Fund Innovative Ministry. CLF Learning Fellows

Fund Innovative Ministry. CLF Learning Fellows

Crowdfunding Completed: March 8, 2018

Amount Funded: $7900

Project Owner: Church of the Larger Fellowship

Short Description of Project

Help fund the future of our faith by supporting the innovative religious leadership development program at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.

How was this project connected to UU?

Since CLF’s founding in 1944, we have been a leader in innovative Unitarian Universalist ministry and continue to do so with our global take on UU ministry. As a member congregation of the UUA, the CLF fosters Unitarian Universalism around the globe and our learning fellows provide worship, pastoral care and small group ministry to our 3,000+ members anytime, anywhere.

Full Description of Project

The Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) serves a unique role within Unitarian Universalism, offering our open-minded, open-hearted faith 24/7/365 to anyone around the world with internet access.

In that role, the CLF serves as

a church home for those who don’t have a local congregation available.
a pastoral presence for those who may not be able to leave their homes.
a compassionate voice to and for our 800+ members who are incarcerated.
a congregation for religious professionals where they can worship and be nourished in a way that isn’t possible when you, yourself, are the leader.
Through our Learning Fellows program, the CLF serves another crucial function within our UU sphere—it is a training ground for UU ministry like no other, and you can be a part of funding this innovative ministry.

Rev. Elizabeth Bukey
First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist

I really appreciate my learning and my time at the CLF, not just because of what I learned about technology and social media engagement but also the mentoring I got and the community with other learning fellows. I learned about the importance of vulnerability and owning your own story in preaching and ministerial leadership. It is something I try to carry with me through my ministry now.

The CLF has given dozens of seminarians—and ministers and credentialed religious educators as well—the opportunity to experience a truly 21st century form of ministry. Through the mentorship of Senior Minister Meg Riley and Minister for Lifespan Learning Lynn Ungar, along with a staff with tremendous expertise in technology and social media, CLF Learning Fellows are encouraged to explore what various facets of ministry can look like in a way that is continually being re-imagined.

Former Learning Fellows

How do you preach to people who are not in the room? How do you develop deep small group connections among people who may never see one another in person? How can you offer spiritual touch points during the day for thousands of people at a time? How can you offer one-on-one pastoral care to a person whose hand you cannot hold? How can you support children’s faith development in places where the parents are the only religious educators?

The creative exploration Learning Fellows engage in while at the CLF creates ripples that expand throughout Unitarian Universalism as Fellows move on into their own ministries. Our faith is broader, richer, more expansive, and more creative because of the time that so many religious leaders have spent in formation at the CLF.

Rev. Susan Maginn
Chaplain, U.S. Navy

I am a Navy Chaplain. I am currently serving with the Marine Corps in San Diego. While I was in search and discerning what I was going to next in ministry I got to spend the year working with the CLF. It was just a fantastic way to transition back into active ministry and to sharpen my skills. I got wonderful mentoring, support and some skills I didn’t have before in congregational leadership.

In the past, Learning Fellows have been funded through the generosity of individual donors. Through this Faithify campaign we are hoping to spread this generosity more broadly. Your donation to our goal of $7,500 is an investment in the future of Unitarian Universalism, an opportunity to help build religious leadership that carries the hallmarks of the CLF: flexibility to respond to changing circumstances, commitment to providing a moral voice in the public sphere, technological innovation, and the broadest possible understanding of who stands within the circle of our influence and our care.

Now, more than ever, our liberal faith and the world as a whole are in desperate need of leadership that embodies these qualities. Please join us in investing in the future of our faith with a contribution of $25 or more today!

Our Circle of Fellows goes beyond Kevin Jagoe and Jessica Star Rockers (pictured right with Senior Minister Meg Riley), who are currently doing wonderful work with the CLF, to include a long list of extraordinary ministers and religious educators who have learned with the CLF in the past. That circle expands exponentially when you include all the lives that have been touched by those ministries. We hope that you will be a part of this ever-expanding ripple that is making Unitarian Universalism as a whole more prepared to meet a future of rapid change.