January 2017 UUANI Action Newsletter

Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois - UUs across Illinois are coming together to work for justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet, putting our deepest values into effective action.The times are calling for a clear and sustained “accumulation of acts” – as Clarissa Pinkola Estes puts it in her visionary post, “We were made for these times” – from we who dare to claim the centrality of love.

Accordingly, beginning this week UUANI will be sending out one focused call to action each week – the first one is below. With so much coming at us these days we need all hands on deck, and our hope is that this will offer a way for each of us to do at least one thing each week rather than getting overwhelmed by it all. Moreover, these will be actions we can do as UUs, framed in our UU values, in ways we can share with our congregations on Sunday mornings, together with other UUs around the state.

Some of them will be actions you can do online (emailing your legislators, sending a letter to the editor, posting to social media), some will be phone calls (harder but more effective), some will be direct action (showing up at a town hall or other event), and some will be more connective and sustaining (meeting up with another group or having a conversation with someone). These will not be stand alone actions, but done in solidarity with larger efforts and organizations we know, trust, respect, and are accountable to.

Please contact us at if you would like to be added to or dropped from these weekly action alerts, or if you have a suggestion for an upcoming action.


Health Care for All: A Matter of Justice, Equity & Compassion

All religious traditions lift up the importance of healing and wholeness, including physical health. Access to health care is a matter of justice and equity – the best health care in the world is of no use to those who can’t afford it – as well as basic compassion for those who need it – which is all of us at one time or another. When it comes to health care, we truly are all in this together.

Access to health care is about more than premiums, subsidies, and deductibles. It’s about ensuring that no one has to face bankruptcy to get lifesaving medical treatment. It’s about guaranteeing that people with serious or chronic health conditions can get coverage. And it’s about making sure that every person can afford the medical care, including preventive care, we all need.

The Affordable Care Act has extended health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans, including millions of children and low-income families. At the same time, millions of Americans remain without coverage, and costs continue to escalate. A single-payer system like Medicare for all could provide universal coverage while cutting costs. Repealing the ACA without a replacement would leave millions without coverage and lead to soaring costs, according to a report just released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

These decisions will be made in the next month. Congress is especially paying attention to phone calls right now – could you call or email today to urge your congressional representatives to expand rather than repeal access to health care?


Friday-Tuesday, Jan 20-24: Peoples Climate Movement

Events for the first 100 hours of the new administration:

Saturday, Jan 21 Women’s March events
(see also Feb 8 post-march webinar below):

  • Carbondale – 12pm at Carbondale Civic Center.
  • Champaign-Urbana – 11am at West Side Park (400 W University).
  • Chicago – 10am at Petrillo Band Shell (Jackson & Columbus).
  • Peoria – 11am at Peoria Riverfront.
  • Rockford – 10am to noon from 508 E. State St. to Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
  • Springfield – 1pm at Old State Capitol Plaza.
  • St. Louis MO – 9am at Luther Ely Smith Square.
  • Washington DC – UUs meet at 9:30am at 200 Independence Ave SW. Click here to connect with other UUs and get in on pre- and post-march activities.

Sunday, Jan 22 2:30 (CT): UUSC webinar on Sanctuary and Solidarity,

With supportive, organizing and advocacy strategies appropriate for congregations of many sizes and political contexts. Register here (will also be recorded and available online after the event).  See also webinars on Jan 30 and Feb 27.

Other events

  • Tuesday, Jan 24: Responsible Budget Coalition e-Day of Action prior to Gov. Rauner’s State of the State address (next week’s Action of the Week).
  • Saturday, Jan 28, 10am-3:30pm: “Reaching Beyond: Religious Education and Social Justice in Our (Dis)connected World” workshop at Countryside UU Church in Palatine (1025 N. Smith Road), featuring UUANI’s own Scott Aaseng.
  • Monday, Jan 29, 3pm: “A Day at Stateville,” a theatrical performance written by Stateville Prison inmates and performed by previously incarcerated individuals at DuPage UU Church in Naperville (1828 Old Naperville Road).
  • Tuesday, Jan 30 6pm: UUSC webinar on Faithful Discernment: Is Your Congregation Called to Offer Sanctuary? Register here.
  • Friday-Sunday Feb. 3-5: WomanSpirit Conference: Just Women, Just World featuring Sister Simone Campbell and Emma’s Revolution, at the UU Fellowship of DeKalb (158 N 4th St).
  • Saturday, Feb 4, 1-4pm: Chaos or Community: Allies in Action! A Solidarity Resource Fair at First Unitarian Church of Chicago (5650 S Woodlawn).
  • Wednesday, Feb 8, 7pm: Standing of the Side of Love Post-Women’s March Webinar. Register here.
  • Monday, Feb 27 6pm: UUSC webinar on The Path Toward Sanctuary: A Practical Guide. Register here.
  • Save the Date: Friday, April 28, 1-5pm: Join UUs from around IL and other states for a pre-assembly justice event at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale before the start of MidAmerica Regional Assembly in Oak Brook.


UUANI Executive Director Scott Aaseng will be preaching and/or leading workshops:

  • Jan 22 at the UU Fellowship of DeKalb
  • Jan 28 at Countryside Church UU in Palatine (see above)
  • Jan 29 at UU Community Church in Park Forest
  • Feb 11 at Eliot Chapel in Kirkwood, MO
  • Feb 12 at Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship
  • Feb 26 at Unity Temple in Oak Park
  • Mar 19 at the UU Church, Rockford
  • March 26 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston


Thank you to the UU Funding Panel, UUSC, and UUs across Illinois for your generous support of UUANI!

Peace and Power,

Rev. Scott Aaseng, Director
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI)

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