International Faith and Leadership Development

International Faith and Leadership Development

Crowdfunding Completed: August 20, 2017

Amount Funded: $8525

Project Owner: International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

Short Description of Project

Empowering existing and emerging Unitarian/Universalist groups to sustain and grow our global faith community

How was this project connected to UU?

ICUU is the only fully international U/U organization, which means we are uniquely poised to partner with the global U/U faith communities and to listen to their needs, concerns, and hopes. The very purpose of the ICUU’s existence is to strengthen existing, long-standing U/U groups and assist the creation of new U/U communities coming into being.

Full Description of Project

“Our liberal faith is far from fully stretched to meet the spiritual needs of a new age,” wrote American Unitarian Universalist minister the Rev. Jack Mendelsohn in his book Being Liberal in an Illiberal Age “But we are beckoned to transform our faith into an adequate working force whose energies will not rest nor cease to mature as long as brotherhood & sisterhood, justice and peace are the poorly realized dreams rather than the realities of our common life.”

It is time to CONNECT. If ever there was ever a time our world is in need of our free, open faith, it is now. Our world community needs a voice of faith that liberates, rather than condemns, that inspires good will and compassion for the Other rather than fear and mistrust. In a time of so much isolationist thinking, nations caring only about themselves, politicians striving to keep power for themselves and a growing fear of those different from us, our ability and willingness to cross those barriers of race and ethnicity, of country and culture is essential to the future of a world we dream of and long to see a reality.

It is the Mission of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists is to empower existing and emerging member groups to sustain and grow our global faith community. We want to TRAIN current and future leaders to deepen and grow our shared faith. It is our job to nurture communities that embrace our life-changing, hope-filled, justice-seeking faith into being. Yet, our free, liberal faith is only as strong as our congregations and faith communities. Having vibrant, well-trained and informed leadership within the regions of the world in which Unitarianism and Universalism exists and is emerging will bring great awareness of and voice to our faith as well as strengthen the bonds between our communities of faith. It is vital to ensure that our group leaders have culturally appropriate and theologically relevant training and resources so that they may best serve their communities. The most efficient way to guarantee this is by having them included in determining the needs and direction of their groups.

Our goal is to GROW our faith so that it reaches more fully across this sacred world of ours. We much better support and train existing and upcoming international faith leaders. The  ICUU’s “Regional Faith & Leadership Development” program will gather together key regional group and congregational leaders to directly address the growing and diverse needs within faith communities of the ICUU. The objective is to sustain indigenous Unitarian/Universalist communities, in which each is capable of articulating and living out their U/U faith.

The project will include culturally appropriate structures to allow Member Groups, with guidance and support from ICUU Executive Director and Regional Staff, to create self-directed and self-determined leadership goals and needs. It will provide support for on-going, regular meetings, trainings, and potentially gatherings in order to better understand the particular needs for both faith and leadership development as well as growth of communities within the ICUU Groups in a region.

The Regional Teams will meet to determine the goals of the Region’s Member Groups: what projects they wish to collaborate on with each other; what the needs of the groups in the region are in faith development, leadership skills, and how to grow their individual communities; as well as determining as appropriate a regional Unitarian/Universalist Identity. The hope is to assist groups within the same region in bolstering their individual communities by working together to identify and address regionally unique challenges and strengths.

Latino Ministry Endorsement by Rev. Jorge Espinel

UUA Endorsement by Rev. Eric Cherry

If you envision global Unitarian/Universalism as a bold and well-led movement growing in strength and numbers in local communities, please join me in supporting the ICUU’s International Faith and Leadership Development Faithify campaign. I’m personally contributing to it, and the UUA is a key supporter of it, because ICUU's work close with committed leaders of emerging groups is needed now like never before.  Interest, excitement and vision are in great supply for U/Uism around the world; well-trained, inter-culturally competent, and reliable regional support are the piece that will guide committed activists and leaders towards their goals.  Together, the ICUU will CONNECT, TRAIN and GROW U/Uism with your help.  Let’s meet this goal together!