Help rejuvenate this...
Our Unitarian Universalist church was built almost 170 years ago by a group of abolitionists, including our main founder, who was not a funeral director but drove a hearse around town as a means of helping formerly enslaved people find their ways to freedom. One of our other early members went with a group of women to Town Hall on Election Day, where they demanded to vote — before the vote for women was officially allowed in 1920. (She was not a woman to be crossed, and the group was allowed to vote.)
Dr. Edward Everett Hale, Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many other key thinkers of their day have given lectures in our church hall (yes, the very hall we’re trying to renovate).
We’ve have a lot of fun in the old hall, including after church services during coffee hour.
We’ve been working to keep our founders’ dreams alive ever since the church began, making social justice a cornerstone of our community — raising money for Habitat for Humanity, hosting community suppers, becoming a Welcoming Congregation, hosting educational events about racial, economic and climate justice, holding Amnesty International letter writing campaigns, and holding a vigil and fundraiser to help reunite separated immigrant families.
Thing is, our church is really starting to show its age despite our small congregation’s best efforts, and we’re trying to increase our outreach to include everyone we can in the awesomeness of our beloved community. Under the rubric of our Spiritual Growth and Community Center, we host dozens of programs every year that are open to the community and that take place in Union Hall.
Recent and ongoing programs include: the Sessions open mic and coffeehouse, Japanese playgroup, drum circles, annual clothing giveaway, murder mystery dinner theater, potluck suppers, games nights, Mooncircle full moon rituals, labyrinth workshops, Red Tent events, Dungeons and Dragons, “Shake Your Soul” Yoga Dance, yoga, a rank choice voting informational musical event, Halloween Harry Potter-themed open house and fundraiser, winter blues beach party and many more. We also lend our space to Hudson town conservation meetings and the downtown holiday stroll.
The hall is in dire need of some updating.
We’d love to do even more, including increasing our attractiveness to outside renters as a way of improving our financial self-reliance. But be honest: If you didn’t already know and love us, would you really want to hang out in a place with cracked paint that’s in semi-darkness? (Neither do we, but we really need coffee after the service. You know.)
So, please, consider helping us buy new tables, upgrade to dimmable LED lights, cover Ye Olde Radiators with pretty fabric, and buy paint (for a DIY project). If our Faithify goal is exceeded by $1,500, we will also upgrade the wiring for the stage and the hall in general. (Yes, we have a stage, from the days before television, when folks used to engage in quaint activities like putting on plays and making music to entertain themselves and to raise money for the church.)
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for any help you can give us. And whether you donate or not, please visit us in wonderful downtown Hudson, Mass. – we’d love to meet you! (Even if the lighting is suspect, at least we’ll be able to offer you some coffee. And there are lots of great restaurants and cool shops to check out afterward.)
For more information about our church and our wonderful minister and staff, head to www.ucmh.org.
Help us REOPEN Downtown Church in Greenfield MA after asbestos found
-Click the “Updates” tab to read earlier updates on this project.-
What’s wrong? Greenfield All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church is totally closed, sealed by the Greenfield Health Department due to a public health contaminant discovered during a demolition and rehabilitation attempt. Church members and volunteers gutted a former mold and water damaged classroom in preparation for productive use of the space. Just as the demolition was almost complete it was discovered that many of the materials contained asbestos. Now Department of Environmental Protection is mandating remediation which will cost us over $17,000.
We are a “Little-Engine-that-Could” congregation of about 70 members who are desperately seeking funding to re-open the church as soon as possible. Our current operating budget is so slim that we are currently lay led. Recently a group approached us about using our spaces during the week and we jumped into action to make those spaces habitable and ready. That’s when our disaster struck us and closed down our beautiful home and vibrant community gathering place. There are no funds available to rectify this emergency without your help!
All Souls Church is a Unitarian Universalist Congregation located in the historical downtown section of Greenfield, Massachusetts. We are a very active social justice oriented church with a small membership. We’re a downtown church, in one of Massachusetts’ lowest income communities, Greenfield. In addition to our Sunday services; we host the Stone Soup Café, Wednesday evening AA groups, recitals and concerts, community forums, our annual Anti-racism Film Festival, we host a myriad of economic and green justice initiatives. The Stone Soup Café (thestonesoupcafe.org) provides a weekly Saturday meal, feeding lunch to 90 – 150 guests on a pay-as-you-can basis. Stone Soup also serves 700 – 1,000 people at an annual Free Harvest Supper and supports many other community non-profits with food donations as well as catering from our kitchen.
We have been a major force for community-building and social justice in action in Greenfield; the inability to access our church creates difficulties not only for the congregation, but for the hundreds and hundreds of others we serve through our ongoing ministries.
Your help is really needed!
- Until we are able to complete the asbestos abatement and pass all the tests, no one is allowed to enter the church.
- The $17,000.00 clean up bill poses a serious threat to our ability to stay open.
- We are faced with at least tripling the cost for the renovation of this classroom space and will need as much help as possible.
- Your assistance will be greatly appreciated by the congregation and all those that we serve.
Flash Flood Relief- Help...
DISASTER RELIEF CAMPAIGN: ALL donations will be processed immediately
(NO ALL-OR NOTHING GOAL FOR THIS CAMPAIGN)
East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church (ESUUC) is small in size and large in goals. We have served the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh for 53 years as fair share congregation of the UUA. We have an active CUUPs chapter and our RE program has grown to two classes last year.
Unfortunately the church was flooded on July 21st and when the congregation removed carpet and padding we found out that there is crumbling asbestos tile that needs to be removed by abatement, a costly fix, before new flooring can be installed.
We call upon our sister and brothers UU’s to help us get back into the RE and Community Rooms in the building. We estimate the cost of abatement and flooring to be between $15 and $20K. We have $10K in reserves we are putting toward flooring.
Please help us get back up and running!
Help Fund a...
Located in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, the Unitarian Church of South Australia maintains a gorgeous plot of native bush land which is home to the historic Shady Grove chapel, cemetery, and hut. Unitarian services have been delivered from the chapel from as early as 1856 and continue to this day. A later addition was the hut, which is regularly used for shared lunches, children’s camps, and retreats for adults and families.
But – a new heater is needed for the hut at Shady Grove to keep the chill away in the colder months and to allow the site to be used to its full potential as a special place for our Unitarian Universalist community. Please help us buy a good quality secondhand heater for the space. Any leftover funds will be used to improve the hut at Shady Grove, which could use some additional improvements.
In love and service,
Your friends from the Unitarian Church of South Australia
Help Save Our Historic Sacred Space From Stormy Weather
STRETCH GOAL ADDED: $12,000
The project includes shingle replacement, fascia repair and gutter replacement. The original estimated cost was $38,000. With additional work done to complete the project, including interior repairs, the overall cost will end up being above $40,000. While we’ve met our original $10,000 goal, please help us go a little bit further in helping to defray costs.
We’re so close to meeting our goal – thanks to the generous donations we’ve received. Please help us cross the finish line in the short time left in this campaign by becoming a donor. Please share this link with your friends or anyone else who might be interested in this campaign so we are able to continue the social justice work of Rev. Olympia Brown!
The roof on our church building began leaking earlier this year and has already begun to damage our sanctuary’s plaster walls. Unless we replace our roof, we risk more serious – and costly — damage, not only to the walls but to our historic organ. The project includes shingle replacement, fascia repair and gutter replacement. The total estimated cost is $38,000.
Olympia Brown served as minister of our church from 1878-1887. Our church building is in Racine’s Historic Sixth Street Business District and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The church serves as a center of social justice activism both for our congregation and for many other like-minded people in our community. The building is not just a physical home for our spiritual community engaging in this important work, it is a symbol to the wider community of the faith that we live, inside and outside our 123-year-old structure. Replacing our roof is necessary to enable us to continue the important work we do unimpeded by worries about its future.
Our congregation is in a time of transition after enjoying 43 years with the same minister. Improving our long-term financial planning and operation are among the important tasks we are undertaking during this interim period. Ensuring that we have a sound and solid building is part of that agenda.
Last year we had a major repair project on our congregation’s annex building that exhausted our Building & Grounds Maintenance fund as well as drawing down our operating reserve. That reserve will be the main source of funds for the roof repair. We ask for your help through Faithify to defray the costs of our roof repair and to supplement our remaining operating reserve to pay for the project.
RELIEF FUND Hurricane Michael Rebuild
This is a Disaster Relief campaign. The “All-or-Nothing” goal is removed. All pledges made will be processed.
On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall just east of Panama City, FL. Michael was just two mph shy of a Category 5 according to USA Today. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bay County was hit hard. The main building sustained roof damage but is otherwise ok. The two Religious Education buildings sustained much more significant damage. And approximately 63 trees have been broken and must be removed. In addition to the damage to our church home, many congregation members’ homes have been damaged as well, and some have already been declared a total loss by their insurance adjusters. This storm will take decades to recover from.
And yet, we have a lot to be grateful for. Every person connected to this congregation survived the storm. We have received some financial assistance for our main building, tree removal, and even to help some people in our community who were the most impacted by the storm. What we haven’t found funding for yet, is to repair or replace our Religious Education buildings. That’s where you come in.
As the community is working to put the pieces back together, our children need somewhere to gather. They need a little glimmer of hope. Maybe you can be that light?
This campaign is for $5,000 but that’s just a start to get us going. Any help you can give would be appreciated.
Building Sanctuary in Madison, WI
Faithify Project Description
This past November, James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Madison, Wisconsin voted overwhelmingly to support the New Sanctuary Movement by becoming a host site for an immigrant facing deportation. To answer this call of witness and action, we will need to convert part of a large multipurpose room at the rear of our church into a guest room, install a shower in an existing bathroom, and make other renovations to conform to local codes. A professional architect from our congregation has drawn up plans and solicited construction bids. We expect the cost for the entire project to reach up to $30,000. Our Sanctuary Leadership Team at James Reeb is seeking small grants and also planning fundraising events to generate the rest of the funds necessary to complete the project.
We are not alone in this endeavor! James Reeb belongs to the Dane Sanctuary Coalition, which organizes congregations and organizations to provide physical sanctuary to our immigrant friends and neighbors at risk of deportation. We do this as part of the national New Sanctuary Movement.
There are currently seven congregations (at four sites) that offer sanctuary in Madison. Two are Unitarian Universalist, two United Church of Christ (UCC), one Lutheran, one Mennonite and one Jewish. (James Reeb is the only potential hosting site on the east side of Madison.) A dozen other congregations and several other community organizations offer other forms of support. Plymouth Congregational UCC, our neighbor on Madison’s east side, is also partnering with us on this project. We all continue to take our lead from two local organizations, Voces de la Frontera and Centro Hispano.
Our coalition opposes mean-spirited, cruel and immoral immigration policies that terrorize communities and violate human rights. Our faith teaches us that all people have inherent worth and dignity and that everyone deserves to live free from violence and deprivation. When our government tears apart families, executes unarmed immigrants, and sends refugees into the hands of their persecutors, we find ourselves compelled to act. This vision impels us to stand together in solidarity with our immigrant and refugee friends and neighbors, to offer our support and help, and to provide Sanctuary to those in need. We invite you to join us in this work! Please donate generously to our Sanctuary building fund.
Help UUFNW Raise Our Roof!
We need your help.
Preserving and Sustaining Modern Architecture
Like so many other UU Congregations, UUFNW wanted a unique building that spoke of our faith as a quest for meaning and connection. They turned to Victor Christ-Janer, a famed artist and modernist architect. Built in 1970, our congregation’s home has been featured on architectural tours of the area as a paragon of the modern architecture movement. It was noted in Christ-Janer’s 2008 obituary for it’s groundbreaking use of earthquake-resistant concrete blocks that he designed. There are times that light streams into the building through the high, narrow windows in ways that are transcendent.
Now our building, built 48 years ago on a very low budget, needs to be brought into the 21stcentury so that we can grow and thrive here. We have made the commitment to do this work. Our most pressing need is to replace our roof, which leaks badly, before the structural integrity of the exposed wood deck and girders is compromised. Two layers of roof, dating back to 1970 and 1984, need to be removed and replaced with an energy-efficient roof that will drain better when it rains. To help us define the scope of what needed to be done, we have engaged a professional roofing consultant. Our current hope is to complete this project during the third week of August, 2018; we cannot do this alone.
Our project has the added benefit of helping us live our UU values by making our building more environmentally sustainable. At present, our roof is uninsulated. An energy audit of our building found that the roof was the same temperature as the outside air, increasing our carbon footprint for heating through the cold New York winters. The new roof will be substantially insulated, saving on heating fuel and allowing us to move on to other sustainability projects in our building. This is a key component of our eventual Green Sanctuary certification.
The total cost of this project has proven to be a major stretch for this active but small congregation. Driving up the bottom line substantially was the discovery that the original roof contains a thin layer of asbestos felt—common in roofs installed before 1972. Asbestos abatement will need to be done by licensed professionals and timed for when the building (including the preschool that rents our space) is closed, and asbestos-containing materials will have to be specially disposed of. Air quality monitoring (both indoor and outdoor) during this abatement period has also been included in the project budget.
Financial Security for Our Congregation’s Future
Our total project budget is approximately $160,000. This includes the full replacement of the roof, asbestos testing and abatement, insulation and drainage, and the project manager/consultant. To date, members and friends of the congregation have raised over $30,000 and we have reasonable expectations of being able to secure a $100,000 loan. The congregation will use a portion of our financial reserves to cover the remaining costs—but to pay for the whole thing would deplete our reserves below a level we consider responsible. If we raise more than our goal, additional funds will be used to offset debt service and reduce the amount of the debt we incur in the project.
Our congregation’s mission calls on us to welcome, inspire, share and love. We would like to use our annual budget in a way that lives our values and mission to the community—for justice work in Northern Westchester, for faith formation and religious exploration, and for deep, creative worship for all ages. This project will allow our small congregation to focus on our mission in a building that is sustainable and dry while keeping ourselves in a strong financial position to invest in our future.
Owensboro Interfaith Center Preparation
We understand ourselves as Faithfully Interfaith. We are a full service Unitarian Universalist ministry in Western Kentucky (MidAmerica Region) with an interfaith mission and 10 years of deliberate work building partnerships with our Muslim, Humanist, Jewish, Baha’i, Christian, Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist neighbors. A year of prayerful discernment and congregational consultation made it clear that Owensboro KY needs an Interfaith Center to focus on nothing but interfaith work. We wondered if we should change our identity? So we considered it very carefully and the answer was clearly, “No.” We decided we can contribute though: We can offer space.
We own our building at a great location in the heart of Owensboro. Our interfaith partners know it as a safe and hospitable space. Our identity as a Welcoming Congregation applies to everything on the premises. So we have decided to convert the basement into the first home of Owensboro’s Interfaith Center. The Center will be established as a separate legal entity with a UU-Partner Board and housed here. We are working with the Ministerial Association on programming plans. There’s just one problem…Slowly but surely the basement has been slipping away due to leakage and due to increased storms, it became unusable in the past year. A forensic architect has advised us on how to fix the problem permanently. The project costs $15,000-17,000 and must be done before renovation. We must wait 6 months between waterproofing and renovation.
Unfortunately our bank considers the waterproofing a separate project because of the delay between phases of contractor work. We’d rather not have two separate loans so we have established a separate Capital fund for waterproofing and have raised $4990 thus far. Yeah! Only $12,010 to go!
Then this cool thing happened! We received a pledge for a matching gift of $5000 if we can raise the balance by 1 July. As it goes, we are great at making scheduled payments, but not so strong on quick fundraising. There are only 27 of us but the energy is good. We are setting up restaurant fundraisers, yard sales and service sales and… think that we can get $2,000 of it. The minister is good for $10 so just $5,000 more to match the pledge! If we get this done now, we can finance renovation (@$60K) next winter and the Interfaith Center can open by Annual Meeting 2019.
With Our Muslim Partners
With Our Jain Partners