Tagged: “UU”

2019 Miami Valley UU Fellowship Teen Trek to the United Nations

SUPPORTING A NEW GENERATION OF UU PEACEBUILDERS

The intergenerational seminar, “EQUITY IN ACTION — GENDER IN AN INTERSECTING WORLD” April 11 – 13 in NYC is an opportunity to collaborate with others while learning how to be a global activist. Through workshops, peer and expert-led panel discussions, community building activities, and worship services, participants undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth on the topic of gender.

With a deep passion for and commitment to international human rights, youth and adults from all over North America will dig deeply into issues; our Miami Valley UU Fellowship team will return to Miami Valley with suggestions for further congregational education and action.

Your donation to this project will fund expenses for our youth and sponsors as they travel to the conference. Our youth have each funded their own registration fees.  Your Faithify donations will go towards travel expenses for this year’s conference. Any extra funds raised this year will help establish a foundation for future years as we seek to make this an annual event for the youth in our congregation.

MVUUF Youth who participate in the UNO Teen Trek will:

  • Gain a deeper appreciation of the UU-UNO’s vital social justice work around the world;
  • Travel with and meet other UU youth who share similar values;
  • Practice leadership skills by engaging the congregation in the UU-UNO mission upon their return.

MVUUF plans to offer the Teen Trek as an annual venue for offering leadership training to youth and young adults.  Your investment in this effort will give young people an opportunity to find their voice and offer their service in the life of our MVUUF congregation, community and wider world.

Helps us Spread...

We have 3 youth and 3 advisors traveling to the Youth Ministry Revival in Bethesda Maryland on Mar. 1st-3rd. Youth Ministry Revivals (YMR) are weekend-long events that seek to inspire, innovate and celebrate Unitarian Universalist youth ministry and the first one our youth have a chance to attend!

This Campaign will help us get there!

We are hoping to raise at least $850 to help with airfare for everyone. If you donate and we raise $850 or more that money will be collected and go toward our travel funds, (if we do not raise $850 no money will be collected from anyone). We hope you will help us reach out our initial goal! The total cost of our travels, airfare and a minivan rental in Maryland comes to $1,317.60 so that is our stretch goal. 

This year’s Youth Ministry Revival theme is “Answering the Call of Love”.

Our youth are getting ready to:

Experience. . .

Dynamic and interactive worship

Inspiring and innovative workshops

Explore . . .

Spiritual practices for centering, healing and resiliency

What it means to live UU in the world

Build. . .

Relationships with youth and adult leaders from across the country

Deeper intercultural understanding

And Return…

With ideas and experiences to share and inspire our youth ministry and congregational work here in in Nashua.

To lead a youth led worship service about this revival on Mar. 17th

If you contribute to our campaign and we reach out goal. Our UU youth and advisers will thank you in the following fabulous ways… 

  • If you contribute $15 … you’ll get a shout out thank you in the Youth Service on Mar. 18th!
  • If you contribute $30…you’ll get a shout out and an original “I support youth ministry at UUCN Sticker!
  • If you contribute $50…you’ll get a personalized thank you note with youth group artwork on it as well as a shout an an original “I support youth ministry at UUCN Sticker!”
  • If you contribute $75 or more…you will get all of the above thank you including an invitation to a special youth-led event where we will teach you the songs and games and lessons learned at the youth ministry revival!

Thank you for supporting Youth Ministry at Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua!

Transformation: UU Youth...

In 2015, the First Religious Society (Unitarian Universalist) in Newburyport, MA for the first time sent a youth delegation to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The impact of this trip was profound. In fact, just a few weeks ago, when members of that delegation held a panel discussion for this year’s delegation, several of them said that the trip is something that they think about almost daily.

“The time we spent at Pine Ridge was shocking,” one of them has written. “It felt surreal to experience a reality in this country that is so drastically different from what we believe the “American” experience to be—we were face to face with the other side of history that doesn’t get mentioned, and it was beautiful, frightening, and intensely frustrating to see and hear from a culture that the American government did its very best to erase.”

These trips help to strengthen a growing justice ethic in our teenagers. This is some of our most important and meaningful church work; this is faith in action.

This June, eighteen of our youth will make the trip to Pine Ridge. In addition to working, they will have educational and cultural experiences with the people of the Reservation. We’re partnering with Amizade, a Pittsburgh-based fair trade learning organization with projects all over the world. This is a new partnership for us and we’ve been excited to hear the strong reviews they’ve received from other UU congregations. Amizade’s philosophy is one of solidarity; all of the work we do will be directed by the people of the Reservation.

The youth going on the trip have committed to a  year-long program of justice learning, community building, and fundraising. So that we,  can make this trip truly accessible to all, regardless of each family’s financial status, we’re seeking to raise $14,800. Other fundraisers have included creating a Haunted Church at Halloween, hosting a waffle breakfast, providing childcare for parent events, and having tables at local festivals to lead children’s activities and educate the public about Pine Ridge. Future fundraisers include an art show, yard sale, and car wash.

Thank you for your support. Every donation truly counts and gets us closer to our goal.

Deva Guest House

  

The Project

Sitting on the hill high above Deva, the Citadel reminds us of the importance David Ferenc, (Francis David), the founder of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania. David Ferenc died here because of his belief in religious freedom and the need for our faith to keep on progressing. Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists around the world continue to enjoy the rich legacy of David Ferenc’s courageous faith. Thousands of Unitarians/UUs from around the world visit Deva each year to honor and be inspired by his life and his ultimate sacrifice for our faith. The Unitarian Church of Deva has embarked on an ambitious plan to create the David Ferenc Center of Pilgrimage and Diaspora to celebrate our Unitarian history and the lasting impact of David Ferenc on our faith. And finally, a major piece of that dream is a guesthouse that can house many of the Unitarian/UU pilgrims who flock to Deva. Other guesthouse and hotel options in Deva are not very good (a perennial complaint of pilgrims who travel through the UUPCC). This guesthouse in the shadow of the citadel will be greatly used and appreciated by many.

History of The David Ferenc Center of Pilgrimage and Diaspora

  • The church building was purchased in 2003 with funds raised by Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, First Presbyterian Church of Neenah and the Transylvanian Unitarian Church.
  • Building improvements through the years include: garden, finished meeting room, sanctuary, guest house with WiFi, air conditioning, library, open kitchen with non-stop coffee, and continental breakfasts
  • The guest house will accommodate 14 people in 6 different rooms with adjoining bathrooms and breath-taking views of the Citadel

Where will the money go? The funds raised through Faithify will help buy dressers, beds, bedding and other amenities for the Deva Guest House. Through this gift:

  • The David FerencCenter of Pilgrimage and Diaspora will receive much needed income by welcoming pilgrims to the Deva Guest House.
  • Visiting youth and pastors will have a new gathering and training space.
  • Pilgrims from around the world will have a warm and welcoming place to stay in Deva.
  • The David Ferenc Center of Pilgrimage and Diaspora will open its doors to pilgrims in the summer of 2019
  • Please give to this campaign!

How much money do we need? The people of The Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship have been very generous:

  • Money raised so far: $2,500
  • We need to raise an additional $5,500 to make this dream a reality.
  • We are appealing to any past and/or future pilgrims who will be visiting Deva and need a wonderful place to stay.

The Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has been in partnership with the Unitarian Church of Deva since 2001. During this time, we have exchanged visits with Deva, both hosting people from Transylvania in Appleton and also traveling to Deva to visit our partners and friends about eight different times. Our partnership is strong. It is built on love, generosity, respect and the willingness to build deeper relationships across differences of culture, language and distance. We celebrate this opportunity to make the Deva Guest House a reality.

Testimonials

Our minister, Roger Bertschausen, came to our FVUUF Social Action Committee in 1999 and said, “How would we like to become a Partner Church with a Unitarian Church in Transylvania?”We had no idea what he was asking, but we said, “Yes!”  (Who says UUs don’t have faith?!!)We became partners with the Unitarian Church in Deva in 2000.We did not know that 120 something UU churches in North America were in these kinds of partnerships.

I, personally, did not know that the spark of my UU faith had started in Transylvania a long time ago. At that time, I did not know of the difficulty and bravery of that act. And, I did not know that entering into a partnership of this kind would transform me.

Here’s part of my UU story; my wife Lynn and I, raised and married Methodist, did not know a thing about a liberal faith called Unitarian Universalism.  But having three young daughters we were searching for a spiritual community diligently.  In the fall of 1983, Lynn noticed a one line ad in the local newspaper that said, “How would you like to help your children find their own spiritual path?  Come visit our UU Church.”  We did, and became members that January.  Lynn soon became DRE and I was one of the RE teachers.  Finding Unitarian Universalism was one of the best things our family ever did.

Fast forward to our partnership with Deva. I learned that the spark of spiritual tolerance was lit by Francis David over 400 years ago in Transylvania, and that he was martyred for his efforts in the citadel at Deva. I learned that it is a long winding path from Unitarianism in Transylvania to Unitarian Universalism in my world. I learned that making a pilgrimage to Transylvania and climbing the hill in Deva to pay respects to our founder is one of the great adventures we UUs can do in our lifetime!

I cannot express how deeply my life has been enriched by our friends in Deva…

They have shown us unconditional love and generosity, and we now take Communion every Christmas Eve in their honor! I am proud to say that this Faithify campaign will complete their efforts to provide a guesthouse in their church for visiting pilgrims from all over!!

It is a pilgrimage that can transform your life…

Bill Carlson, member Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

First, I think it is important to recognize that Deva is a very important pilgrimage site for all Unitarians. The founder of Unitarianism, David Ferenc, who 450 years ago crafted the radical proclamation for religious tolerance known as The Edict of Torda, perished in a cell on top of the citadel that rises above the city. The Deva church lies just below the citadel and is a very convenient location for travelers on pilgrimage, as well as Unitarian youth engaged in faith related gatherings.

 Current options for convenient accommodations include either a hotel about five blocks away, or a hostel type guest house that at times has been known to lack basics such as hot water, heat, toilet paper, etc.  When completed this guest house will accommodate visitors on pilgrimage as well as others gathering for faith related reasons.

 I feel that this project honors our partnership in one of the most meaningful ways possible. It will allow those traveling to Deva to have very nice accommodations with either private or shared baths, WiFi, continental breakfast, and a convenient location for a pilgrimage to the Citadel. There is also a nicely sized gathering room on the ground floor that is already complete and used by the Deva congregation. This will be a great way to support not only the Unitarian Church in Deva, but will also insure that all pilgrims will have a comfortable place to stay..

Jan McHugh, member Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Wow! I had the most amazing pilgrimage to Deva, Transylvania in November 2018. The connection with the people of Deva warmed my heart and strengthened my belief in how love can transform us all. The Unitarian Congregation of Deva is wonderfully generous with their time, energy and love. I celebrate my time in Deva as one of transformation and dedication to deepen my Unitarian Universalist faith.

 And because of this, I truly believe in our quest to help the Unitarian Congregation of Deva make the guest house a reality. It will benefit both pilgrims and the Unitarian Church of Deva in ways we cannot yet imagine by providing wonderful accommodations for people from within Transylvania and from around the world. Our Unitarian faith calls us to offer radical hospitality to all. I believe the Deva guest house will do this and more.

 Tina Main, member Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I loved my many (5) trips to Deva. Why? I always loved the adventure of travel however, the added bonus of meeting with friends is exquisite. Over the years I learned about their culture and history. As well as bonding through shared meals, stories, and comradery.

Tom Pynenberg, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

My visit to Deva helped me really appreciate our UU ancestors!

Taizan Alford, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

In the spring of 2000, I made my first visit to Deva to meet our new Partners. It is no exaggeration to say that the experiences I had on that visit profoundly changed the direction of my life as I came to know a deeper, more expansive understanding of my chosen faith family and the people who bring it to life. The friendships I have made, the challenges I have faced and the lessons I have learned have shaped the person I am and am becoming. This one wild and precious life has become so much richer with each visit to Deva. I hope that all of you will be able to climb Citadel Hill one day and reflect upon your faith, then stay in the Deva Guest House to experience the love and warm hospitality you will find there.

Lee Boeke Burke, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor

Children’s Defense Fund...

Nowhere is the shadow of racism longer in American than when it comes to educational disparities. You can change this.

Our six-week, evidence-based program, developed by the Children’s Defense Fund, has been proven through rigorous research to improve literacy skills, build character and engage parents. During our first two summers, All Souls hosted the only CDF Freedom School in the state of Indiana. In 2017, we got 501(c)3 status, and in 2018 we launched a second site.

Thanks to our donors last year, 83% of our scholars experienced no summer-learning loss of gained literacy skills. Normally their peers would lose 2-3 months of reading ability; such summer learning loss, compounded year-after-year accounts for 50% of the achievement gap. Faithify is our single largest individual donor source. $125 covers the cost of a scholar’s program for one week. Thank you for helping us mitigate the educational disparity gap that keeps so many of our children behind.

There have been three waves of “Freedom Schools” in American history, and Unitarian Universalists have been part of all three. Northern whites, often women, went to the South soon after emancipation to teach formally-enslaved persons to read. Then in 1964, as part of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the National Council of Churches and SNCC formed summer “Freedom Schools,” focused specifically on literacy, humanities, science and math. These schools, often “taught” by white, northern college students, also had a larger purpose: to show young, Southern black Americans that they were valued and to engage them in community problem-solving.

The Children’s Defense Fund has initiated the third wave with the development a modern, evidence-based summer learning and family engagement model. The model retains the historical focus on offering a culturally-appropriate program designed to empower and promote civic engagement and literacy. The model is defined by five essential components:

  • High-quality academic enrichment, which includes age- and culturally-appropriate books that are part of an Integrated Reading Curriculum involving reinforcing activities, field trips and games.
  • Parent and family involvement at multiple levels, from morning introductory activities to classroom assistance to supporting community projects.
  • Social action and civic engagement by our children and youth so that they are prepared to be active citizens. Participants engage in solving community problems and do social justice work, including through a Children’s Defense Fund yearly National Day of Social Action.
  • Intergenerational servant leadership development, by engaging college students and recent graduates to deliver the program, many of whom have had Freedom School experience themselves.
  • Nutrition, health and mental health, by requiring programs to provide—at a minimum—two USDA-compliant meals and a snack each day of operation, while training staff to recognize the importance of providing therapeutic health and mental health services.

With your financial support, All Souls Unitarian Church would offer six-weeks of programming for 50 school-age children in summer 2019. Indianapolis has pervasive educational and opportunity disparities and our congregation sits in a high-need community. The church is in close proximity to two struggling public elementary schools. Robert Lee Frost is 87% African-American and over 80% free and reduced-price lunch. In 2014, only 51% of students passed both English and Math in ISTEP. Only 65% of students passed the IREAD-3. At Brook Park, 76% of students are African-American or Hispanic and over 76% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Only 52% passed ISTEP in 2014. Opportunity disparities in is high. Nearly 25% of individuals in the All Souls zip code (46226) live in poverty and nearly 40% of children live at or below the poverty level. We know from national-level research that poverty is correlated with fewer summer learning and other enrichment opportunities.

All Souls has already begun to build a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals committed to making a Freedom School a permanent fixture in Indianapolis. Our partners include, but are not limited to, the Indianapolis Freedom School Partnership (the umbrella organization we helped form), the neighborhood elementary schools near the church, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, neighborhood organizations, the League of Women Voters, the Indianapolis Public Library, and the education departments of Indiana University, Butler University, and Marion University.

“Indiana Black Expo, as the backbone support organization for the Your Life Matters Initiative, is in full support of All Souls’ endeavors with the development of a Freedom School in Indianapolis.” – Tanya Bell President & CEO Indiana Black Expo, Inc.

“The development of a Freedom School in Indianapolis is an important service and support for youth in the northeast part of our city. I applaud All Souls Unitarian Church for its vision and for making social justice visible for children who need a supportive community and gifts that participation in a Freedom School provides.” – Dr. Cindy Jackson, Positive Discipline Coordinator, IPS district, and member of the education committee of the Your Life Matters Task Force

Creating A Racial...

My name is Christopher D. Sims. I am a Unitarian Universalist community minister, artist, and community organizer. This collective idea is meant to combine our efforts across Unitarian Universalism as we tackle issues in regards to the movement for black lives, social justice, and racial justice. I am working with Unitarian Universalist committees and groups who are focusing on the serious work we are doing to help us obtain, or get closer to, the Beloved Community. In having these proximate relationships and connections with these groups, Creating a Racial and Social Justice Collective will be a vehicle and a database for successes of these groups that will help empower the overall work we are doing in our faith movement across the United States, and beyond. To give voice to these successes and efforts, the Collective will have an online presence. Physically, I will represent these voices at conferences or appearances in our faith movement to inform and encourage Unitarian Universalists to pursue or strengthen their social justice efforts.

The funds raised for this campaign will go towards maintaining an online database, staff, travel expenses, and materials needed to create books and pamphlets for the documentation of this project.

Humanist Collaboratory Travel Scholarships

The Humanist Collaboratory will meet for the 2nd time in March 2019, bringing together clergy in UU, Ethical Culture, and humanistic Jewish traditions–and this year, extending special outreach to organizers of humanist communities outside of those institutions. We seek to center the voices of people of color, queer folx, and women who have often been left out of institutional humanist leadership, as well as emerging leaders in humanism. Because many of those leaders don’t have the institutional support of congregations, travel to the conference (hosted by the Washington Ethical Society in Washington, DC, which will also provide home hospitality) may be prohibitive. Please help us to make it possible for these folks to join us at the Humanist Collaboratory, so that their voices can be centered in our work together and in our shared exploration of what humanism is today! YOUR GIFT WILL BE MATCHED by a generous grant from the UU Funding Panel!

Accessing West Virginia,...

Hello, and welcome to the UU Area Church at First Parish in Sherborn, MA (UUAC) Senior Youth Group Faithify page! The Senior Youth Group (SYG) at UUAC is made up of high school aged young people in our congregation who want to be a part of an enjoyable and active justice-oriented program with their peers. In addition to the fun we have at our weekly meetings, we also aspire to live out our UU values in the world. This means anything from helping those in need in our community, to going to rallies to stand up for our beliefs, to going on service trips.

For one week in April, 13 youth and adults involved in SYG will be visiting West Virginia for a service learning experience sponsored by the UU College of Social Justice. Many parts of West Virginia are highly poverty-stricken due in part to the collapse of human labor in the coal industry. This poverty has deeply affected the quality of life and health for many who live in rural areas, and has caused communities to take matters into their own hands through grassroots organizing. Our first stop in West Virginia will be in Charleston where we will visit the UU Congregation of Charleston and learn about the local grassroots movements through the members of the congregation. We will then venture to a rural section of Appalachia to experience the daily lives of the citizens who face the struggles of poverty first-hand. Here, we will provide hands-on service and listen to the stories of the people who create change in rural Appalachia. Through this experience, we hope we can more deeply understand their culture and community, and how we, as visitors, can best serve them through a lens of justice.

However, it’s not only us who hope to help. Without your donations, this powerful trip would not be possible. It is essential that youth be exposed to service learning such as this so that we, as the next generation, may be better prepared to address issues of justice in our changing communities and world. Please consider donating, as you could help our group attain an affordable trip for all youth. By raising $2000, we hope to make this trip financially accessible for all who would not be able to afford this kind of experience otherwise.

2019 Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary

Help us put love into action.

As a congregation it is our hope that this one-day conference will be both a place where trans and gender non-conforming folk can gather, connect and learn and where cisgender folk can learn about being better allies. We are also hoping that by hosting this conference we will make a BOLD statement to our larger community that we are a safe and welcoming community because we really do want to build beloved community beyond the binary.

By doing this fundraising, we are able to offer a nationally known keynote speaker and excellent workshops at a sliding scale ticket price that is accessible to all. Your contribution will also allow us to provide FREE tickets to youth and FREE childcare to those who need it.

Exciting and NEW THIS YEAR, we are working on creating a “toolbox” that will be available to other UU congregations so that they too can host a successful Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary conference of their own.  Your support will help to spread our UU welcome throughout our Association.

 Our keynote speaker is J Mase III, who is  a Black/trans/queer poet & educator based in Seattle by way of Philly. As an educator, Mase has worked with community members in the US, UK, and Canada on LGBTQIA+ rights and racial justice in spaces such as K-12 schools, universities, faith communities and restricted care facilities. He is founder of awQward, the first trans and queer people of color talent agency.

His work has been featured on MSNBC, Essence Live, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, the New York Times, Buzzfeed, the Root, theGrio, Teen Vogue and more.

His current projects include being the head writer of the theatrical production, Black Bois and being co-editor of the #BlackTransPrayerBook.

Find him on Instagram (@jmaseiii) and www.jmaseiii.com!

J Mase will also be offering two workshops, in addition to the keynote – On Faith and the Criminalization of the Black Trans Body, Write Me Where It Hurts

Workshops

While workshops are being finalized, here are some topics we are planning to offer:

De-escalation and micro-aggressions

Parenting trans kids

How to make your classroom trans friendly and inclusive

On Faith and the Criminalization of the Black Trans Body

Write Me Where It Hurts

Legal rights

Preemptive Radical Hospitality

Trans 101

How to be a trans ally activist

Health issues and transitioning

This year we have a grant from the UU Funding Program – Yay!  Reaching our Faithify goal will allow to also access a challenge grant of 1500.00.  Please donate.

If you would like to register for the event click here

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