On Sunday, May 21, 2017, Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church celebrated its 190th birthday. Founded on May 25, 1827, as the First Universalist Society of Cincinnati, the congregation went through a merger, several locations, and several name changes through the years.
On April 22, some Heritage Church people attended the March for Science in Washington D.C., while other Heritage people attended its sister March in Cincinnati. The March championed the idea of robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. Here are some pictures from the D.C. march.
Our future natural burial ground, Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary, has a logo! We are grateful to Debby Holt (church member Jaime Castle’s sister) for designing our beautiful new logo, which has already appeared on letterhead, in promotional material, and even on a T-shirt or two.
We do continue to look for land. If you know anyone who owns 5-25 acres of land they would like to have preserved for future generations and protected from development, through designation as a conservation land trust / nature preserve / natural burial ground, please have them contact Rev. Bill Gupton at 513-633-8703. A donation of land to Heritage Acres, which is a non-profit LLC licensed in the State of Ohio, would bring significant tax benefits to the donor, while protecting their land in perpetuity and helping to create the region’s first “green burial” sanctuary.
In the weeks ahead, you will learn about how to become a Founding Member of Heritage Acres, which will include the right to be buried – naturally – in our future green burial location.
Heritage people had a high participation in the Women’s Marches that took place on January 21, 2017. The marches were in support of women’s rights and other causes including immigration reform, health care reform, protection of the natural environment, LGBT rights, racial justice, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights.
On January 21, Nearly 40 Heritage-affiliated people were in Washington, D.C., for the Women’s March on Washington. That same day, more than 50 Heritage-affiliated people took part in the Sister March in Cincinnati. (We are defining “Heritage-affiliated” broadly as members and friends of Heritage Church, along with relatives and friends who went and marched with them.)
Officials behind the organization reported 673 marches took place worldwide, including a planned 408 in the U.S., 29 in Canada and 20 in Mexico, and at least one on all seven continents. Nearly 5 million people participated worldwide. (Source: Wikipedia.)
Below is a poem by Erica Minton Reid that was shared on a group bus ride to Washington, and below that are pictures from the two events.
by Erica Minton Reid
I have tried and failed the nice way –
now I’m brazen and untoward.
I draw strength from her behind me
And I hook the power forward.
As I brush dust from my lashes
and I see myself in wonder,
I find lightning in my beauty
And a pretty little thunder
as they crack along an arid heart
the color of a bruise.
Just behind the heart, a fire
you have never seen me use.
I am new to this blue fury.
I’m a freshly minted warbird,
but my mother wrote a guidebook
as my grandma did before her.
Pictures from Washington, D.C.
Pictures from Cincinnati
Inter Parish Ministry has now been operating a second food store; the branch off Rte. 125 in Amelia is up and running after months of planning. The Newtown store is now open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the Amelia site on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Newtown office is still open throughout the week. The major food needs are still canned meats including chili, canned pineapple and grape jelly. While IPM received a multitude of donations over the holidays, these items were generally missing from all the donations. For First Sunday donations, these items would be greatly appreciated.
On December 22, Christmas came early to those in our congregation who have been dreaming of a green burial nature preserve for the Cincinnati area, when the State of Ohio recognized the incorporation of the non-profit limited liability company (“LLC”) named Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. This is the next step in the creation of what Rev. Bill Gupton has called “the first natural burial option in the Greater Cincinnati area that will also preserve a parcel of land in its natural state and protect it from future development through a partnership with a local land trust organization.”
Heritage Acres will be part of the ministry of Heritage Church, but will remain a separate, independent, self-governing non-profit corporate entity directed by a separate Board. (The Heritage Acres Board will be appointed by our Heritage UU Church Board, but will be comprised of both Heritage Church members and members of the wider Cincinnati community.) All monies and financial transactions will remain independent from Heritage Church funds, and a separate Treasurer will oversee the financial operation of Heritage Acres through a completely separate bank account.
Rules, regulations, and policies for Heritage Acres will be developed by its Board in the coming year. A website and promotional material are forthcoming. Donations of cash – or land – will be accepted beginning immediately; if you know of anyone who is ready to help natural burial become a reality in the Cincinnati area by contributing either property or money to Heritage Acres, please have them contact Rev. Bill Gupton at 513-633-8703, or email him at the address below.