Chalice Lighters and Faithify are crowdfunding tools with a harmonious relationship. Recently, Rev. Phil Lund reflected on the evolution of the MidAmerica Chalice Lighters program and a new structure they’ve implemented this year:

A Chalice Lighter is an individual who makes a commitment to respond to a call from their regional (or district) UUA Chalice Lighters Program to financially support one or more congregational projects. Chalice Lighter programs are run by staff and volunteers in our UUA and help important ministries thrive in our congregations.

In the Fall of 2018, the UUA MidAmerica Region used a Chalice Lighter Call to raise money for a special fund to support congregational Faithify campaigns in MidAmerica. Their plan was to fund 10% of a MidAmerica congregation’s Faithify campaign, up to $1000, while the Chalice Lighter Grant program would be used for congregations seeking more than $10,000. The Fall 2018 call raised enough money to move forward with supporting MidAmerica congregational Faithify campaigns beginning in September 2019.

The first combined Chalice Lighter call in Fall 2019, raised $15,000 for our congregation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to hire an addition staff member, and helped support the Faithify campaign for Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, to purchase and preserve 40 acres of land as a nature sanctuary and green burial ground.

Since then, MidAmerica Chalice Lighters helped two other Faithify campaigns and are about to support a third: the FirstSteps re-entry house for people returning to our community after incarceration (Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois); Chalice House, temporary housing asylum-seeking immigrants (Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist in Palatine, Illinois); and a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School (All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana).

All of the completed MidAmerica Faithify campaigns supported so far have reached and exceeded their goals. In fact, three of them added stretch goals. We like to think that the new combined Chalice Lighters & Faithify program has played an important role in making that happen.

Want to know more about MidAmerica Chalice Lighters?  Apply for a grant from MidAmerica Chalice Lighters, become a MidAmerica Chalice Lighter, or contact Rev. Phil Lund at

Not in MidAmerica? Find out more about Chalice Lighters programs your region by asking your Region’s staff.

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