Help Rev. Fulgence Continue His Ministry

Help Rev. Fulgence Continue His Ministry

Crowdfunding Completed: July 23, 2016

Amount Funded: $10140

Project Owner: UU Fellowship of Corvallis

Short Description of Project

Rev Fulgence Ndagijimani grew a Unitarian Congregation out of just a few people, in one of the poorest countries of the world. His congregation supported scholarship programs, micro loans, and social justice work in the community. Fulgence was jailed, interrogated, and forced to flee the country for his UU work. He wants to continue his Ministry and serve in North America, which will require some further training. Help us ensure that his Ministry continues to grow and thrive!

How was this project connected to UU?

Rev Fulgence is a Unitarian Universalist Minister, with a thriving contribution to our faith that spans all over the world.
All proceeds of this campaign will go to getting Rev Fulgence the credentials needed to be a Unitarian Universalist Minister in North America.

Full Description of Project

Who is Rev Fulgence?
Fulgence is a UU Minister from Bujumbura, Burundi. Deeply influenced by the work he saw done by missionaries when he was a boy, Fulgence originally trained as a Dominican Priest. As his education progressed, though, he found that he had "unwelcome questions". After seeing a notice about UUism on a bulletin board, he looked it up online. He spent many hours reading that day, and at the end of that time he knew he was a Unitarian Universalist.

Fulgence eventually left the Dominicans, and began meeting with a few friends in homes. When Burundian law made this practice illegal for any groups that didn't own a building, he didn't give up. He began fundraising and ultimately grew his congregation to fifty members with a building as well as a thriving micro loan program, scholarship program, and social justice presence. In addition to this work, Fulgence also worked tirelessly in partnership with the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, supporting groups in neighbouring countries.

Participants to the Panafrican meeting in Bujumbura

Why is he in Canada?
RevFulgenceUUchaliceAs tensions have escalated in Burundi, the church and Rev Fulgence both experienced persecution. There was a break in and theft, and bullets were fired into the walls of the Church building. In November of 2015, Rev Fulgence was kidnapped, then later arrested and interrogated. UUs from around the world came together to work tirelessly to see him freed--and it worked! In Fulgence's words "they told me there was 'too much hearing from Unitarian Universalists'".

Knowing that another arrest was imminent, Fulgence fled the country in the middle of the night, without so much as a change of clothes. Using a travel visa from a previous trip, he was able to make it to Canadian soil. There, he got refugee status, joining the growing group of refugees in Canadian UU congregations.

What will our donation fund, exactly?
Rev Fulgence wants to continue to serve in his new culture--but North American credentialing works differently than Burundian credentialing does. Rev Fulgence is already a Minister--with years of theological training as well as experience, but he needs to learn more about how North American congregations work, and pick up skills for this culture and language. It's been determined that the best way for this to happen is through a modified internship--something the Saskatoon congregation is enthusiastic about partnering with him to make happen.

As a small congregation without even full time Ministry, the congregation is aware they'll need support from across the continent to fund this internship fully. We are inspired by this man's commitment to our movement, and his brilliance as a Minister. This year, we want to see him continue his education, bring his wife and son to Canada, and be able to support them. Please, join with Unitarian Universalists from around the world in helping Rev Fulgence's Ministry continue to grow, thrive, and serve our movement.

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Rev Fulgence Ndagijimani grew a Unitarian Congregation out of just a few people, in one of the poorest countries of the world. His congregation supported scholarship programs, micro loans, and social justice work in the community. Fulgence was jailed, interrogated, and forced to flee the country for his UU work. He wants to continue his Ministry and serve in North America, which will require some further training. Help us ensure that his Ministry continues to grow and thrive!