International Faith &  Leadership Development

By International Council of Unitarians and Universalists

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Campaign ended on: August 20, 2017
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“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!

Comments (3)

  1. Rev. Rebecca Quimada-Sienes, UU Church of the Philippines

    Indeed, ICUU is needed to share UUism- a faith with hope to the world and to strengthen the existing UU global communities. UUism needs a voice and ICUU is the voice to the world.

  2. Rev. Rebecca Quimada-Sienes, UU Church of the Philippines

    If there is no credit card, how one can donate to this project?

  3. Rebecca Quimada-Sienes

    Rev. Rebecca Quimada-Sienes
    Executive Minister, UU Church of the Philippines

    I believe in the importance of a UU global connection. A famous song we have says, “No one is an island; no one stands alone. Each one’s joy is joy to me; each one’s grief is my own. We need one another……” Yes, no one stands alone; we need one another; we need to connect, and this is the one that will make us strong.

    With this, the ICUU plays a vital role in this connection. For us in the Philippines, ICUU is our strength and inspiration that fortifies our faith existence as a small UU community amongst the giant Roman Catholicism. It is not a joke to be surrounded by all these dogmatic religious groups who knows nothing except to judge and to condemn! To think that UUCP have this international connection is already great source of inspiration, encouragement and stamina to continue doing what has been done and improve some more!

    As a woman leader of our faith in the Philippines and a leader who is working for women’s empowerment, knowing and understanding other culture is paramount to my ministry. Sharing, friendship and partnership is essential among leaders from different UU communities is very important to better understand who I am as a UU in this part of the world. It makes me a better UU and the top executive leader, this knowledge, information, or realization will radiate to my style of leadership and governance. Think about the multiplier effect! From my experience, global connection was my inspiration and encouragement. UUCP today is a product of connections. Global connections really bring sustainability to the organization!

    Which is why the UU Church of the Philippines has pledge $100 USD to this important campaign that will continue to support our faith around the world!

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