News Briefs
November 2001

 Sing ‘Carols with Justice'

When you sing Christmas carols this year, add a justice verse.

"Carols with Justice," a 16-page booklet with words and music from Alternatives for Simple Living, costs $2 each up to 9 copies. Discounts available for larger quantities. A reprint license for any or all of the songs is available for a nominal fee.

Alternatives also is offering the carols as a text file, which can be received via e-mail and formatted for a local church bulletin. For information, contact Alternatives, P.O. Box 2787, Sioux City, IA 51106; 800-821-6153; fax 712-274-1402; e-mail

Bells ring on World AIDS Day

Friday, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day. The focus this year is on the role men can play in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and World AIDS Day calls men to act as educators, advocates and caregivers, and to be sex partners committed to health and safety.

At 2 p.m. that day, church bells will ring in observance of the 20th year of the AIDS pandemic.For a free World AIDS Day resource booklet, call 202-466-5883.

United Church of Canada blesses gay unions

In August, the 37th General Council of the United Church of Canada agreed to work actively for the civil recognition of lesbian and gay partnerships, and to recognize them in church documentation and services of blessing. Delegates voted to "affirm that human sexual orientations (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, heterosexual) are a gift from God, part of the marvellous diversity of creation."

The United Church of Canada has ordained gay and lesbian persons since 1988.

Church Women United is 60

More than 3,000 Christian women from around the world will convene in Milwaukee July 26-29, 2001, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Church Women United. Speakers will include the Rev. Elizabeth Tapia, a professor of theology from the Philippines, and Musimbi Kanyoro, a Kenyan theologian who heads the World YWCA in Switzerland, among others. Contact Church Women United, 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 500, New York, NY 10115; 800-298-5551, ext. 3576.

Sixth Annual essay competition is underway

Boardman Kathan, who wrote an essay on the faith of John Quincy Adams, is the winner of the Historical Council Essay Contest 2000.

Entries are being accepted now for the council's sixth annual best essay competition. Essays on an aspect of the history of the UCC or its antecedent traditions should be unpublished material, written by a lay or ordained UCC member, no more than 4,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography), and submitted in typed or word- processed double-spaced format. A prize of $200 will be awarded for the essay that is well organized, shows the best grasp of subject matter and maturity of interpretation, and demonstrates the use of good historical methodology and analysis. Submit by May 1 to UCC Archivist, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115.

UCC woman confronts Senate about toxic waste

UCC student Deb Sanchez of the Rocky Mountain Conference spoke before the U.S. Senate Sept. 26 about radioactive waste removal from her Denver neighborhood. She was protesting a Senate bill to eliminate the ombudsman office, which monitors environmental issues. As a result of her testimony, legislation was introduced to retain the office and make it function independently.

Anti-death penalty video out

In 1846, Michigan became the first government in the English-speaking world to abolish the death penalty. Now, the Michigan Committee Against Capital Punishment has produced an informative video, "Wrongly Convicted—How the Innocent are Sent to Death Row: A Definitive Symposium." The video features the stories of three men who were condemned, but later found innocent and released.

The cost is $20 per tape. Write Michigan Committee Against Capital Punishment, 1735 Abington Place, Lansing, MI 48910.

Franklinton Center thanks youth event attendees

Youth at the National Youth Event in Ames, Iowa, this past summer raised more than $8,000, which they earmarked for Franklinton Center at Bricks' flood relief efforts. In a recent letter to NYE organizers, the Rev. Ervin Milton, Director of the Center, thanked the youth on behalf of Franklinton's directors and staff. "I thank you for sharing your resources with families and individuals who were affected by ... Hurricane Floyd. Your contribution ... will be used to assist with the purchase of building materials, furniture and other necessities of flood victims," wrote Milton.

The Center, part of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries, is located in Whitakers, N.C.