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KUJENGA MADARAJA: Spanning Cultures
ICUU Conference & Council Meeting was held in USA for First Time in January 2014 in New York!

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) held its Conference & Council Meeting
from 28 to 31 January 2014
at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation At Shelter Rock in Manhasset, New York, USA

We gathered to explore how our progressive religion, known by many as Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism, can be a language of faith spanning cultures and uniting us in love and compassion.
 Kujenga Madaraja is a Swahili phrase as in “Bora kujenga madaraja kuliko kuta” which translates as “It is better to build bridges than walls” and is taken to mean “It is better to unite than to separate people.” Swahili is mainly spoken as a second language by many Africans, to communicate with others beyond the tongue of their own tribe.

It reminds us of the potential of our language of faith to transcend the cultures that may separate us if we can discover and master multi-cultural skills and perspectives.

The program included theme talks, worship services, chalice circle groups and other activities, as well as opportunities for networking and getting to know sisters and brothers from around the world. 

Sessions were held in the beautiful and inspiring campus of the Shelter Rock U-U congregation. Participant accommodation will be available at the Adria and Ramada hotels in nearby Bayside with shuttle transportation to the meeting site.

On Friday 31 January, the Conference moved to the United Nations Churches Centre in New York City and included a group tour of the United Nations headquarters and a worship service in the interfaith chapel.


Half CM 14 Logo


Ministry for the Global UU Movement

Webinar held on April 4, 2013



U-U groups and organizations around the world share a need for
trained, educated and effective ministerial leaders. Learn about progress
recent developments in building capacity and increasing access for this training and education
around the world, and how individuals and congregations can support
this work.


Ministry for the Global UU Movement


Thursday, April 4, 2013



Ministry for the Global UU Movement from Steve Dick on Vimeo.




BELONGING -- Proceedings of the 3rd ICUU Theological Symposium held in July 2010 in The Netherlands

A free copy of the ebook can be viewed and saved from the link below:

Click Here for Copy of Theological Symposium 2010 Proceedings

Printed copies will be available for purchase online at a later date.





Site Introduction

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists is a network of Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist organizations. 22 national full member groups comprise the voting members of the Council. Provisional and emerging groups represent Unitarians from more than a dozen more countries. This site has been designed to serve those new to Unitarianism, Universalism and Unitarian Universalism, those who are new to the international aspects of our faith and finally, member groups and their delegates. There is a mix of educational and institutional information as well as news of programs and upcoming events.

In the News Video Now Available Chalice Lighting

From The ICUU President           23 July2013
Dear Colleagues and Friends of ICUU,
Dear ICUU Member Groups and Colleagues,

Responses to the ICUU Executive Committee’s (EC) Green Paper on Governance were a key focus of the EC’s July meeting.

Appreciation was expressed for the many helpful comments received from ICUU Member Groups and from interested individuals.

The majority of responses to the general proposals were encouragingly positive, aside from the proposal to extend the term of the present EC. A follow-up consultation paper is being prepared further developing some of the suggestions and addressing concerns raised in some of the responses.

The follow-up document is also expected to include a proposal for a council-appointed taskforce to continue consultation at the upcoming Council Meeting in New York and beyond with ICUU Member Groups. A timetable will be included culminating with consideration of any definitive proposals at the following Council Meeting in 2016.

The suggested term extension of the current EC was not generally supported and the EC gives notice that it has withdrawn the proposed constitutional amendment that would have enabled that possibility.

This means there will be a normal election for the EC at the Council Meeting this coming January. Member Groups are encouraged to think now about potential candidates for EC posts.  Information about the nomination and election process from the Nominating Committee will be circulated in the near future.

Member Groups are reminded that the ICUU Council is the primary representative body and that persons elected to the EC need to have skills and expertise that can assist this important international organization in developing capacity to focus on its mission.

The EC expects to agree on the text of the follow-up Governance Paper at its next meeting on September 10th and to circulate it soon after for further discussion by ICUU Member Groups.
Kind Regards, Rev. Brian Kiely
President, International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
Minister, Unitarian Church of Edmonton


ICUU is seeking chalice lighting words to be considered for publication in the GLOBAL CHALICE LIGHTING WORDS series.

Submissions should be original or adapted words designed for use when lighting a chalice in the context of worship.

The author must be a member of an ICUU Member Group or of an Emerging Group recognized by ICUU.

Submission in a local language in addition to English is welcomed, particularly when English is not the native language.

Please note it is not possible to promise that submitted words can be used in a particular month or that any submission will be included in the series. A number of factors are considered when considered which words will be selected and when they will be used.

Submissions can be sent to ICUU GLOBAL CHALICE LIGHTING WORDS Acting Coordinator Steve Dick at

We look forward to receiving GLOBAL CHALICE LIGHTING WORDS from around the world and thank you for your assistance.

Progressive & Liberal Worship Crossing Cultures

Webinar recording from June 5



Is there a thread that connects liberal and progressive worship gatherings across differences in language, custom and practice? ICUU President Brian Kiely has participated in worship services in Unitarian and Universalist groups around the world. In this Webinar, Brian highlights differences in worship practice in ICUU Member Group as a prelude to offering a model that illuminates what unites us as a global community of indigenous progressive faith groups. Both theoretical and practical material is included.








ICUU wants to be responsive to the need for material about the Unitarian and Universalist religion in many languages. To begin, we can direct you to these existing sites:

Brazilian, Portuguese | Czech | Chinese | Danish | Spanish | Finnish | French | German | Hungarian | Italian: , | Polish | Russian | Swedish

Please email us with other sites that you know about.

French translation of the ICUU Preamble now available

The French Christian Unitarians (AFCU) are promoting a new website on Unitarianism and Unitarian biographies in French. The URL is:


Around the Globe

Click to see a digest of recent news and highlights from member and emerging groups.

In the News Archives


Great Links to Check Out

More under Resources > Useful Links.






Global Chalice Lighting for March 2014

Congregations worldwide are invited to participate. We invite each congregation to use the reading for at least one worship service in the designated month, identifying it as the “Global Chalice Lighting” for that month and naming the group which submitted it. Readings will be circulated in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and, where different, in their original language. This Global Chalice Lighting was submitted by the Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft and is suggested for use in March 2014.
Life, unfathomable plenty —
You carry us and imbue us and flow around us,
You call us like everything into being and give everyone our time,
That we may make use of it to come to know You,
To encounter You in light and shadow.
We take and accept You and we are thankful.
Find us prepared!  
—Hans-Dietrich Kahl
submitted by Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft

Leben, unergründliche Fülle —
Du trägst und durchdringst und umflutest uns alle,
rufst uns wie alles ins Sein, gibst jedem seine Zeit,
dass wir sie nutzen Dich zu erfahren,
Dich zu bestehen in Licht und in Schatten.
Wir nehmen es an und sind dankbar dafür.
Finde uns bereit!
—Hans-Dietrich Kahl
submitted by Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft


(Other translations for Chalice Lighting Words will be available again starting next month.)

Past Chalice Lightings




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Click Here for copy of Global Chalice Newsletter
- 2011

You are invited to copy and circulate this newsletter.

Newsletter Archive


Care to read more ICUU news and views? Click here for personal accounts of ICUU events, news from around the world and occasional opinion articles and worshipful reflections.

Are you on Facebook?
There is now an ICUU Group on this fast growing social networking site. Facebook is free to join. Simply go to and sign up. Once there, visit 'groups' and search for International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. The group has over 70 members already. You can find out who else is interested, get news of upcoming events and carry on chats and post messages.

Friends of ICUU - Get involved!
ICUU is a council of organizations, not individual members. Individual friends of ICUU help with the work of the Council and are very important. You can be a friend and there are many projects and events which welcome your participation. See the link on the left side of this page to our Friends page.


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