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.
“Building a Movement...
The “Building a Movement for a Green New Deal” conference is designed to spark conversation and action to bring about legislation which addresses the climate crisis and economic inequality. Hopefully after the 2020 election there will be an opportunity to enact powerful legislation which will move our country away from a carbon based systems and toward renewable energy while creating well paying jobs for all. This legislation can be found in House Resolution 109, known as “The Green New Deal”.
“Building a Movement for a Green New Deal” conference will provide the language and ideas for participants to build support for the Green New Deal and to bring this language back to their congregations and communities.
The conference begins September 15 at 11:15 a.m. after the Sunday service at All Souls Unitarian church in Washington D.C. Reverend Rob Keithan, the Justice minister at All Souls, will lead a program in grounding the efforts of “Building a Movement for a Green New Deal” in Unitarian Universalist values. This will be followed by a keynote panel discussion led by notable local Unitarian Universalist activists in the environmental movement. Following there will be a panel discussion of a coalition of UU organizations with UU’s Ministry for the Earth, UU’s for Social Justice and UU’s for a Just Economic Community discussing ways to work together toward a Green New Deal.
Partnering with UU’s for a Just Economic Community for the conference “Building a Movement for a Green New Deal” include: UU’s Ministry for the Earth, UU’s for Social Justice, All Souls Unitarian Church, UU Service Committee, UUA and Side with Love.
On September 16 after a light breakfast there will be presentations from experts and persons of influence speaking on the intersection of environmental and economic issues.
On September 17 at 8:30 am the conference participants will gather in the Capital Visitor’s Center to hear speakers, deliver letters to representative offices and speak with staff of the elected officials encouraging support for the Green New Deal.
Help Lift Up...
UU Retired Ministers and Partners Association (UURMaPA)
In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising (June 28, 1969), the Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association (UURMaPA) has launched a UU Rainbow History Project, focused on collecting and preserving the history and stories of LGBTQIA ministers, their partners, and allies.
Many of us have witnessed an amazing cultural shift over the past 50 years toward ever greater acceptance, inclusion, and celebration of LGBTQIA folk in our UU faith communities. Ministers have often led the way, and sometimes paid a harsh price for being in this vanguard. The stories are rich, stirring—and important.
But time is not an ally in this process, so we want to move quickly to document the remarkable transformation of the UUA into a welcoming and affirming faith for people of all relationship choices and gender expressions. We are reaching out to draw forth memories from folks who remember the times and have valuable perspective on this evolution. Stonewall inspires anew, here among us today, exactly 50 years later!
The UU Rainbow History Project has begun gathering memories, photographs, sermons and other memorabilia on a website (www.uurainbowhistory.net) and in social media. Soon we will be working on producing a book to document this significant turning point in UU history. And all materials will be placed in UU archives, so future generations can learn about this incredible story, hopefully from many firsthand testimonials.
We are also sponsoring two conferences during this 50th anniversary year and if the October event is anything like the one last February (see pix below), it will again be powerfully meaningful. One attendee at the first conference remarked afterward, “This was a wonderful perspective on LGBTQ history—a breathtaking journey—and very uplifting. We have come so far. And I am so proud of the pioneers who lived in the disdain of society and bore such a burden.”
All this productive activity has a price tag, though, especially the technical developments and support for attendance at our conferences. And UURMaPA (which exists entirely on donations) has limited funding. The UU Funding Program has gotten us started, but through this Faithify Campaign YOU can help ensure that what we discern and discover about this pivotal era can become part of an enduring UU Rainbow History Project. Many thanks for your support!