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.
The UU Church in Meriden, Connecticut is a small congregation with a small residential home as a church building. We need a portable sound system with enough power and volume to use for outdoor services and concerts. We are currently holding worship services outdoors on our front porch and front lawn due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the recent increase in severity of the virus and updated public health recommendations.
Our church building is on a residential street that gets a modest amount of traffic, but behind our property is a major Interstate highway with a constant rumble (at best) and roar (at worst) of traffic noise.
We have a sound system built into the sanctuary with speakers and multimedia throughout the building. This is wonderful when we can use the sanctuary, but the sanctuary is small with a capacity of 50 people. Public health recommendations currently have us holding services outside as meeting indoors with masks and social distancing would severely limit our capacity.
The only sound system we have that we can use outside is an old 25-watt guitar amplifier with a microphone. It’s far from ideal and far from loud enough, so we have been borrowing small portable sound systems. It looks like outdoor services will be the norm for the fall. Given the pandemic, we may need to be outdoors in the spring as well. Many of our members are having trouble hearing due to competing noise and lack of amplification power.
During the last year we produced a successful series of online concerts and in person outdoor concerts as fund-raisers. The live, in person concerts have required artists to bring their own sound system. It would help us continue this small but important income stream if we had a portable sound system with enough power to get over the traffic noise.
We are looking at the Electro-Voice Evolve 30M Portable Column PA System – 1000-watt Portable Powered Column System with 8-channel Digital Mixer, 10″ LF Driver, 6 x 2.8″ HF Drivers, DSP, Onboard Effects, and Bluetooth. Retail price is $1299.
Our board of trustees has approved a grant from our Memorial Fund and along with some fundraising last year, we already have $600. We need to raise $700 more. Your kind gift will help us reach our goal!
The UU Church in Meriden began as a Universalist congregation in the 19th century. We are the only Unitarian Universalist congregation between Hartford and New Haven along route 91. We promote Unitarian Universalism and represent our tradition in our social justice work, which includes raising thousands of dollars to assist our undocumented neighbors during the pandemic, support of Moral Mondays Connecticut, and housing an undocumented scholar from Indonesia and his wife in sanctuary. A sound system of our own is a necessity to keep the voice of our liberal faith alive in central Connecticut.
Re-Imagine Religious Education
“If we are to bring the the love and grace of this faith to our families’ lives, we must intentionally support the faith formation of children and adults.”
– Kimberly Sweeney, The Death of Sunday School
A “ReVision “team was formed in March 2020 at Second Unitarian Church in Omaha, Nebraska with the goal to reimagine religious education.
- The traditional model of Sunday School is labor intensive and ineffective – only 12% of our UU youth remain UUs.
- Many churches (including Second Unitarian) are finding Sunday School unsustainable in our present culture.
It has long been recognized that parents and families play a significant role in faith development. Faith formation is a life long journey.
PreCOVID Flower Communion Worship in our sanctuary.
- Children (and adults!) need rituals. Rituals help us to find comfort and wisdom in the celebration of our faith and the ups and downs of life. Rituals help us to celebrate who we are as Unitarian Universalists.
- We all need a Beloved Community where we ‘belong,’ and a community of good role models in life. We also need special time with our UU peers of similar age
- There is a strong need for intentional ministry to young families, for their sake as well as for the future of our church.
- Beloved Community encompasses all ages and abilities.
“Faith development is all we do. Unitarian Universalism is the faith we teach. The congregation is the curriculum.”
– religious educator Connie Goodbread
The vision – what we expect religious education in action to look like
We desire to connect all ages to a cohesive faith message.
- Supporting faith development in the home
- The monthly Soul Matters themes will be used in worship and supplemental curricula
- Children and adults of all abilities will be welcomed as part of the Beloved Community in worship on three out of four Sundays
- On the last Friday of the month, September – May, we will have an evening meal and short vespers service, followed by related activity options to close out the worship theme for the month. This is intended to be for all ages, and it is especially intended to be parent friendly.
- Children will be welcomed to participate in Social Justice causes to live their faith and be with role models that demonstrate living our faith. We are active in social justice causes: we want to give our children and youth more oppotunities to be involved.
- There will be a variety of faith formation opportunities for adults.
- The DRE will be involved in overseeing religious education for all ages, including adult programming.
- Teen Ministry will consist of YRUU, teen/adult groups such as a “Popcorn Theology” movie discussion or book discussions, and Coming of Age programming culminating in a service where teens have an opportunity to share their Credo statements.
- Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality classes will be offered periodically for the different age ranges K-adult. We want more regular OWL programming for all ages to serve our community.
- Vacation Summer Camp could be offered with an emphasis on the history of our faith with lots of play, acting out of the stories and fun activities
Religious education happens when people in our church listen, value and encourage us toward our better selves. In order for Second Unitarian to carry out these inspirational goals, we need the guidance and support of our very gifted Director of Religious Education. We want to increase her hours to provide faith formation, Support ReVision, and coordinate childcare. To do so fairly and to adhere to suggested UUA salary guidelines, we would need to raise $4700.00.
Oak Street Meeting House Project
The Oak Street Meeting House is a proposed venue for dinner church, social events, an outreach office, and an **accessible** restroom. Accessibility is a big issue for our old church building. First Universalist Church of Camp Hill is an aging congregation and there is no way to make our sanctuary wheelchair accessible.
It is architecturally impossible to do. However, the adjacent parsonage, which we are renovating, offers us wonderful opportunities.
Dinner church is something that is already in our DNA as a congregation. Potluck traditionally follows service here and as our numbers have dwindled, and we now gather in the fellowship hall for our Sunday worship, the space between the worship and the food which follows has become thin. However, to make that final leap, we need a modern fully equipped kitchen.
Several of our members are involved in the local music scene and once the updates are complete, we can use also the Meeting House as a place for concerts, as others are already doing in similar spaces in nearby Opelika once the Pandemic wanes.
We also need an outreach office for our Church. We maintain a food pantry here, serving our local community, and we also maintain an animal ministry, providing not just food, but spaying and neutering services, vet care and forever homes for the stray animal population of Camp Hill, AL. We cannot do this work from anywhere else.
Oak Street Meeting House is named as a nod to Mary Slaughter Scott who co-founded the similarly named Charles Street Universalist Meeting House; Mary was from here in Camp Hill, AL and together with her husband, Rev. Clinton Lee Scott, worked to modernize the denomination and ensure a place for humanism within what became our faith.
She is buried in Slaughters Cemetery which we maintain.
We were not the first Universalists here in Alabama. The very first federal judge to hold court in Alabama had been a Unitarian. In the 1830s, there had been a joint venture between the Unitarians and Universalist in Montgomery. However, ours is one of the oldest, surviving Universalist and later UU congregations in the Deep South, having been founded by Rev. Shehane back in 1846 with the support from such families as the Slaughters and Hesters.
We have a deep history and a legacy worth preserving. We have struggled to be on the right side of history, often falling short, but never stopping short. We have kept going and we are not done yet. We have been working to reconnect to our community, to find innovative, inclusive, and exciting ways to acknowledge worth and honor the legacy of enslaved people whose stories are also a part of us.
We have the vision, the grit, and the determination; we need the funding.
ALAY: Support and Solidarity with Indigenous Communities
DISASTER RELIEF: All donations processed as they are given.
Unitarian Universalists in partnership with Indigenous communities are organizing a mutual aid fundraiser to provide immediate food relief to 500 families in Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon regions of the Philippines. Indigenous communities have been hard hit by the pandemic lockdowns, experiencing a loss of work, and more extreme hunger.
Grounded in long-term relationships, our community ministry is centered on decolonizing, cultural exchange, and led by Dr. Grace Nono, a UU aspirant for the ministry and founder of the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts, a collective with over 25 years of partnerships. The Philippines has a unique history as the largest historical colony of the United States of America and the organic development of Unitarian Universalism since 1955.
Donors are also invited to attend a special fundraising concert:
ALAY: Support and Solidarity with Indigenous Communities
Cultural Performance and Fundraiser
with Dr. Grace Nono
Via Zoom and FB Live
Philippines: Saturday, July 31st 9:30 am to 11:30 am
USA: Friday, July 30th 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm Eastern time
COVID-19 continues to devastate the livelihood and threaten the future of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines, communities that are also on the frontlines of land struggles, climate change, and long-standing socio-economic inequalities. Join us via Zoom or FB Live for ALAY (offering), a unique cultural performance by Dr. Grace Nono in support of selected Dumagat, Ati and Samu Dilaut (Badao) Indigenous communities in the Philippines that have been adversely affected by the lockdowns.
Grace will be performing songs that draw from over two decades of relationships with culture bearers/ mentors, and solidarity with a number of communities through the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts. Funds will support food assistance for over 500 households. The Center for Organizing, Renewal, and Leadership, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Metro Manila, DRUUMM Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Humanist Alliance Philippines International and more are co-sponsoring this fundraising concert.
The Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts is a registered non-profit organization founded by Dr. Grace Nono, dedicated to contribute to the collective task of reclaiming, honoring, and revitalizing indigenous knowledge systems and practices in the postcolonial/ neocolonial times. Since 1994, the foundation has engaged with various communities through scholarships for indigenous students, cultural publications, the Agusan del Sur–School of Living Traditions, and the Himig Ninuno Philippine Traditional Music Webinar Series.
Dr. Grace Nono is an aspirant for the Unitarian Universalist ministry, recently studying at Yale Divinity School. Born and raised in the river valley of Agusan, Northeastern Mindanao, Southern Philippines, Grace Nono is an ethnomusicologist, music-performing artist, and cultural worker. Grace completed her PhD through NYU’s Ethnomusicology Program, has taught at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Miriam College, and Harvard Divinity School. She has published works including The Shared Voice: Chanted and Spoken Narratives from the Philippines, winner of the 2009 National Book Awards (Arts), and Song of the Babaylan: Living Voices, Medicines, Spiritualities of Philippine Ritualist-Oralist-Healers, winner of the 2014 Gintong Aklat Award (Arts and Culture) and 2014 Catholic Book Award (Spirituality).
Mattatuck UU Society Keyboard
The Mattatuck UU Society is moving. Our upright piano is not worth keeping. We are buying an electric piano/keyboard. We have a small but growing congregation and music ministry. The keyboard costs less to buy and maintain, is easier to move, has a variety of tones, is easier to record with, and can be used outside.
The Mattatuck UU Society (MUUS) took advantage of quarantine and online worship services to begin the search for new, more permanent space to house the congregation. We stopped renting from a local congregational church and are zeroing in on our next location. While renting over the last few years, we were able to use the piano and keyboard in the sanctuary of the church where we rented. Our own upright piano was kept in the church office (one of our rented rooms). As we prepare to move into a new location, we realized that our piano is not in good shape. We also realized that we may be having services outside for a while until it is safe for everyone to gather inside together and that requires a portable keyboard. We decided to replace our upright and fill our needs for a portable keyboard with a new instrument that will meet both needs. Our first outdoor service was May 23, 2021 and we are borrowing keyboards from other local congregations. We are hoping to have our own instrument when we begin the next program year in September 2021.
Our Keyboard project stakes its claim to our faith in the uniqueness of Unitarian Universalist worship. Our living tradition has it’s own hymnals, music for the most part not found in standard Christian hymnals. UU music makes use of secular, folk, gospel, world and other traditions as well as hymns in a more traditional style. A new keyboard is able to replace the piano with a digitally reproduced sound indistinguishable from a real piano and at the same time is able to sound like an organ or other instruments, giving our music program the range it needs for various styles in one instrument.
Choral singing is widely recognized as being good for the body, mind and soul. It is a ministry not only to those listening, but to those singing. Our UU tradition seeks to be ever more broadly inclusive and music breaks down barriers. Our UU tradition is becoming ever more cooperative as groups work together to share resources and even staff. During the pandemic, MUUS produced joint service along with our congregation in Meriden, CT. Part of this collaboration included a choir comprised of members of both churches, both accompanists, and even participants from the local community who didn’t belong to either congregation or any congregation. Our UUOne cooperative, community choir helped us reach out to local musicians. One singer has spoken with the minister about getting involved more in the cooperative music program as in person worship resumes.
Send Us to GA Please
This is a General Assembly Costs campaign and all gifts will be immediately processed.
We have been attending the UU Church of Columbia via zoom during the pandemic and also the Church of the Larger Fellowship. This is really different for us and changes our faith perception in many ways. After 14 years in Myrtle Beach with a very small congregation we are searching.
Wendy has been a GA delegate and volunteer in previous years, but neither will work for her aspirations or identity in this current year. Still we made it to GA through an anonymous donor and WE ARE GRATEFUL! THANK YOU. Our wi-fi in West Virginia continues to be an issue.
Wendy spends a lot of time supporting causes in the community that would better the experience of our black, brown, and LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors. Living in the south has it’s challenges. She created a video to promote our faith that has been on YouTube for a long time. There are so many interviews and out takes from that project that could make a longer production but time and money have prevented this, maybe one day.
Crowd funding is not easy to understand. Life moves so fast sometimes. The video is linked in the media section. And here: Diverse Natures
Connectivity and Community – we hope to deepen these important values with your contribution to our ask. Thanks Again.
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!
Lift our voices with a new sound system
Stretch Goal Added: $3,000
See description below
Be a part of our return.
We are the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson, Mississippi. Since 1951, UUCJ has been a voice of liberal religious expression and social justice in our state.
Like churches everywhere when the 2020 pandemic struck, our church had to cease in-person gatherings. We began to livestream our services for the first time. Our church is small, with no equipment for creating video or for streaming, so we borrowed what was needed from our congregation: A webcam from one member, a laptop from another, cords and cables from all over. It wasn’t pretty, and there was a huge learning curve at first, but we did okay.
Streaming our services kept our congregation together during the stress and isolation of the pandemic. It also helped our church reach a wider audience than we ever thought possible. So we decided to continue streaming once in-person services resumed. To do that, our church needed to purchase its own video equipment.
Then, right on cue, our aging sound system began to die. Now, we needed an all-new video and audio system, and quickly.
After much research, we found a reasonably-priced, expandable setup including a mixing board, speakers, cameras, a laptop, and assorted stands and cords that would give us a PA system and allow us to keep live streaming once our church resumes in-person services in the near future.
Our congregation members have already raised almost $1700 towards this project! With an additional $2000 raised through Faithify, UUCJ can purchase the new A/V equipment we badly need. Please give what you can to help bring our church’s services back in-person and online for now and into the future.
Save Chrisma from...
Unitarian Universalists believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Chrisma is a 29-year-old asylum seeker from Republic of Congo (ROC). He speaks French, Lingala, and his English is improving every day. Now he is living in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester New Hampshire and he is being hosted by the congregation.
Before that, Chrisma survived thirteen months in detention.
In the ROC, Chrisma was part of a large extended family. After several of his family members were victims of violent killings, Chrisma fled for his safety. He first arrived in South America, then made his way to Mexico, and finally to Texas, where he applied for asylum.
Chrisma is intelligent, sociable, and very adaptable. Back in the ROC, Chrisma studied Computer Science. Someday, he hopes to work in this field in the United States. Tragically, Chrisma’s asylum appeal was denied and now he is facing a deportation hearing that will send him back to the country from which he fled. Luckily, we – his hosts at UU Manchester – found an Immigration Attorney experienced in Removal Defense.
We have already raised enough money for Chrisma’s case to begin. However, we still need to raise another $4,000 to complete the case. Any excess funds from this campaign will be used to assist legal fees for other asylum seekers.
Please help Chrisma who is facing this existential threat of being returned to an extremely unstable and dangerous situation in his home country.
Summertime Can Be Hunger Time
In the United States, 22 million kids get free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. The programs are an essential source of food for many children. However, during summer vacation, only 16 percent of kids who need USDA-funded summer meals can access them, making summer the hungriest time of year for too many children, resulting in long-term consequences.
Many of us remember fondly summer vacations living easy, breezy, carefree days. However, for too many children, summertime can be hunger time. Even though schools are back in session and kids have access to free and reduced-cost lunch programs again, teachers and social workers are seeing firsthand how challenging it is for many parents to feed their families, especially those still out of work and struggling to recover from the pandemic’s economic consequences.
This summer, No Child Goes Hungry is committed to supporting local schools, community organizations, faith-based groups, and grassroots non-profits committed to providing childhood hunger relief in their communities. We’ll be reaching out to little free pantry owners, backpack programs, and other generous organizations to help keep them stocked with the food and supplies they need to keep our children fed until schools re-open their doors this fall.
NCGH is dedicated to the elimination of childhood hunger, one kid, one meal at a time. With funds donated by churches, private organizations, and individuals, NCGH works with faith communities and other organizations to alleviate hunger locally.
Over the past several months, we have begun partnering with heroic organizations to make preparations to ensure continual student meal support over the summer. Some of our current partner programs include:
Peyton Randolph Elementary School PTA’s Food Pantry
NCGH provided a grant of $1,500 to the Payton Randolph Elementary School to use in a match fundraising drive that raised $4,000 more for a total of $6,500 for the program. With the dollars raised, the PTA now has enough funds to offer food weekly for several months. Rev. Kären Rasmussen first heard of the Randolph Elementary School from her colleague, the Reverend Amanda Poppei. Amanda is the senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington, Virginia. Amanda heard about the much-needed work to feed kids in Arlington from Bethany Zecher Sutton, the Randolph Elementary School PTA’s Food Pantry Coordinator, and made the introductions all around. Read More.
“I’ve known Kären for years and have watched her organization grow—especially in the way that she is able to support hyper-local groups as well as bigger non-profits,” said Rev. Poppei. “When Bethany told me about the growing need to feed kids right in her own neighborhood, I just had a feeling these two could collaborate and combine their efforts.”
NCGH Helps Sponsor Intern at Blackburn Community Outreach
NCGH provided a $1,000 grant to Blackburn Community Outreach in Todd, North Carolina, a non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission to engage and mobilize the Todd Community for social, economic, and environmental vitality. The grant will help financially support the season’s youth apprentice in the organization’s Beatitude Garden. This year’s summer intern, a 16-year old young man named Bebo, who is of Cherokee heritage, will work as an intern in the gardens for ten hours a week for 20 weeks this season.
The YMCA of Walla Walla, WA
NCGH provided a $1000 donation to the Young Men’s Christian Association of Walla Walla (the “Walla Walla Y”). The funds will be used to purchase snacks and juice for children participating in its newest summer enrichment program in Athena, Oregon. The Walla Walla Y serves 13 rural communities in Washington and nearby Oregon, where over 15 percent of the families are below the poverty level, and over 60 percent of the children qualify for free and reduced lunch programs. For seven to nine weeks each summer, when school is not in session, the Walla Walla Y offers week-long enrichment programs that nurture children ages 5 to 14 and support their cognitive, social, and physical wellbeing. The Walla Walla Y provides nutritious snacks and meals for the children during each day of the program. Read More.
Camelot Elementary School
NCGH supplied non-perishable food items and a shelving storage unit to Camelot Elementary School in Annandale, Virginia. Some may say, “practice what you preach,” but when NCGH Founder and Director Rev. Kären Rasmussen says it, she takes it to heart. When Rev. Rasmussen leads worship in her community, her sermon’s message invites listeners to connect with their local school and see what they need to help feed their kids. Rev. Rasmussen decided she needed to practice what she preaches, so she reached out to the school two blocks from her home to ask how she could help support the food insecurity needs of students’ families. She worked with Rebecca Stebbins of the Camelot Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Food Pantry on behalf of No Child Goes Hungry to provide much-needed food and new shelving for their school’s food pantry. Read More.
Still, more help is desperately needed. The need is vast, and it continues to grow. We feed kids, one meal at a time. It matters. Every meal matters.
NCGH provides grant money and mentorship opportunities so that community organizations can build hunger advocacy programs that will thrive and grow as their communities continue to tackle the problem of local food insecurity. Such sustainable programs include afterschool backpack programs, little free pantries, community food pantries, and donation programs.
NCGH also strives to educate the community on food insecurity issues and arm people with the knowledge to help. NCGH offers age-appropriate lesson plans to help local organizations to talk to people of all ages about the issue of food insecurity, helping to fuel future generations of childhood hunger advocates. The lesson plans are designed for schools, churches, or any group that would like to learn more about what they can do to eliminate childhood hunger in their community and are available to use at no cost. Lesson plans are available for Preschool-Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, Grades 4-7, Grades 8-12, and Adults.
Let’s Feed Some Kids!
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.