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GNOUU is a local cluster of UU churches who are revitalizing their faith while rebuilding their city.

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Bed & Breakfast at CCUU PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 22:38
Community Church UU offers Bed and Breakfast in members' homes as a fundraiser for the church.  Members provide bed, bath, breakfast, and information as requested about our wonderful city; in return we request generous donations to our church.  For more information, e-mail  Provide a phone number and the dates when you want to visit and we'll respond to discuss options which we hope will meet your needs.
Letter in the Advocate PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 19:46
 Rev. VanderWeele attended the First UU service where anti-choice protestors disrupted worship. This letter was written in response. 40 local faith leaders signed on to say that the Space for Worship is Sacred.  


On Sunday morning, July 20, the sacred time and space of a historic New Orleans congregation was violated. As congregants of First Unitarian Universalist Church, founded in 1833, held a moment of silent prayer to grieve a young woman of the church who had died the previous week, protestors from Operation Save America began to harangue the minister and spew words of hate to and at the congregation. In shock, but with increasing pain as these diatribes continued, the congregation listened quietly as protestors vilified and insulted them. Soon, though, the protestors were ushered out of the church.

As this was happening in the sanctuary, other protesters, holding grotesque images, massed around the windows of the church nursery, screaming at the babies and toddlers. Youth were told they were “going to hell” and that their family members were suffering from illness due to their sins. The church members responded by singing words of love, justice and freedom to counteract this hateful rhetoric.

For religious communities in the United States, the freedom to worship is a deeply cherished right. Whatever our faith, whenever we worship, the right to worship as we choose was fought for by our ancestors and is vital to all today. Along with this freedom comes the right to disagree, which is one part of the pluralism created by our religious freedom.

But all of us agree that no one has the right to desecrate the sacred worship time and space in order to express their disagreement. The undersigned people of faith do not agree on everything. In fact, some of us only agree that we have the right to disagree. But that is enough. No congregation, whatever their views may be, should have their sacred worship time and space violated. Not ever. Not by anybody.

I and 39 other local religious leaders by this letter call on the larger community to stand with us, with hearts joined on the side of love and in opposition to religious terrorism.

The Rev. Jim VanderWeele, New Orleans
The Rev. William Barnwell
The Rev. Paul Beedle
The Rev. Claire Vonk Brooks
The Rev. Gary Brooks
Pat Bryant, co-moderator, Justice and Beyond
The Rev. Callie Winn Crawford
Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn
The Rev. Jeff Conner
The Rev. Rob Courtney
The Rev. Don Frampton
The Rev. Lauren Frazier-McGuin
The Rev. Joann M. Garma
Vanessa Gueringer, vice president, A Community Voice
Michael G. Hackett, deacon, Diocese of Louisiana
The Very Rev. AJ Heine
The Rev. Henry L. Hudson
The Rev. Eronica C. King
Rabbi Ethan Linden
Rabbi Robert H. Loewy
The Rev. Dr. Jane Mauldin
The Rev. Priscilla Maumus
The Rev. Herbert McGuin, III
Rabbi Barbara Metzger
The Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger
Max Niedzwiecki, convener
Tom Paine, pastor
The Rev. Fred Powell, III
The Rev. Tony Rigoli, OMI
The Rev. Darcy Roake
Minister Norbert Rome
The Rev. Mitchell Smith
Dr. William Soileau
The Rev. William H. Terry
The Rev. William Thiele, Ph.D.
The Rev. Jennie Thomas
The Rev. Ron Unger
The Rev. Deanna Vandiver
The Rev. Tom Watson
The Rev. Dwight Webster, Ph. D.


Myanmar Religious Leaders Visit CCUU PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 September 2013 19:45
A delegation of eight religious leaders from Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma) recently visited Community Church. Eight Burmese monks, ministers, and an imam are working to establish interfaith linkages between the faiths (and peoples) in their land. They hope to promote a unity based on the similarities found in all faiths rather than point toward where their faiths differ. This delegation appears at the starting point of correcting an injustice that has plagued the people of Myanmar for many years. 

The Myanmar population is now 89% Theravadan Buddhist, 4% Muslim, 4% Christian, 2% others and 1% Hindu. Although Buddhists are generally peace loving, those who live in Myanmar have aggressively targeted Jews and Muslims. Today’s major concern is for the Rohingya, a Muslim group who live in Northern Rakhine and use the Rohingya language. (The Rohingya are one of the most persecuted people on our Earth.) There are three obstacles that need to be overcome in Myanmar: a denial of the historical presence of the Rohingya, the 1982 citizenship law, and restoring the citizenship and human rights of the Rohingya peoples which they have been denied since 1982. 

The Burmese contingent requested a visit with representatives of IWJ, but seemed quite interested in learning about Unitarian Universalism. An imam asked very early in our meeting, “I have heard about UUs, but know little about it, what can you tell us about your faith?”

I began by sharing our openness to diversity. As I was speaking I thought it best to share some of the readings in the back of our hymnal. The clerics seemed pleased that we value many faiths. They nodded as I spoke of UU history and a commitment to justice for all. A Buddhist priest asked if they could take a hymnbook to Myanmar, “It would be good to translate some of these passages into our language.” I quickly agreed.

It was a joy to share a brief “elevator speech” about Unitarian Universalism with these religious leaders. I hope several of the selections from our hymnal will be translated into their language(s) and will be used as tools to build peace and understanding in their land. The final highlight of the meeting was the gathering of these leaders in our sanctuary where they sang the Myanmar National Anthem.
Transformation of UU Spring "Urban" Retreat 2013! PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 February 2013 19:29

April 12, 13 & 14

The previously scheduled GNOUU Spring Retreat has been postponed due to scheduling difficulties.  However, the GNOUU fun for that weekend will carry on!  With French Quarter Fest and our Earth Day Service scheduled for the weekend of April 12-14, there is much faithful fellowship to be had in New Orleans.  In order to make sure that North Shore Unitarian Universalists can participate in the joy, our Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal is offering Hospitality at a special GNOUU rate for the nights of the 12th and 13th.  See the attached registration form for details and to register.  We look forward to seeing everyone under the branches of Grandmother Oak at 11 AM on Sunday, April 14th.

Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00

November 10-12, 2012
Benefit Concert, Joint Music Service, and
Tri-Church Ordination of Deanna Vandiver


As Tamara Murray, President of North Shore UU, wrote, “I need to break out my thesaurus just to find enough words to describe how wonderful this past weekend was!  It was truly magnificent—all three UU events were just superb.”  Emma’s Revolution and Gina Forsyth played at the concert on the evening of Saturday November 10th.  If you were unable to attend, please check out their music—all three women are awesome musicians.  Emma’s Revolution’s music has very powerful messages of love and social justice and is truly inspiring.  Thanks so much to everyone who helped put the concert together—including Gay Digiovanni, who coordinated the concert but was unable to attend herself!  This successful concert covered expenses and raised money for the work of the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal as well as for First Church’s kitchen.
Ordination 2--stained glass
Sunday’s GNOUU annual music service on November 11th was held at CCUU and featured the choirs of all three congregations, as well as special performances by trumpeter Eric Ensminger (Rev. Melanie’s husband), bassist Jacques Joshua, and pianist Rick Fortner (visiting from All Souls UU, Tulsa, OK).  Many thanks to all who participated in this joyful service, especially the choir members and the three choir directors:  Bennett Britt (CCUU), Betsy McGovern (FUUNO), and Melissa Rousseaux (NSUU).
The tri-congregational ordination and celebration of The Rev. Deanna Vandiver took place on Monday evening.  Words cannot describe just how meaningful and extraordinary the ordination service was.  Rev. Deanna is such a special person and it is not surprising that there were ministers from all over the country as well as Emma’s Revolution and Gina Forsyth who wanted to be here for her ordination. All three congregations are grateful to Deanna for being part of our GNOUU community and allowing us to be part of her journey to become an ordained minister.  Thanks go to so many who helped make this occasion so wonderful, including UUA and district representatives, ministers, family, and friends who came in from around the country, members who opened their homes for out of town guests, and all who participated or volunteered in multiple ways to make sure that the event went off without a hitch!  Special thanks goes to our culinary magicians Chefs Jyaphia Christos-Rogers and Amina Dada and Deanna’s “Dream Team” organizers – Marilyn Malone and Gail Grob (NSUU), Liz Trotter (CCUU), and Camille Tucker (FUUNO).
Last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to everyone who attended these events and demonstrated your dedication to our faith and our greater UU Community.

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