circle of Life, has been selected as the winner of the 2017 EqUUal Access Sermon Contest! The sermon will be honored as part of the EqUUal Access Celebration at General Assembly in New Orleans. You can read the sermon and find out more about Dr. Jackson on our Sermons page under the Resources tab.
Information for submitting a sermon for consideration for the 2108 Sermon Contest will be posted here when available!
We have added two versions of a service dog policy to our resources section, one for Canada, and one for the USA. Take a look.
A celebratory message from Canadian Unitarian Universalists!
Our Unitarian Universalist tradition reminds us of the power of Love to carry us through times of adversity. It’s a message we in the disability community know well, from our own experience and history.
Many in our far flung and diverse community are feeling the weight of increased apprehension today. We know too well where this rhetoric of hate can lead – devaluing our humanity, cutting vital services, undermining our rights, and putting lives in peril. My heart breaks with the knowledge that many Americans, many Unitarian Universalists, will not notice, their attention riveted on the damage to other communities on the margins. My heart reaches out to yours in these difficult times.
Whether we consider ourselves disabled or a person with a disability, or neither, I have faith that the trying times ahead will bring us together. We are creative, resourceful, and resilient people! We will not be deterred.
As we traverse these difficult days, if you feel anxious or invisible, or stressed in some other way, please, practice the both/and of taking care of yourself and reaching out to receive support, and to offer it when you can.
I got up this morning and I lit a chalice: “In this cup, symbol of community, I kindle this light of love, hope, and justice that it may be a beacon in a hurting world.” Now, it has never been my practice to light a chalice when I get up! But today, that small ritual let me feel connected to our faith, our values, and this community. May this be our gift to one another: you are not alone.
President, EqUUal Access