Sister Souurce Facebook Posts

Enjoy Sister Souurce’s photo collage of Ghana as we prepare to meet Kenyan UUs. Elder Rev Q

Today Sister Souurce visited two of Ghana’s most historic cites, Independence Square, also known as Black Star Square and the Kwame Nkrumah Museum. We concluded the evening with dinner and desserts at Bella Afrique, a restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine. Bon Appetit! Enjoy! Elder Rev Qiyamah #ghananews #ghana #blacklivesinunitarianunivers #diverseandrevolutionaryunitarianuniversalistministries #circleofconcernedsfricanwomentheologians #unitarianuniversalist #atlanta #panafricanism #KwameNkrumah

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Sister Souurce continues its exploration of the many historic cites in Accra, Ghana. Elder Rev Qiyamah #ghana #blacklivesinunitarianunivers #diverseandrevolutionaryunitarianuniversalistministries #circleofconcernedsfricanwomentheologians #unitarianuniversalist #panafricanism #KwameNkrumah #UUA #clarkatlantauniversity #atlanta

Cultural Immersion into Ghana’s History Sister Souurce continues its education on Ghana’s history with a tour of two major museums, one dedicated to W.E.B. Dubois and the other to Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. The W.E.B. Dubois Museum, featured here is currently housed in the former residence of DuBois. Efforts are underway for a major renovation and expansion. We also feature a couple of the excellent restaurants found in Accra. Elder Rev Qiyamah #ghana #unitarianuniversalist #UUA #circleofconcernedsfricanwomentheologians #diverseandrevolutionaryunitarianuniversalistministries #blacklivesinunitarianunivers #panafricanism #WEBDuBois #KwameNkrumah #shirleydubois

My daughter has arrived in Accra! Let the fun begin! LOL! Elder Rev Q

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Sister Souurce constantly meets interesting individuals living into a call to ministry and social justice work. I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to the only other Unitarian Universalist woman attending the recent Conference sponsored by the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians in Accra, Ghana. Meet Heather Malkawi. She is a member of the Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Park, TX. Heather is a graduate of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (2024) with a Master of Divinity (MDiv), and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Michigan (2002). She received the Charles L. King Preaching Award & The Ethel W. Lance Human and Civil Rights Award. Heather is a candidate for fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). She will meet with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC), the credentialing body in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in December, 2024. Heather joined Texas Impact in 2021 as a seminary intern. Texas Impact is an organization that equips faith leaders and their congregations with information, opportunities and outreach tools to educate their communities and engage lawmakers on pressing issues. She later served a year as the Unitarian Universalist Justice Fellow focusing on LGBTQIA2S+, Immigration, and Health & Human Service issues. Heather served as the liaison between Texas Impact and member organization, Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry. She has 20+ years in the non-profit social work and insurance industries. In her current Policy Advocate role, she works to educate and encourage people of faith about the importance of telling their personal stories to create change in Texas. Sister Souurce hopes to feature stories like Heather’s in the near future. Heather’s Story “I was raised in an evangelical church and it wasn’t until I married someone from a different faith, that I saw the hypocrisy of the faith I grew up in. I took some time to deconstruct what God, religion, and spirituality meant to me, realizing there is a multiplicity to faith and belief. I don’t believe that one faith tradition has a monopoly on a positive afterlife. I found Unitarian Universalism in 2014. In a time when I ran hard from church and faith, these people became my village and my family at a time when I needed it most. It was like I was coming home to a good place. I suppose it was two questions that led me to ministry. I had haphazardly decided to take a sermon writing class with my minister. I scheduled a meeting with her because I was wondering if I could do this work. She put everything down and asked, “Can you see yourself being a minister in 10 years?” I replied, “I don’t know.” Then she asked, “Can you see yourself NOT being a minister in 10 years?” With that, uncontrollable tears ran down my face. She leaned back and said, “I think you have your answer.” I still wonder sometimes if I’m meant to be in ministry, but then I realize that ministry does not just happen behind a pulpit on Sunday mornings. My ministry is in the community, whether in my local hometown or in a global context. I have a responsibility to learn, observe, and absorb whatever I can, allowing me to simply bring back my personal experiences and observations to my circles of influence. When allowed to attend the Circle conference in Ghana, I was overcome with fear and gratitude. I didn’t know what I was getting into by traveling across the world to listen and engage with the theological trailblazers that I had been learning about. But I knew I had to take the opportunity. My journey to Ghana did not disappoint. The Circle of Concerned Women Theologians has ignited a desire of direction that I didn’t realize I had. I met so many wonderful theologians out there doing ministry like I envision it to be. Some of my hobbies/interests include travel, advocacy work, and hanging out with my kids either watching movies or exchanging reels.” #unitarianuniversalist #diverseandrevolutionaryunitarianuniversalistministries #blacklivesinunitarianunivers #seminarians #theologyschool

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Sister Souurce flew twenty hours across the globe to attend the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians Conference in Ghana. And by chance I met the only other Unitarian Universalist in attendance. Meet Heather, she turned the tables! Instead of my doing the interviews and introductions she interviewed me! Great job Heather from Texas! They say Texans do things big! I am a believer! Elder Rev Qiyamah #unitarianuniversalists #ghana #kenya #seminarians #clergywomen #theology #circleofconcernedsfricanwomentheologians #blacklivesinunitarianuniversalists #bluu #diverseandrevolutionaryunitarianuniversalistministries #DRUUMM #uua

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Sister Souurce visited International Needs Ghana (INGH) on the morning of Thursday, July 10, 2024. International Needs Ghana is an international; non-governmental organization, not-for-profit Christian organization that began in 1984 in Ghana. They are affiliated with a partnership operating in over thirty countries. We had the privilege of interviewing Cromwell Awadey, Executive Director and Elsie Atisu, Intern about the programmes of INGH. They include: Child Rights, Education and Development, Health and Longevity; Gender and Empowerment and Evangelism and Discipleship. Child Rights – aimed at protecting children from child labor and domestic and gender-based violence. They provide sponsorships and support for children; Education and Development – ensures children’s access to quality education for their holistic development that includes families and communities physical, health, spiritual and social development. Health and Longevity – improving and maximizing healthy years of all Ghanaians with a focus on poor, deprived women and children. Using medical outreach and school health monitoring activities key programmes include: health education, nutrition, reproductive health/safe maternal health, anemia prevention, malaria, worm infestations, sanitation/hygiene and potable water. Gender Empowerment – outreach to deprived women to provide awareness about gender rights through formal and informal education that includes life skills. Promoting the economic empowerment of women through entrepreneurial skills including access to land, labour, credit, markets, information technology, business development services and networks. Evangelism and Discipleship – the application of evangelism and discipleship resources for the moral, value and spiritual development of communities. For further information contact: 233 30 2300574 info@internationalneedsgh.org www.internationalneedsgh.org International Needs Ghana Stay tuned for video taped interviews that will be posted at a later date. And meanwhile, check out our Sister Souurce website for extensive information on Black Unitarian Universalist women and girls in the United States. www.sistersouurce.org Photo L-R Judith (receptionist); Elsie Atisu (intern) and Cromwell Awadey (executive director).

The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians in Accra, Ghana recently gathered to share their wisdom and insights about decolonization, religion, pandemics and climate change while celebrating their 35 years in the place where they were first birthed by matriarchs like Mercy Amba Oduyoye and others. Elder Rev Qiyamah #africanwomentheologians #ghana #kenya #unitarianuniversalist #GhanaNews #theology #kenya #ClimateAction #climatecrisis #climate

The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians conference featured a Parade of Flags with participants in the opening ceremony!

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Overcoming the tragic death of her son, Judith Carroll resumes her life in Ghana.

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“Welcome to Etherean Mission.” These words were warmly extended in unison by the gathered congregation at Etherean Mission-The Centre for Spiritual Empowerment in Accra, Ghana. The pastor, Rev Josephine Fafui Tetteh and I had met at the recent conference sponsored by the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians. Her invitation provided an opportunity for me to experience a New Thought, non-denominational ministry influenced by Agape International Spiritual Center founded by Rev Michael Beckwith in California. I participated in the 8:30am meditation class. Next, I was escorted to the hour long metaphysics class. The class’s focus was “sacred/cosmic greetings.” Cosmic greetings promote the agenda of the Universe and can turn a simple greeting into a spiritual moment of connection, and stimulates inner peace with love as the connector. We were encouraged to use the following cosmic greeting, “I appreciate you for showing up in my life. Whatever has brought us together is for divine and noble purpose.” Worship Service Service occurred from 10-12 pm and was filled with music and singing, prayer, offertory, announcements and a ceremony for July birthdays. The sermon, delivered by Rev Josephine , invited members to a new way of thinking and acting. She urged congregants to “let go of all the negative perceptions that others have bestowed on us . .. our perception of ourselves drives our actions.” She reminded us that we were created in the likeness and images of God and she urged congregants to examine the energy and vibration we project. As a Unitarian Universalist minister I felt at home with the New Thought ideas and the non-denominational status of Etherean Mission. Etherean Mission has been dubbed as a “cult” by some Ghanaians. UU’s have long been labeled a cult. Etherean Mission’s welcome brochure states: “…Since we do not go the way of the masses we have attracted several negative labels. We have been described as an occult church. The word occult is not evil in itself; it means secret or secret knowledge; and if Jesus deserved some of his teachings as secret knowledge for his disciples alone, then he must be occult. However we may be described, we know, and we are bold for the truth.” Thank you Etherean Mission for claiming and teaching truth in a world that seeks to deceive and dupe the people. Elder Rev Qiyamah #unitarianuniversalist #kenya #ghana #Ghananews #theology #agapeinternationaltruthcenter #interfaith #michaelbeckwith #newthought #metaphysics #lawofattraction

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In the summer of 1996, twenty-eight years ago, I was awarded a Ford Fellowship through my doctoral program, Africana Women’s Studies at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. The Women and Development Program was a research focused program preparing practitioners to work in development and trained using a gendered lens. Approximately 90-95% of the small student body comprised of about 10-15 females and one or two males conducted research abroad on various topics of interest. In 1994, at the age of 46 years old and immediately after their first democratic election I spent a month in Cape Town South Africa. I was there to conduct research on gender based violence. South Africa was the first African country to reference and outlaw violence against women in their new constitution. While in Cape Town I sat in on trainings by the Women’s Resource Centre. In one instance I watched the advocate wrap a rope around a volunteer each time we named reasons women stayed. By the time we finished naming the numerous reasons women remain in abusive relationships the volunteer was totally unable to move, let alone walk. She was completely encased, wrapped up and tied up, symbolizing battered women’s many obstacles they face. I also had the opportunity to facilitate a batterers group comprised of males accused of wife “bashing.” When a group member challenged me on how I as a woman was qualified to facilitate the group I informed him of my professional training and that I had co-led groups with abusive males along with a male facilitator. I also elaborated on my life experiences growing up in a violent household and the domestic and sexual violence I experienced as an adult woman. But more importantly, I spoke to him and the group about the satisfaction I derive knowing the men I work with have access to services my father never considered and that were not even available to him. I shared my belief that my father and my family would have been very different had he sought help. I sat in on sessions with victims of war trauma. It seems that the Trauma Centre recognized the connection between different forms of trauma, whether it was dodging fists, bullets, and bombs or sexual assault that victimized women during wartime. Probably the biggest learning as a social worker and counselor was sitting in on a pedophiles group facilitated by a perpetrator. But you will have to wait for my next post to get those details. Just know that I was blown away by what I witnessed. Dress This outfit featured in the photo is comprised of a skirt, the top and head wrap. It was given to me by Dinah and Araba Kwansema Ochiere. At the time Araba was the Director and Producer for “Good Morning Accra,” at Ghana Broadcasting Company and also the President of the Gender Awareness Foundation. Both Dinah and Araba were trained at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. It was October 17, 1996, my birthday. They presented me with this outfit. Thus, it has a lot of sentimental value. I have worn it to many events over the years and it is a poignant reminder of the kindness of my Ghanaian friends and the many memories we shared. In a future post I will also elaborate on the research experiences I had with the NGO, Internationsl Needs and my up front and personal investigation into trokosi and some work with the American Embassy on female genital mutilation in Ghana. Follow me on Sister Souurce’s website where I will be blogging in more detail about these experiences and my African pilgrimage. Until then, Be Blessed and Be a Blessing! Elder Rev Qiyamah #circleofconcernedafricantheologians #unitarianuniversalist #kenya #ghana #womenindevelopment #clarkatlantauniversity #Musadube #unitarianuniversalist #GhanaNews #theology

Sister Souurce, Inc. Goes Global! Advancing the Global Struggle for Justice: African American Unitarian Universalist Women in Solidarity with African Women. “If we are to do something new we have to go where we have never been before and do what we have never done.” Author unknown Join Us! Join Sister Souurce as we continue our pilgrimage in Africa, the Motherland. We started in Ghana where the Concerned Council of African Women Theologians recently held their 6th Pan African Conference in Accra, Ghana, proclaiming the theme, “ EARTH, PANDEMICS, GENDER AND RELIGION” Purpose The purpose of the pilgrimage is twofold: we are the response to the fervent prayers of the Ancestars stolen centuries ago from the shores of Africa. Send me, I will go! So we are here to place our feet on the soil of our Ancestars and to reunite with our brothers and sisters. Secondly, we wish to establish sustainable partnerships with African women, particularly, Unitarian and Universalist (U/U) and to identify organizational ties whose values are in alignment with ours that are willing to commit to ongoing partnerships with Sister Souurce, Inc. Sister Souurce, Inc. is a UU non-profit started three years ago to uplift the presence, and create and consolidate resources for Black UU women and girls ( womxn, lgbtqia+, non-binary, inclusive). Ghana To accomplish these outcomes I have traveled to Ghana and I first participated in the conference sponsored by the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (CCAWT). The conference was held July 1-5, 2024 at the Trinity Theological Seminary. This pilgrimage provides the opportunity to take a deep dive into the scholarship of African women theologians as they have been at the forefront of decolonizing religion, particularly Christianity and the Bible. Kenya Kenya, is the destination of the second half of my pilgrimage and research trip. I will connect with UUs, particularly UU women in the diverse UU communities and hear from various leaders and community members about their lives. This pilgrimage provides the opportunity to form ongoing partnerships with African UUs in Kenya. Such partnerships have been formed with Unitarian congregations in Transylvania, Philippines and India, to name a few. This trip, under the auspices of Sister Souurce, Inc. will allow us to embrace and reach out to African UUs. These efforts will be sustained through Sister Souurce, Inc’s. website. Central to Sister Souurce is our theology of love which is foundational to Unitarian Universalism. Our first principle is the “inherent worth and dignity of all human beings.” As a woman centered organization we are especially concerned about the quality of women’s lives that is so greatly impacted by numerous factors. The recent conference by the CCAWT did an excellent job in portraying through the scholarship the application of African feminism and womanist theology to understand and address the oppression of women. Among these issues is gender based violence that intimate partner abuse. It is important to include cultural forms of violence such as female circumcision, trokosi, and child marriages. It is important that clergy sexual misconduct be added to this growing forms of abuse against women and girls. CCAWT wisely focused on the intersection of climate change, pandemic, religion and the gendered impact on women. It should be understood that women’s bodies weakened by the stress of poverty, violence, pollution, neglect, systemic racism and colonialism are less able to fight COVID-19 and other assaults on their health. The type of structural and theological changes needed to address the world wide oppression of women is only possible when feminist, womanist, decolonialists, and other liberationist theologians such as CCAWT and others like them become a driving force for faith communities pushing for renewal. The recognition that women, like men were made and shaped in the image of the Most High (God) and thus we all carry a spark of the Divine within each of us and therefore we are beloved children of God/Universal Consciousness/Supreme Intelligence (known by many names and no name). May it Be So! Blessed Be! Elder Rev Qiyamah #unitarianuniversalist #circleofconcernedafricantheologians #theology #UnitedNations #ghana #GhanaNews #kenya #womentheologians #theologyquotes

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Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (CCAWT) Sister Souurce is honored to attend the 6th Pan African Conference in Accra, Ghana sponsored by the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (CCAWT) and held July 1-5, 2024. CCAWT was founded in 1989 and their return to the place of their conception is touted as an “intellectual and spiritual pilgrimage to reconnect and recommit ourselves to our quest for justice-oriented knowledge and communities.” The CCAWT have published three anthologies, the latest, a complimentary gift to each registered attendee. The anthologies titles reflect the foci of CCAWT: -Sankofa: Liberation Theologies of West African -Queen of Sheba: East and Central African Theologies of Liberation -Nehanda: Women’s Theologies of Liberation in Southern Africa. The conference theme, “Sankofa 2024: Earth, Pandemics, Gender and Religion” reflects CCAWT’s intersectional analysis to interrogate and decolonize the conference themes. Their interrogation of African theologies is focused on the liberation of African women. It was gratifying to see a few male theologians in attendance who appear to be committed to gender diversity in higher education and clerical roles. Sister Souurce is present to hear our African sisters voices and approaches to decolonization as an approach to empowering women. And to learn from them. On the twenty hour flight from NYC to Kenya and then Ghana, my reading of choice was, “Love at the Center: Unitarian Universalist Theologies.” The anthology is edited by our UU Association President, Rev Dr Sophia Betancourt. It is currently only available as an E- book. The anthology ties together some twenty-six essays, all focused on love as the foundation to our faith tradition of UUism. And yet, each essay is brilliantly different and represents familiar and not so familiar authors and diverse voices. It is my hope that the CCAWT conference will inspire deeper theological insights that will allow Sister Souurce to engage and articulate our theology as UUs strive to deepen and enrich our theological grounding. And may our ethic of love continue to guide UUs toward Beloved Community. Elder Rev Qiyamah #theology #theologyoflove #unitarianuniversalist #circleofconcernedafricantheologians #liberationtiontheology

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Sister Souurce concludes its celebration of Pride Month, but not our commitment to our LGBTQ+ siblings, young and elderly and those in between. We hope you enjoy our Story for All Ages. What book played a role in either your own journey or helping someone on their journey to love and accept all of who they are? And to know there are increasingly more and more places and persons of safety to turn to. May you be blessed and be a blessing! Elder Rev. Qiyamah #pridemonth #pridemonth2024 #prideparade2024 #transgenderrightsarehumanrights #abundantluuv #revduncanteague

Sister Souurce is in solidarity with the Kenyan people! Massive protests have ceased from Kenyans that took to the streets in peaceful demonstrations challenging the governments proposed taxes on mostly consumer items (including bread). President Ruto conceded to the protestors after several days of intense demonstrations. President Ruto abandoned what would have been a financial burden on many Kenyans. Excessive force from police using tear gas and water cannons on peaceful demonstrators resulted in hundreds of arrests, hundreds of injured protesters and twenty four reported deaths. “When will the healing come?” Elder Rev Qiyamah #Kenya #Kenyaprotests #peacefulprotests

When you have been through the fire and you look back and wonder how you made it ova! It is then you know what a miracle you are. Don’t wait for a catastrophe to know that you and your life is a miracle. Be blessed and be a blessing today and everyday! Elder Rev Qiyamah #unitarianuniversalist #UU #miracles #Sinbad #strokesurvivor #strokesurvivor

Kenyans continue to protest the tax increases that threaten to impose even greater hardships on them.

Something for the young folks and young at heart! Elder Rev Qiyamah #pridemonth #lgbtqcommunity

People Power! This young Kenyan woman is shouting “people power” and challenging the abusive power of the police against peaceful protestors. Join in Solidarity with the Kenyan people against the exorbitant imposition of proposed increases in taxes that further oppress the impoverished masses. Elder Rev Qiyamah #Kenyanprotests #protests

B Renee singing gospel song,” There is a Story Behind My Praise.”

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The youth are woke!

Nyakundi the Actor is channeling the sentiments of many Kenyans in this poignant poem that protests the recent passage of new tax bills. The legislation will increase taxes on transfer of money, cars, women’s hygiene supplies, and other commodities. Students primarily comprise the protestors. Police have responded to the peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and water cannons. Over 200 arrests have been made, with over 200 injured and one death has occurred. Viva Kenyan youths! A Luta Continua! Elder Rev Qiyamah #kenya #nairobi #protests #williamruto #trendingnews #globalnews

Rev Jacqueline Brett, Lead minister at Eno River UU Fellowship in Durham, NC preaching at General Assembly 2024.

General Assembly- Unitarian Universalist Association Day 2 I attended two sessions today. One was titled, A Conversation: The Gaza War and the Hundred Years War on Palestine. Speakers were Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University and Haroon Moghul, author and commentator. Some reflections: -Some harm was done by remaking a Jewish and Palestinian territory/country into a Jewish country at the expense of the Palestinians. -There is the desire for vengeance and collective punishment on the part of Israel. -56 years of military occupation has created the Hamas. People who are made miserable turn violent. People who are made safe do not. -5,000 Palestinians killed in the last five months. -Hamas and Palestinian is not synonymous. -We are all watching this carnage unfold. -The genocide that Israel and Hamas have unleashed will have effects for generations. (I added Hamas to this speakers statement) -Israel has lost a lot of its moral credibility. They did not have to cut off humanitarian efforts. They did not have to target civilians, children and hospitals. But they did. -Israel and Hamas actions have made them guilty of war crimes and it has had an impact on world opinion. -Most Americans want the Biden Administration to cease support of Israel and to demand a cease fire. -Global public opinion has shifted against Israel. How to best follow what is happening? It was recommended that we turn off our televisions and cancel our newspaper subscriptions to the NY Times and the Washington Globe and read some of the non mainstream newspapers. Read local news sources like The New Arab or Al jaeera. The Institute of Palestine Studies or the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University are also good sources for historical information. More questions were raised than answered: -What do we do? -Where do we put our energy? – Can we really vote for Beiden or Trump? We were reminded that Biden has blood on his hands. And America has blood on its hands! Elder Rev Qiyamah #Israel #palestine #haroonmoghul #AlJazeera #AlJazeeraEnglish #ZionistsAreTerrorists

General Assembly The days are filled with speakers, music , small groups, more speakers and business meetings. Here are some of my favorite highlights: Day 1 The co-moderators convened a session to address Article 2. There is info on the UUA website if you want to better understand Article 2. The pro and con microphones were busy with comments from attendees. I am not sure what the final vote was. So stay tuned. Or someone can drop us a line and let us know. In the afternoon small groups convened. I chose, Researching & Preserving Your Congregational History. I nerded out talking with this group of individuals about congregational archives and research. I shared the work Sister Souurce is doing and directed them to our website where we have an entire section devoted to congregational research, as well as some relevant interviews. One interview is with Rev Dr Mark Morrison Reed, a well known UU author and Jim Kelley, a researcher at UU Congregation of Atlanta. The other interview is with Dr Dan McKanan and Erin Aslami from Harvard Divinity School. Dr McKanan convenes the Circle of Congregationsl Historians and Archivists. Another interview features Barbara Corprew, creator of the All Souls Church Black Members History Project. If you registered for GA you have access to all the recorded sessions. Elder Rev Qiyamah #GeneralAssembly #GeneralAssembly2024 #generalassemblymeeting

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It is incumbent upon each of us to maintain our physical and mental health. This is particularly true for those of you with very full lives as you handle all your day to day responsibilities. Some of you are registered for and are participating in Ministry Days and General Assembly. The energy and self care it requires on a daily basis to stay faithful to your purpose and goals while nurturing family and friends can sometimes be almost overwhelming. Sister Souurce recently ran across a list of “Healthy Habits of Mentally Strong People” that we wish to share about healthy people (the author is unknown). 1. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. 2. They don’t give away their power. 3. They don’t shy away from change. 4. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control. 5. They don’t worry about pleasing everyone. 6. They don’t fear taking calculated risk. 7. They don’t dwell on the past. 8. They don’t make the same mistake over and over. 9. They don’t resent other people’s success. 10. They don’t give up after the first failure. 11. They don’t fear alone time. 12. They don’t feel the world owes them anything. 13. They don’t expect immediate results. When time allows I will elaborate on each of the above. Until then, stay healthy, stay positive, stay loving and stay focused on those things that advance your positivity, your loving nature and move you towards your true and authentic self. Elder Rev Qiyamah

Rev Mykal Slack hosting Black Lives in UUism (BLUU) Juneteenth Celebration. Elder Rev Qiyamah

Elvira Bowls reciting her original poetry

Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) The UUMA is hosting its annual Ministry Days, June 17-19. It is completely virtual. They have done a great job with the technology. Day 1 featured worship, small groups and social time with lots of stirring uplifting music in between programming. Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, pastor at Middle Collegiate Church was a delight and my highlight for the full and rich day. Her sermon was a wonderful example of deconstructing biblical text. She spoke from John 5:2 about the man at the pool of Bethesda. The pool was a miracle pool that many with disabilities and diseases frequented for healing. An angel would trouble the water and the challenge was only the first person to enter the pool would be healed. One man had been at the pool for many many years waiting to get in. Rev. Jacki troubled the text for us and pointed out that no one was looking out for him. There was no sense of community. She pointed out how we think we do not have the right to trouble biblical text. She stated she was not trying to be anti-text but pro theologian and pro people. She raised the question, that if the waters were so powerful why couldn’t everyone experience healing? Why couldn’t everyone jump into the water at the same time so all could be healed? Was it their individualism? Was it a test for the people to pay attention to their lack of faith in a bigger vision of healing and their lack of care and community? Rev. Jacki stated, “I want to purify the pool and expand it…I want a world, a nation in which we fully decide all people deserve to be healed…We want and deserve universal health care. We can’t get well based on stories of privilege and exclusivity…If some of us are sick, hungry, hurting we cannot be well.” She raised powerfully troubling questions such as, “Which God are we serving and working for?” “Why isn’t the water available and healing for all of us? Later, in the offertory, Rev. Alicia Forde, Director of UUA’s International Department reminded us that our liberation is tied together and that we cannot be whole without one another. She further stated, “We are a global faith ttied together in a single garment.” May it be so! and blessed be! Ase’ Elder Rev. Qiyamah She reminded us that we can lean into a God that promotes love and justice.

Happy Fathers Day to fathers around the World!

Sister Souurce sends out our heartfelt greetings to the fathers that have labored in the vine yard of parenthood and stayed the course. To those foster, step and adopted fathers that stepped up and accepted the role of father with love and compassion. And to those individuals that crossed gender roles to father those that needed fathers in their lives. Keep on keeping on through the challenges and obstacles. Keep your eyes on the prize! … to nurture free thinking, compassionate and justice oriented human beings. Elder Rev Qiyamah #fathersday #blackexcellence #blackmensteppingup

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African American Inventors Recent travels to Macon, GA proved to be a rich dive into African American culture at the Tubman African American Museum. Their extensive exhibits included a display of African American inventions ranging from simple items like egg beaters to improvements in fire extinguishers. Did you know… George Washington Carver – paint and stain and process of producing the same • One of George Washington Carvers’ patents was for a process of producing paints and stains from clays of varying colors Lewis Howard Latimer and Joseph V. Nichols – electric lamp • Received a patent for an electric lamp, today known as a light bulb Thomas J. Marshall – fire extinguisher • Made improvements in the fire extinguishers used Garrett A. Morgan – breathing device • Patented breathing device Sarah Boone – ironing board Philip B. Downing – mail box – * Benjamin Banneker – Patented a striking clock • Constructed a working wooden clock that was the first striking clock built completely in America. Thomas Elkins and John Standard – refrigerator apparatus • Both influenced the design of the refrigerator devices John Robinson – lunch box (AKA dinner pail) • Patented a design for a dinner pail or lunch box. Norber Rillieux – sugar refining John W. Hunter – portable weighing Scale • Was used to weigh food items like flour and a flat tray for solid items. Clatonia Dorticus – photo graphic print wash Alice H. Parker – Heating furnace John Lee Love – pencil sharpener • Received a patent for a design to improve the pencil sharpener to be adapted for use as a desk ornament or paperweight. John A. Burr – lawn mower • Added a cover to law mowers to protect the operating gears. Lonnie Johnson – super soaker • Invented the popular toy water gun. Albert L. Cralle – ice cream scoop • Improved the design of the ice cream mold and disher. Willis Johnson – Egg beater Albert C. Richardson – Insect destroyer • Created an insect destroyer that could be used on plants without destroying the foliage. Q. What additional African American inventors and inventions can you add to this list? Q. Did you know that Martha Jones of Amelia County, VA., might have become the first Black woman to receive a US patent? Her application to improve the “corn husker, sheller” was granted a patent in 1868. (source: Department of Commerce USA) Elder Rev Qiyamah #blackexcellence #africanamericanmuseum #blackinventions #blackwomeninventors #blackinventors

Sister Souurce identified three new books to recommend to Directors of Religious Education (DRE) for Story for All Ages to talk about LGBTQ+ issues with young people. The first is titled, The ABCs of Queer History by Dr. Seema Yasmin and illustrated by Lucy Kirk. It has wonderfully colorful illustrations with informative text that instills hope and pride in youth that identify as LGBTQ+. It tells of the history, triumps and challenges of LGBTQ individuals. Rebel Girls Celebrate Pride: 25 Tales of Self-Love and Community tells the stories of twenty-five activists, some beginning in the second grade who speak out against harassment directed towards them and other LGBTQ individuals. The book is interactive and includes space for the reader to write their story and draw their portrait. This is one of a series of Rebel Girls collections that seeks to empower young girls. Nailed It is written by Briana Rae Johns and illustrated by Maria Iv. It tells the story of young Dylan who loves color, including coloring his fingernails. But he is told that his favorite colors, bubble gum pink, fairytale blue, deep forest green and candy apple red are only for girls. Find out what happens! What are your favorite books that you share during Pride Month and beyond? Elder Rev Qiyamah

Exhibit at Harlem Hospital Center titled, Harlem Is…

FYI, when concluding your visit at the Schromburg Center, a walk across the street places you in the Harlem Hospital Center. A ride up the elevator to the second floor will bring you to a display titled, Harlem Is… The exhibit treats you to a quick and rich overview of Black arts in Harlem. Q. What is the name of the famous nightclub in Harlem that featured African American entertainers but only permitted white audiences? Elder Rev Qiyamah

Sister Souurce enjoyed the Langston Hughes exhibit currently featured at the Schromburg Center for Research in NYC. Elder Rev Qiyamah

Recently, Sister Souurce was honored to view the Langston Hughes exhibit while in NYC at the Schromburg Center for Research in Black Cukture. Langston Hughes, a Harlem Renaissance poet lived 1901 to 1967. The exhibit depicts some of his correspondence and friendships forged over time and is titled, The Ways of Langston Hughes: Griff Davis and Black Artists in the Making. The friendship with Griff Davis began at Atlanta University when Griff was a student and Hughes a visiting professor. An enduring friendship was sparked over their lifetime. A number of the photos are available on line for those of you unable to view the exhibit in person (nypl.org/events/exhibitions/ways-langston-hughes-griff-davis-and-black-artists-making). Q. Who is your favorite poet From the Harlem Renaissance? Elder Rev Qiyamah #harlem #HarlemNights #schromburg #unitarianuniversalist #blackexcellence #africanamericanmuseum

Sometimes it takes the village! Elder Rev Qiyamah

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Visited Charis Books and More in Decatur, GA., an independent feminist bookstore that features inventory on Gender, LGBTQ+, children, African American literature and so much more. Looking for children’s books on Gay pride for worship service to read during Story for All Ages. What is your favorite bookstore? Elder Rev Qiyamah

High Street Unitarian Universalist Church in Macon, GA celebrated their ordination of Rev JaKaren Olaoya!

Sister Souurce traveled to Macon, GA to attend the ordination of JeKaren Olaoya on Saturday, June 8, held at High Street Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church. UUs seldom do “high church” with all the bells and whistles characterized by a lot of “pomp and circumstances.” However, the exception is ceremonies such as ordinations and installations when we go all out with traditional rituals such as laying on of hands, and right hand of fellowship. Ordinations are usually attended by UUA personnel, family, congregational members, friends and ministerial colleagues from near and far. JeKaren’s ordination checked all the boxes, with an added ritual, a donut communion. Yes, we were gifted with delicious donuts that we ate on the spot. The service was concluded with an array of tasty pastries. Rev Amanda Schubert, herded clergy and later welcomed the many guests. Rev Dr Sofia Betancourt, UUA President bought greetings. She sang a beautiful duet with Rev Mykal O Slack. Rev Mykal also brought greetings from Black Lives UU. Quiana Denae Perkins, Starr King School for Ministry (SKSM), seminarian and founder of Black Women of the Chalice delivered greetings. Rev Rosemary Bray McNatt, President at SKSM delivered the homily on the special occasion. Rev Dr Michael Tino brought greetings from Church of the Larger Fellowship, (CLR) along with Christina Rivera, part of the Lead Ministry Team at CLF. SKSM seminarian, Dana N Moore shared an original story about ordination. There were many more greetings delivered as seen below: Rev Deanna Vandiver with UU Service Committee; Rev Mary Katherine Morn, President of UU Service Committee. Additionally, Rev Margalie Belazsire, Rev Ali K.C. Bell and Rev Kiersten Hamblette Allen with Meadville Lombard Theological School, Director of Beloved Conversations Program also bought greetings. Whew! We were sufficiently greeted! It was an emotionally moving ordination and there were many happy tears shed during the ceremony to receive JaKaren into ministry. JaKaren will have the memory of her ordination for the rest of her life. Elder Rev Qiyamah #ordination #unitarianuniversalist #ministry #ritual #ceremonies

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Sister Souurce spent the day in Macon Georgia on Saturday, June 8, first visiting the Tubman African American Museum and later attending Rev. JeKaren Olaoya’s ordination at High Street Unitarian Universalist Church. First, here is some of the beautiful art displayed at the Museum. I will cover the ordination in another post. It was truly extraordinary and spiritually moving to see the love displayed for Rev. JaKaren. Elder Rev Qiyamah #Tubmanmuseum #africanamericanmuseum #blackexcellence #blackartists

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Music has long been used as inspiration for protest and freedom efforts to mobilize oppressed peoples. This is one of the most beautiful renditions of Redemption Songs I have heard besides its master and originator, Bob Marley. What is your favorite song expressing the desire to break the chains of oppression and the yearning to be free? Elder Rev Qiyamah

Happy Pride Month! Turn Up and Turn Out! Live your best life. Rev Duncan Teague, founder and pastor at Abundant LUUV in Atlanta just delivered a powerfully moving sermon titled, Call from Altoona. It is based on a call that activist Harvey Milk took from a young gay youth thanking him for the work he was doing. The caller resided in Altoona, KS., a place that was not gay friendly. Rev Duncan reminded us to “take the call from Altoona.” The Atlanta statistics Rev Duncan shared are alarming: -3,300 youth experience homelessness -50% age out of foster care and will experience homelessness within six months -72% will or have experienced violence -40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ -42% experienced abuse as children -16-19 year olds experience the highest rates of unemployment. This leaves many without options for day to day survival. All the above place LGBTQ youth at risk for suicide, criminal lifestyles, unhealthy and dangerous liaisons and choices with serious consequences. Rev Duncan named some of the supportive options in Atlanta such as Pflag; Covenant House; emerging high school groups; liberal faith communities such as Unitarian Universalists and Metropolitan Community Church ( and others). Take the Call From Altoona! Suffer the children to come to us! Look for and do something for a queer youth! Elder Rev Qiyamah #gaypride ##gayreels #lgbtqia #lgbtqpride #blue #gayyouth

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Sister Souurce is in New York City! While London is widely regarded as the theatre capital of the world, New York City remains the international capital of the world’s musical theatre. Surprisingly, New York City, or more precisely, Manhattan, is the central hub of the American theater scene with its divisions of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway. Sister Souurce had the opportunity to view Hell’s Kitchen, a new broadway musical loosely based on Alicia Key’s life. Alicia Keys for those of you that may not be familiar with her is a classically trained pianist, singer and songwriter that began composing songs when she was 12 years old. She was signed by Columbia Records at the age of 15. My favorites among Keys hits include: If I Ain’t Got You; Fallin; You Don’t Know My Name; and Girl on Fire. The musical, Hell’s Kitchen, has been nominated for thirteen Tony awards. Another proud accomplishment for the talented actors and dancers and Keys who herself has won 15 Grammy awards. This Girl is On Fire! The moving and powerfully performed musical concluded with the following reading from Alicia Keys: “Perfect Way to Die” was created in 2020. It was born from a deep sense of pain and a desperate need for change. We all were devastated from constantly seeing Black bodies killed with no consequence. After the murder of so many, including George Floyd, I felt called by music like I never had before. I followed its lead. With “Perfect Way to Die,” Sebastian Cole and I wanted to channel the collective grief and sadness into a melody that speaks to the heart and soul of the movement for justice. It is a tribute to George Floyd, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, and ALL the lives lost to institutionalized hate and injustice. It’s written from the point of view of the mother whose child has been murdered because of the despicable system of racism that looks at Black life as unworthy. Music has always been a powerful tool for healing and transformation. Let this song serve as a reminder that each and ever one of us plays a part in changing this narrative, and we MUST continue to fight for a world where peace, equanimity, and love prevail. Thank you for being here, for listening, for being moved, and for joining us in this journey towards a brand-new day. Big Love, Alicia Keys. #aliciakeys #samsshuberttheatre #hellskitchen #swizzbeatz #songwritersofinstagram #

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