Unitarian Universalists Remain Committed to Reproductive Justice

From the Unitarian Universalist Association President Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray:

Boston, Mass. (June 24, 2022) – The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued its decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Organization case, which overturns Roe v. Wade, upending nearly 50 years of access to abortion. Below is a statement from Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), regarding this decision:

This decision manifests the worst fears of those of us who have been working for decades to protect and affirm reproductive rights.

The overwhelming majority of Unitarian Universalists (UUs) support keeping abortion legal in all or most cases. This is rooted in our Principles and our core religious beliefs that affirm gender equity. It also reflects a moral commitment to the idea that reproductive care is healthcare and is essential to the well-being of individuals and families.

This anti-choice decision by the Supreme Court infringes on our deeply held religious beliefs. Access to abortion and the right to choose is an issue of gender equality, bodily autonomy, and religious liberty, all of which are long held Unitarian Universalist religious teachings.

As I said when the draft decision was leaked in May, I fear this decision will justify efforts to further limit the rights of women, pregnant people, and other vulnerable people and communities. Curtailing reproductive rights will be felt most by people of color, young people, poor and working-class people, and those living in rural areas. The rights of people in more vulnerable communities will only become more limited and diminish healthcare equity. Too many people are already deprived of ready access to comprehensive and equitable reproductive healthcare, including abortion access.

Unitarian Universalists are committed to Reproductive Justice, a framework created by Black women in the 1980s and 1990s, which affirms the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments, to safeguard bodily autonomy, and to express one’s sexuality freely. The UU faith has a long history of collaborating in this movement and advocating for safe, legal, accessible abortion care.

The Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health decision does not alter Unitarian Universalists’ commitment to Reproductive Justice.

Comprehensive reproductive care, including access to abortion, is essential to the health and well-being of individuals and families. The decision to limit this basic human right means that this fight will shift to state legislatures across the country. Guided by our moral values, we are prepared to be a part of that ongoing struggle and continue to show up for Reproductive Justice in all aspects of public life.

Our faith calls us to advocate on behalf of all those who need ready access to safe, legal abortion care whenever and wherever they need it. We will not rest until that reality is true across the country. I urge lawmakers, elected officials, and leaders in public life across the country to take action for gender and healthcare equity for all.

Note:  the original press release can be found here.

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Worship in Person Resumes This Sunday (7 November 2021)

This Sunday (7 November 2021) at 11:00 AM, All Souls will have our first in-person worship in the sanctuary since  March 2020.

We are asking for your cooperation.

Masks are required of all attendees (age 4 and up) when we are indoors.  Children younger than age 4 are encouraged to wear masks if they are able.

We will have masks on hand if you don’t have one.

Masks are also required when outdoors when in close proximity to people who are not in your family or “bubble.”

Social distancing will be observed to the maximum extent possible.

All adults and youth who are eligible to be vaccinated are required to be fully vaccinated to attend worship in person at this time.  If you have a documented medical condition that prevents being vaccinated, you can attend without vaccination.

In order to be fully vaccinated, one must be at least two weeks past their final COVID vaccine shot (final shot is second Pfizer / Moderna  shot or first Johnson & Johnson shot).

Please bring proof of vaccination — CDC vaccination card, a photo of your CDC vaccination card, or your LA Wallet app on your smartphone showing your vaccinated status.  You only have to show this to us once.

At first, we will not have religious education classes or nursery care for children and youth.  Our classrooms and nursery facilities are too small to be safe and our younger children are still unvaccinated.  We need time to be together before we recruit and train teachers.

However, we will have “busy bag” activities for children sitting in the pews with their families.  We hope to resume religious education classes in January 2022.

If you are not comfortable attending in person, we will still be offering a streaming video worship service through Facebook Live.

Please bear with us as we once again climb the learning curve for yet another new way of doing church.

Continue to watch our website and social media spaces for updates as we discover what we’ve forgotten and what we have learned with yet another way to do church.

Feel free to ask questions as we move forward with in-person worship.  Susan Caldwell (Director of Lifespan Religious Education) will answer your questions or forward them to the church leaders who have the answers.

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Building and Grounds Work Day (9 October 2021)

Please join us on Saturday (9 October 2021) from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM for our monthly building and grounds work day.

There are tasks indoors and out for all ages and abilities — come for the whole time or for whatever part of the day you can make it.

Vaccinated or not vaccinated — please wear your mask when you are working near others.  Hope to see you there.

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Building and Grounds Work Day (11 September 2021)

Please join us on Saturday (11 September 2021) from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM for our monthly building and grounds work day.

There are tasks indoors and out for all ages and abilities — come for the whole time or for whatever part of the day you can make it.

Vaccinated or not vaccinated — please wear your mask when you are working near others.  Hope to see you there.

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Building and Grounds Work Day (14 August 2021)

Please join us on Saturday (14 August 2021) from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM for our monthly building and grounds work day.

There are tasks indoors and out for all ages and abilities — come for the whole time or for whatever part of the day you can make it.

Vaccinated or not vaccinated — please wear your mask when you are working near others.  Hope to see you there.

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Online All-Ages Worship (18 July 2021)

Please join us this Sunday (18 July 2021) at 11:00 AM as we welcome the 2021 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award recipients and guest speakers Breka Peoples and Omari Ho-Sang.

Our service will be livestreamed on Facebook Live here.

We are honoring their work from the Summer 2020 organizing the 45 Days of Action Campaign in Shreveport / Bossier City, Louisiana along with their continuing work to dismantle systemic racism and create beloved community in Shreveport / Bossier City.

All Souls presents the Emerson Award each year to an individual, group, or organization in the wider community who best exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles and the values of liberal religion.

Watch for our weekly email announcements for info on the next in-person worship service and other opportunities to gather in smaller groups in person.  You can sign up for these announcements using this link.

Our July 2021 give-away-the-plate recipient is Shreveport Green.

We will have a  virtual coffee hour after the service on Zoom.

While we are remaining physically distant, we want to know how you are doing, what you need, and what you are interested in.  You can let us know using these online surveys.

And you can contribute to All Souls using this online resource.

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Breka Peoples and Omari Ho-Sang — 2021 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award Recipients

Please join us at 11:00 AM on 18 July 2021 for our worship service where we will be honoring Breka Peoples and Omari Ho-Sang as our 2021 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award Recipients.

We will be presenting this award during our Sunday worship service using Facebook Live video.

We are honoring their work from the Summer 2020 organizing the 45 Days of Action Campaign in Shreveport / Bossier City, Louisiana along with their continuing work to dismantle systemic racism and create beloved community in Shreveport / Bossier City.

All Souls presents the Emerson Award each year to an individual, group, or organization in the wider community who best exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles and the values of liberal religion.

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Betty Gorey Parent Drive-In Memorial Service (23 May 2020)

On Saturday (23 May 2020) at 10:00 AM CDT (Shreveport local time), we will have a drive-in memorial service to honor the life of Betty Gorey Parent.

The memorial service will happen in the parking lot of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (9449 Ellerbe Road, Shreveport LA)

The service will be broadcast locally in the parking lot to the FM radio into your car (87.9 MHz).

The memorial service will also be a livestream video on the All Souls Facebook page.

We will gather — in physical and virtual space — to celebrate the life of Betty Gorey Parent.

In our efforts to do our best to honor her wishes in an event that is safe for all concerned, we are asking attendees to observe these essential COVID-19 safety precautions: Continue reading “Betty Gorey Parent Drive-In Memorial Service (23 May 2020)”

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Hazel Martin Memorial Service — Saturday, 27 April 2019

Friends and family of Hazel Martin will gather on Saturday (27 April 2019) at 3:30 PM in the sanctuary to celebrate her life (Hazel passed away on 10 March 2019 in Raleigh NC).

Hazel was a longtime active member of All Souls and a dedicated Unitarian Universalist at the district and national level as well.

A tribute to Hazel and her many contributions to church life is on page 2 of the April 2019 newsletter.

We will have a reception in the social hall for those in attendance immediately following the service.

We would appreciate more help with set-up and clean-up for that event and — if anyone can bring some nice cookies, pastries, or a fruit or veggie tray to go with the food we already have coming, that would be lovely.

Join us to welcome Hazel’s family and to celebrate a great life well lived!

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21 October 2018 All-Ages Worship Service

Please join us on Sunday (21 October 2018) at 11:00 AM for “Good News in Difficult Times” presented by the children, youth, and adults of All Souls.

The 20th Century Unitarian Universalist theologian James Luther Adams said:

Religious liberalism holds that the resources (divine and human) that are available for the achievement of meaningful change justify an attitude of ultimate optimism.

Do we truly have right and reason to be hopeful?

Our children and youth will present some reasons.

This service will also include a brief memorial tribute to Carol Graywing (former member of All Souls who had moved to Seattle several years ago to be closer to her daughter and grandson, and who also passed away in September 2018).

Carol was very active in the women’s movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s along with the women’s movement within our own denomination as well.

Throughout her life, she remained a powerful voice for women, a thoughtful poet, and a seasoned leader of worship with a wonderful sense of reverence and drama. Carol’s obituary can be found here.

This Sunday is her daughter and Carol’s daughter Lauren Gaddy has bought flowers to be placed on the altar of every Unitarian Universalist church where Carol held membership — San Francisco, Little Rock, Shreveport, and Seattle.  She has also has asked that we remember her in the service.  Knowing the depth of this loss to our national faith community, we are honored to honor her.

A newcomer session will follow the service — all interested persons are welcome to attend

We will see a video about our faith and hear your stories as you are comfortable sharing them along with answering any questions you may have about Unitarian Universalism and about membership in our congregation.

Our “Give Away the Plate” recipient for October 2019 is Noel United Methodist Church Food Pantry.

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