Worthy Now: Sponsor an Incarcerated UU
This Faithify campaign is so essential to the incarcerated Unitarian Universalists who are members of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. What we’re asking you to do is support the membership of our over 1,300 incarcerated members who live behind prison walls all across the country.
Through our Worthy Now Prison Network, we are able to provide programming for UU’s who live in various forms of incarceration. In practice and on principle, we do not ask for financial stewardship from any of our incarcerated members. The programming we offer to our incarcerated UU’s comes in the form of receiving a variety of printed material which includes:
- Two prison ministry newsletters a year
- A printed copy of the UU World magazine
- A printed copy of the monthly CLF Quest magazine.
Additionally, with your help, we can offer our UU incarcerated members a number of the Tapestry of Faith classes which we have converted into correspondence format. These rich materials supply valuable religious education to our incarcerated siblings.
Every dollar you donate today goes TWICE as far.
Thanks to the generosity of the Unitarian Universalist Funding program, every donation will be matched dollar for dollar.
Perhaps our most popular program, after becoming members and completing the New UU Class, they are eligible to receive a pen pal connection with a free-world person (that’s you and me who live our lives outside of prison walls).
Eileen Raymond, a free-world pen pal, details her experience exchanging letters with a UU in prison. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.
These pen pal relationships are often the lifeline for giving and sustaining hope within prison walls. It is the connection to the Power of We that is so vital to our Unitarian Universalist faith. Can you imagine hearing that you’re worthy of love and justice inside a system that often dehumanizes your very presence?
The cost of all this programming is about $150 per person. It would mean so much to the lives of these members if you, your friends, and your congregation could sponsor an incarcerated Unitarian Universalist (or several!) That is less than 50 cents a day to fund this spirit-sustaining ministry.
And we know that perhaps a different gift amount may be more in your range. The truth is, whatever you can give, every dollar counts; every dollar helps bring programming and the message of hope and Love to Unitarian Universalists living in prisons all across this country.
Being loud and proud about our faith comes in many forms, so we invite you to consider if this is the way you can bless someone’s life with the hope of Unitarian Universalism. Sponsor a sibling UU who is living behind prison walls!
“What we ‘long-haulers’ [referring to COVID] need is a ministry of hope, of love, of a celebration of life that teems all around us. My CLF writing partner, Quest, CLF, and the denomination and its ministry brings this to us if we but open ourselves to what is before us. Thank you for all of you and especially folks like you, who take time to drop a line to us when we need it so much. To show we are persons and not just numbers, not just faceless addresses on the mailing list means so very much to each of us.”
—Jack, incarcerated in Texas
One of the incredible benefits that we can offer our CLF incarcerated members is our reading packet program. In a fantastic partnership with Beacon Press and Skinner House Books, we can send reading materials to our members in prison. Because of the many rules and regulations surrounding books in prisons, we can only do this by the generous sharing of text from Beacon Press and Skinner House Books of UU-identified books. The Church of the Larger Fellowship has permission to print a chapter at a time and share them in letter form. This way, people like Jack in Texas have access to beautiful books filled with learning and faith.
But we need your help!
There are significant paper, printing, and postage costs that go into this program.
By funding all or part of the $150 per person program, you amplify our important message that people living in prison
are Worthy Now of Love and Justice.
Last year we sent over 2,600 mailings to our members!
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to send books? Possibly, but prison regulations across the country are diverse. The rules around books are so complex that this is the best way to share Unitarian Universalism with our CLF members living in prison. Books such as Testimony; UU Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism; Amethyst Beach: Meditations; Our Seven Principles in Story and Verse; and Everyday Spiritual Practice ~ Simple Pathways for Enriching Your Life are bringing Unitarian Universalism to Church of the Larger Fellowship members experiencing incarceration.
We have over 1,200 incarcerated UU’s depending on us.
Can you give $50 or more to fund our Worthy Now ministry?
Thanks to the generous challenge grants supported by the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program, every dollar given to this Faithify campaign will be matched.
Samara’s Grad School Fund
This is a UU Religious Professional Credentialing/Development category campaign and all gifts will be immediately processed.
Stretch Goal Added: $5,000
**EDIT, I’ve added my first FAQ! You can view it in the FAQ tab above if you’re so inclined. Thank you!**
First, the TL;DR
- Money is appreciated!
- Alternatively, subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or follow me on Instagram @wiggle_fitness
- High fives and supportive comments appreciated!
The long version:
As a previously unchurched and newly-identified atheist, I would not have thought there was a religious community that would suit me. Little did I know that there was a denomination that perfectly matched my spiritual needs! Unitarian Universalism supports my developing and maintaining a clear-eyes state of wonder that meshes with critical thinking and justice-oriented acts of compassion and resistance.
In the Summer of 2016, about 6 months after diving into the community in 2015, I had a “call to ministry,” meaning I had a moment of deeply personal, powerful inward recognition about my purpose: that a service-oriented life centered on UU principles and founded on a theological education was the path forward into my 5th life (long story, but you could’ve knocked me over with a feather).
It took me 2 years of part-time study to complete my undergraduate degree, which I did in 2018. I applied to one school to pursue my Masters of Divinity, Meadville Lombard (one of the two UU-identified seminaries in the US), and was accepted in January of this year, with a $10,000/year institutional scholarship. My home congregation of UU Fellowship of Gainesville has formally sponsored my studies and my credentialing path, and I am very blessed to have a supportive community of loved ones from a wide variety of backgrounds.
I am a white, middle-aged single mom. I have many sources of privilege that I will lean on heavily and areas of challenge for which I will be seeking support during my three year program. I felt a lot of trepidation about posting a money-ask, but the fact remains I am about $10,000 per semester ($20,000 per year) shy of meeting my expenses. If you are one of the people with means to do so, or who asked to contribute, I thank you for considering helping a mama defray the cost of following this dream. There are a few reasons I set my goal at $1,000: First, these campaigns run a maximum of 60 days, so I wanted to set what seemed like a reasonable goal, especially since I may do this a couple of times a year. Second, there is no penalty for exceeding my goal! Third, I am hoping to flesh out most of that total $20,000/year with additional scholarships, for which I have been actively applying.
Other ways to support, if finances are not your bag: Subscribe to and share my Wiggle-Fitness (*koff koff* body ministry) channel on YouTube, or find and follow me on Instagram! Becoming a community supporter means a great deal <3.
Thank you for considering any or all of the above!
Help Send Justice Leaders on a Silent Retreat to Restore Their Spirits
This past year has been traumatic for so many people, in so many different ways. But it has been especially challenging for UU Justice Leaders – seminarians, clergy, and lay leaders in congregations and community. These leaders are called to be on the front lines of movements towards justice, challenging us to be agents for change, strategizing in the face of opposition, and comforting those affected by trauma.
This is an opportunity to offer a healing experience for those standing at the forefront of our UU justice efforts. Your contributions will help provide full or reduced tuition at SpiritRest Silent Retreat.
Now in our sixth year, SpiritRest offers a 5-day silent retreat for UU’s seeking a place to restore their spirits, settle their bodies and recover from day-to day challenges. It was established by UU minsters who felt called to offer the power of silence to other UU’s. At SpiritRest, justice leaders will have time for healing and restoration in the company of trained spiritual directors who create an environment of high touch and high care.
For justice leaders, SpiritRest Silent Retreat cultivates the spiritual practices that sustain justice work. SpiritRest’s mission from our earliest formation has been to invite and encourage deep spiritual engagement and practice. We see spiritual practice as key to healing what is broken in our world.
This year our retreat will be grounded in the work of trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. He writes of the importance of a self-care routine: “Caring for your body, your psyche, and your soul is not optional. It’s crucial to your health, sanity, happiness, and healing, and it is an essential part of being human.” This is especially true for our Justice leaders.
SpiritRest will also teach the skills to ground leaders and sustain their work. Our retreat experience is designed to strengthen the skill of settling the body. As Resmaa Menakem writes, “Few skills are more essential than the ability to settle your body. When you can settle your body, you are more likely to be calm, alert, and fully present, no matter what is going on around you.” When your body is settled you are better prepared to respond with clarity and purpose to life’s challenging realities.
We welcome all UUs who seek the healing power of silence in community, but in 2021 we are giving special focus on healing from trauma and preparing for the work of dismantling white supremacy. Many of us have experienced more vividly than others the wide and painful chasm between those who have bountiful life sustaining resources needed to survive and thrive, and those who barely have enough to survive. Recognizing and living with this ugly and shameful reality, in large part created and perpetuated by white supremacy culture, has had its own traumatizing effect. We seek to create a retreat environment where participants can rest, recover, and deepen their spiritual muscles for the work that lies ahead.
SpiritRest residential program includes all meals, daily workshops, worship services, and individual spiritual direction at a cost of $1,120. Our goal is to raise $3,500 in order to offer at least 3 full-cost or 5 partial cost scholarships with travel expense reimbursement.
On behalf of our justice leaders, we are grateful for your contribution.
New Goal Exempt...
Now all UU Religious Professionals can raise funds for education, credentialing, and development exempt from the goal threshold.
Fund The VUU: A Unitarian Universalist Talk Show
The VUU is a weekly Unitarian Universalist talk show discussing important faith-based topics from an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural perspective. Every Thursday for the past 7 years, the hosts of The VUU have welcomed guests from every corner of Unitarian Universalism. Our guest lineup includes scholars, writers, activists, and religious thought-leaders who are shaping Unitarian Universalism for the 21st century and beyond. The VUU has been committed to bringing you episodes that are newsworthy and entertaining!
Over 320 episodes,
with more than 800 guests,
and countless hours of research, preparation, and production.
We need your help to keep The VUU going!
Since 2013, the Church of the Larger Fellowship has dedicated thousands of staff and volunteer hours to producing and streaming episodes of The VUU. Each one-hour episode requires several hours of preparation. It takes time and resources to find qualified guests, outline a script and set up the technological requirements to stream live to Facebook and YouTube. After each episode is aired, a staff member or Learning Fellow allocates time from their work schedule to edit, re-master, and upload The VUU episode as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
When you donate to this campaign, you support:
- In-depth topic curation and research
- Qualified and knowledgeable guests
- Increased accessibility (such as captioning)
- Staff hours to prep and produce each episode
- Resources to make each episode available after it is aired live
- Graphic design needs
- Educational material for viewers
The VUU has been downloaded over 95,000 times,
with hundreds of weekly viewers,
and thousands of monthly listeners.
A donation of any amount helps continue this ministry.
The VUU streams live on Facebook & YouTube every Thursday at 12:00 p.m. ET // 9:00 a.m. PT. The VUU aims to get people informed, inspired, and connected. Thousands of people have fallen in love with The VUU‘s inclusive, conversational format and enjoy that the show focuses on inviting a new guest each week to discuss issues that they are passionate about and matters that are close to their heart. The passion and commitment of both the hosts and the guests is tangibly felt, even though the screen. The Church of the Larger Fellowship is proud of the past 7 years of producing The VUU and hope, with your help, we can continue to air episodes of The VUU long into the future.
“As a Religious Professional working outside of a congregation, The VUU keeps me up to date with what’s going on in UUism–but more than that–it’s the “water cooler” experience I miss with my colleagues! Feeling like I’m getting to sit in on conversations between The VUU hosts, and participate via chat, is the collegial community I need.”–Janine Gelsinger, Executive Director of UU Justice Arizona & Supporter of The VUU
If you haven’t already, we hope you visit our YouTube channel to watch a few episodes of The VUU. After you fall in love with the show, we know you will, we hope we can count on your support to keep this program alive.
For more about The VUU and our upcoming shows, visit questformeaning.org/vuu.
Due to the generosity of the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, every dollar you donate will be matched.
UU Wellspring Emerging...
UU Wellspring is a spiritual deepening program designed to inspire UUs to live into their UU faith and to connect with one another soul to soul. It’s time our emerging young adults also had this transformational opportunity.
The Faithify Campaign will cover the cost of our first group so there will be no cost to participants. The funds will go toward development of the program, additional promotion for more programs and co-leaders who are fairly paid.
The UU Wellspring program begins by deepening participants’ understandings of the UU Sources. These 90-minute weekly sessions draw emerging young adult UUs together at a time when they may be losing hope. The connections made with peers and the introduction of a regular spiritual practice aims to brings gratitude, beauty and hope.
Over 50 congregations and hundreds of adults have been transformed in UU Wellspring small group ministry over the past fifteen years. Since the pandemic, many have found UU Wellspring to be the primary link to their faith and their anchor in these challenging times.
UU Wellspring has been generously funded by grants from both UU Funding and the Unitarian Sunday School Society grant.
Expanding DRUUMM’s Faith Formation
Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) welcomes donations in support of expanding our local and regional program activities with funds going to support honorarium for guest speakers and facilitators.
Our Unitarian Universalist Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) ministry has grown substantially and we are organizing events to engage more deeply and trainings to build more intentionally in response to community needs. Our 2019 DRUUMM Survey heard from over 140 BIPOC who expressed a desire for spaces that center the experiences of BIPOC UU, including more worship and liturgical experiences, programs that cultivate faith formation, and opportunities to grow culturally competent pastoral care and restorative justice practices.
Your support is gratefully received and will strengthen our ability to better serve our BIPOC UU community and resource the guest speakers and facilitators with meaningful honorariums through the DRUUMM Organizing Project.
Enabling Culturally Relevant Prison Ministry
Due to special circumstances Dr Quick Hall has closed this fundraiser; no pledges made to this project will be processed.
Unitarian Universalist Songleaders Convergence 2020
UPDATE May 1 : DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, THIS CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN CLOSED. ANY PLEDGES MADE WILL NOT BE PROCESSED. THANK YOU.
UPDATE 4/29: It is with heavy hearts that we must share with you that the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries Annual Conference in Ann Arbor has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time in 38 years that we will not gather together to share our riches of talent and friendship. Read the full statement here.
We’re excited to bring the Songleaders Convergence back to the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries Conference to share skills, best practices, wisdom, and of course, songs! The Convergence offers days of learning and networking to nurture a deeper culture of community singing in our congregations and wider community.
We’re asking our wider UU community to help us with a match grant. A match grant means that if we meet our $6,000 goal, the UU Funding program will match it with ANOTHER $6,000! This means if you give $20, you’re actually contributing $40!
We’re inviting songleaders from across our Faith and all those who love community singing to converge for what promises to be a transformative gathering of resonance, harmony, and rhythm. The Convergence scholarship opportunities are aimed at making it possible for new leaders and participants of color who may not otherwise have the chance to participate to be with us in a community of growth and welcome.
Money raised will provide scholarships for leaders and participants of color and for first time attendees to the AUUMM Conference.
What can attendees expect?
- Confident & invitational songleading
- Songleading for worship and in the streets
- Deepening cultural context, story, worship, and preaching through songleading
- Harmony singing, vocal technique, circle songs, and more!
- Ministers and seminarians
- Religious Educators
- Choir members and singers
- Musicians both professional and recreational
- Anyone leading or wanting to lead songs in worship, around the dinner table, at the board meeting, or in the streets
Help Midwife Seminarian...
Peace and civility can only be manifested through forging personal relationships by way of interfaith dialogs, across secular lines, and taking our message of peace into the public square. I consider myself an artist of that ministry.
Sunrise Lake Michigan Painting
I see myself as a religious leader, poised through my training to teach people how to forge relationships civilly and bring about real change. I am to respond to situations of growth, conflict and change pastorally and creatively. The degradation of peace is often lost in the discourse when people are afraid to sit in discomfort in order to make this world just. So often peace is equated with ease. Peace comes in examining problematic behaviors in ourselves and our communities.
Weaving together marketing, arts and public relations with ministry has been the way I’ve shaped my vision to grow peace and civility in today’s world. I enroll people in our movement for peace by making it voluptuous, gorgeous and reverent. When humans are engaged by splendor, they are in a better space to hear one another and can engage in the deep listening required to reach peace in our hearts and actions. Art and beauty invite people in. It softens the discomfort. I affirm what Toni Cade Bambarayou says: “The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.” As an artist of ministry, I use all my tools to make our movement irresistible. Won’t you support me, so I can take this next step toward becoming an artist of ministry on the canvas of our movement?
I see the MFC on December 6. I travel to Boston. I have had to prepare tests, reviews, photos, and more to get to the MFC. Now I need to travel, eat, take transportation and lodging while there. Your donation of any amount will help.
All who donate $100 or more will receive a postcard set of five of my art prints suitable for framing.
I have spent decades sharing our ideologies outside of our churches in places where people are struggling. Knowing how to harness the power of media is necessary to our movement. When we dance, sing and display beauty outside the church walls, we can appeal to people and open their hearts.
Autumn Trees: Falling Forward Reaching Back
Systems of oppression need to be dismantled and that only comes from 1:1 relationship. If we cannot love our mother earth, our transgender siblings, our unhomed neighbors, our queer children and our immigrant cousins as much as we love our god, how will we claim grace?
I answer this question with the sentiments of Alfred S. Cole and John Wesley: “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?”
It is in that loving, carrying beauty in one hand and our message of peace in the other across lines of faith, that we will bring about true and lasting peace.
Please come with me on this journey.
Fund Hope: Sponsor an Incarcerated UU
Thank you so much for supporting our Faithify campaign and for your interest in learning more about what Prison Ministry at the Church of the Larger Fellowship is like. This Faithify campaign is so important to the incarcerated members of the CLF. What we’re asking you to do is support the membership of our over 1,000 incarcerated UUs who live behind prison walls all across the country.
Through our Worthy Now Prison Network, we are able to provide vital programming for people who live in various forms of incarceration across the United States. In practice and on principle, we do not ask for membership dues from any of our incarcerated members. The programming we offer comes in the form of receiving a variety of printed material which includes:
- Two prison ministry newsletters a year
- A printed copy of the UU World magazine
- A printed copy of the CLF Quest magazine
Every dollar you donate will be doubled!
Can you give $50 to fund hope today?
By contributing to the success of this Faithify Campaign,
you will be helping over 1,000 UUs living in prison.
Additionally, with your help, we are able to offer our UU incarcerated members a number of the Tapestry of Faith classes which we have converted into correspondence format. These rich materials supply valuable religious education to our incarcerated siblings. Perhaps the best thing of all is, after becoming members and completing the New UU Class, they are eligible to receive a pen-pal connection with a free-world person (that’s you).
These pen-pal relationships are often the lifeline for giving and sustaining hope within the prison walls. It is the connection to the Power of We that is so vital to our Unitarian Universalist faith. Can you imagine hearing that you’re worthy of love and justice inside a system that often dehumanizes your very presence?
The cost of all this programming is about $150 per person. It would mean so much to the lives of these members if you, your friends, or your congregation found it in you to sponsor an incarcerated member’s cost of $150 dollars. That is less than $0.50 a day to fund this hope-giving ministry to an incarcerated UU.
Maybe that’s a little bit too much, maybe fifty dollars is more in your price range. The truth is, whatever you can give every dollar counts, every dollar helps bring programming and the message of hope and love to people in prison all across this country.
We have over 1,000 incarcerated UU’s depending on us.
Can you give $50 or more to fund hope?
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable standing on street corners and professing your faith but perhaps you would feel comfortable blessing someone’s life with the hope of Unitarian Universalism today! Won’t you bless someone with a membership to the CLF who is living behind prison walls?
* Thanks to the generous challenge grants supported by the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program, every dollar given to this Faithify campaign will be matched.
Songleaders Convergence- Update
The Convergence brought in new people to the organization and expanded our mission and our organization in powerful ways.