Summertime and the living is easy!

The month of June brings more sunshine and warmth to those of us in the Northern hemisphere.

June is Pride Month–a 30-day celebration of parades and other events to acknowledge the past, present, and future of the LGBTQ community. This is a time for everyone to recognize how far we have come and how far we have yet to go in honoring, respecting, and valuing every human being and to pay tribute to Harvey Milk and Marsha P. Johnson who helped get the LGBTQ movement to where it is today. In this issue, Micah LaGrave (Class of 2024), shares his journey as a transgender male. June is a time to enjoy the great outdoors with picnics, parades, swimming, and other activities. National Flag Day in the U.S. is honored on June 14 to commemorate the approval of the country’s first national flag in 1777. During the week of June 14, Americans are encouraged to fly U.S. flags. On Sunday, June 18, we honor fatherhood and recognize the many gifts of the masculine energy that nurtures and guides us. On Monday, June 19, we commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States when word of the emancipation in 1863 finally reached the enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas two years later–on June 19, 1865. Since then, Juneteenth is marked by community events, parades, picnics, and family gatherings. This month, we welcome lots of outdoor activities as we celebrate the beauty in our diversity.

And, let’s not forget the graduations and ordinations. Join us in celebrating the achievements of family and friends who have excelled academically, including outstanding students from UUMS Class of 2022: Julia Baginski, Ann DeMichael, and Paxton McCaghren; and Class of 2023: Jeff Berry, Stephen Fleming, Artelle Gandy, Cylvia Hayes, Anita Koch, and Claudia Olmos (from the Field Ministerial Program).

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas, a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing, for assessment, self-improvement, and planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a long overdue level of maturity and dignity in America. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Only by being sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others can we make significant and lasting improvements in the world.

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