Tagged: “UU”

Worthy Now: Sponsor an Incarcerated Unitarian Universalist

Stretch Goal Added!

see details below

We are both excited and distressed to report that the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s incarcerated membership continues to grow each year.  Excited about the prospects of sharing our life-saving and hope building faith as well as distressed that our sibling Unitarian Universalists are caged within the prison industrial complex. We now serve over 1,200 prison members and with that comes an increase in costs, both material and spiritual. It costs the Church of the Larger Fellowship at least $150 per person to provide hope in the form of Unitarian Universalist programming and services to incarcerated individuals. Many people living in prison learn about the UU message of liberation and inclusivity through Church of the Larger Fellowship’s Worthy Now prison ministry outreach.


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 1,200 UUs living in prison.


Your financial support of the Church of the Larger Fellowship Prison Ministry provides vital programming and services to over 1,200 incarcerated Unitarian Universalists:

  • Pastoral Care
  • UU World
  • Quest Monthly
  • Worthy Now Prison Ministry Newsletters
  • Reading Materials from Skinner House and Beacon Press
  • New UU Classes
  • Pen Pals
  • Tapestry of Faith Religious Education Correspondence Classes

Your generous contributions help the Church of the Larger Fellowship run our letter writing ministry. This program provides one-on-one contact between UUs in the free-world (that’s you) and one of your Unitarian Universalist siblings living in prison. We have over 300 letter writing partnerships. Every year thousands of letters are forwarded through the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s office to our members living in prison. This program is the heart of our ministry—and is a lifeline to many of our members.


Part of my ministerial calling is focused on making sure that our incarcerated members are seen in the fullness of their humanity. And for that to happen we in the “free” world need to realize that this is not an us vs. them situation because, as Fannie Lou Hamer said, not one of us is free until we all are free.

—Christina Rivera, Minister of the Worthy Now Prison Network powered by the Church of the Larger Fellowship


This year we are pleased to participate in a partnership with Melchor-Quick Meeting House and The African American Education & Research Organization. We’re collaborating to determine the racial and ethnic identities of our incarcerated members in order to provide more culturally appropriate ministry. 

Melchor-Quick Meeting House was created to foster the preservation of African American history and culture. In this project, The African American Education & Research Organization (AAERO) is working with Melchor-Quick Meeting House to improve access of incarcerated African Americans to culturally appropriate materials for the exploration of ethical and moral values and practices. 

Currently, the racial and ethnic identities of our incarcerated members are unknown. Our collaboration with these organizations will add race and ethnic identity to our database of nearly 1,200 members.

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/or 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 prison 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!

Click on the FAQ tab to learn more!

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.

Nashua Host Home Network

STRETCH GOAL ADDED! SEE DETAILS BELOW

Help Inna stay in the US and escape persecution

Inna is from Cameroon and has been in the US since 2015. She is currently in deportation proceedings and is seeking asylum.

In Cameroon, a local chief asked Inna to marry him. He already had more than ten wives and many children. Inna refused. As a result of her refusal she was subsequently the victim of physical assaults by masked men, loyal to the chief. During one of the assaults, masked men threatened to rape her daughter.  In 2015, Inna fled to the US.

In the US, she earned a Certificate as a Nursing Assistant in September 2016 and started to work in an assisted living community. She also volunteered at a nonprofit that runs a food pantry and secondhand store. In 2018 she began paralegal studies at Mount Wachusett Community College. In 2019, due to being misadvised regarding her deportation case, she did not attend a court hearing.

ICE detained her at the border, and put her in jail, where she spent the next 7 months.

A coalition of local New Hampshire immigration support groups and faith organizations, including UU Action NH, The NH Conference United Church of Christ, the American Friends Service Committee, and Never Again Action, are supporting Inna. They helped pay her bond. A local family invited her into their home, where she is now staying. Inna hopes to get a work permit, finish her paralegal studies, win asylum, become a US permanent resident and eventually become a US citizen. She also wants to bring her daughter to the US.

After her experience with incarceration, she also wants to devote herself to helping people in jail. But to accomplish her goals, she needs to resume her asylum case, and eventually win.

Inna’s legal fees will exceed $10,000. Local donors have stepped up with over $3000 already, but more is necessary in order to restart and complete her asylum case. Inna needs your help. We are compelled by our faith in peace, liberty, and justice for ALL, to support asylum seekers like Inna. Anything you can give would help greatly. Any money raised that goes beyond Inna’s needs will support other asylum seekers in New Hampshire.

Assist Iowans Recovering from the Derecho

DISASTER RELIEF CAMPAIGN: ALL donations will be processed immediately

(Please see Update tab for more information)

Low-income apartment building destroyed by the storm Low-income apartment building destroyed by the storm

No one expected hurricane force winds of up to 140 miles per hour to blow through Iowa August 10. While many members of People’s Unitarian Universalist Church had no power for a week and damage to their homes and trees, they are most concerned with those who had lost their homes, particularly those most vulnerable.

Immigrant resident shares his story of the storm Immigrant resident shares his story of the storm

Low income families, including immigrants and refugees spent a week in tents after their housing was destroyed. Still homeless, this population faces food insecurity. In addition, some families have lost all the contents of their homes when a roof blew off their apartment building.

Our Faithify campaign promises to provide relief by directing all of the money pledged to non-profit organizations in the community hit by this storm that ravaged one third of Iowa. These organizations include the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, and the CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank, as well as the food bank of the People’s UU Church. The funds will be distributed where there is the most need. We invite all to open your hearts and reach out to those in such dire need.

Unitarian Universalists lend a hand with a lunch distribution Unitarian Universalists lend a hand with a lunch distribution

How is this project connected to UU?

Our principles inspire us to reach out to others with justice, equity and dignity, to strive toward peace and liberty for everyone, and recognize that we are all a part of an interdependent web. We cannot ignore the deep injustices and indignity of those most in need made worse by an unexpected storm of unprecedented magnitude.

The People’s UU Church in Cedar Rapids started their own food pantry to address food insecurity in the community. This congregation also and has long-standing associations and support for both the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. Nearby in Coralville, the UU Society regularly sends volunteers and financial support to CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank.

Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse of Provincetown Sanctuary Restoration

Stretch Goal Added!

see details below

Image of a church pew. A pew and floor in the Sanctuary.

Sanctuary restoration and accessibility project at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse of Provincetown.

During this time when we cannot gather together in the UUMH of Provincetown, we want to use the time our temporarily going online affords to engage in stewardship of the historic interior of our Sanctuary.  We have been entrusted with a beautiful and historic building, and we want to preserve, restore and steward it, as well as increasing accesses for all members of our congregation and guests, now and into the future.

We will also improve accessibly and inclusion for members of the congregation and guests who use wheelchairs or scooters, by carefully removing one row of pews to create more room while being mindful of the historic integrity of the Sanctuary.

We have a budget of $20,000 for this work with a match of $10,000.  We are seeking to raise $10,000 from the congregation, UU’s worldwide, as well as friends and visitors.  You can donate online by credit card here, or mail a check payable to UUMH of Provincetown to PO Box 817, Provincetown, MA 02657. Please make a note “Sanctuary Restoration” in the memo field if donating by check.

Center aisle of a UU meetinghouse. Center aisle of the Meetinghouse.

This project is being undertaken in consultation between the Board and a member of the congregation with a master’s degree in historic preservation to sensitively restore the Meetinghouse pews, floors, hymnal racks, handrails, etc in a historically appropriate way.  We are keenly aware of both the emotional and historic significance of our building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and want to do our best to do this work in a historically appropriate way.

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.

Saving Split Rock

Stretch Goal Added- See details below

Near and dear to the Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation is their sacred site of Split Rock or Tahetaway, which means The Gate that Opens. It is considered a power point for gaining wisdom and understanding. Ancestors would meet there and powwow out their decisions.

This ancient rock formation is central to a series of giant turtle formations, which line up and are just off summer sunrise solstice. The stones had been shaped, modified and put into position. There are two astronomical alignments still functioning. According to anthropologist David Johnson from Poughkeepsie this site qualifies for a national historic preservation.

Relatives from the Andes have implored the Ramapough to reactivate this portal for the healing of the people and Mother Earth. In keeping with their indigenous traditions, on June 20, 2020, a sunrise ceremony was held at Split Rock with Unity Earth to begin reactivating this sacred site.  Unity Earth is traveling around the globe, engaging with Indigenous nations and peoples for the healing of human kind and Mother Earth.

Our goal is to support the reactivation of this sacred site. Plans are for a large ceremonial tipi to be erected at the site for hosting ceremonies. This will allow relatives from the global community to visit and offer prayers and blessings. The cost of the tipi is $3,000.00.

At this year’s UUA General Assembly, an Action of Immediate Witness, “400 Years of White Supremacist Colonialism” addresses the white colonial settler history and effects on Indigenous nations and people’s. Excerpt:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the delegates of the 2020 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, call upon the Unitarian Universalist Association and its member congregations to:

Continue to gather in solidarity with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Standing Rock nation, and all Indigenous peoples struggling to preserve their lands, waters, peoples, sacred sites, and sovereignty.

Continue to push for release of Indigenous Water Protectors from prisons, end public policies that criminalize resistance to extractive colonialism, and adopt a vision of prison abolition.

Work nationally, statewide, and locally on public policy that is decolonizing – such as establishing Indigenous Peoples Day, including Indigenous peoples’ histories in public education curricula, and eliminating racist monuments, flags, and mascots.

Work to stop and reverse ecological harm in genuine collaboration with and taking leadership from communities most consistently and harshly impacted by extractive exploitation of land, water, air, and all beings.

Research, identify, and acknowledge the Indigenous peoples historically and/or currently connected with the land occupied by congregations, and find ways to act in solidarity with or even partner with those Indigenous peoples.

Examine practices relative to Indigenous people’s histories, cultures, spiritual traditions, and rights must be respected. Unitarians and Universalists seek to be more inclusive and accountable.

This is a new project in support of the Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation, honoring their culture and traditions, working towards saving their sacred site. As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to work with communities marginalized by our society. Our call to justice, particularly in 2020 with the anniversary of the Mayflower landing, asks of us to support Indigenous Nations which have suffered great harm from the time of first contact through to today. Our Anti- Racism work must go further than our own congregations to support the call of Native Nations as they protect their sacred sites and work to renew Mother Earth. This is our present work in the UUA, and my ministry serves to support this; our Associations progressive stance is aligned with creating a world community.


We are also aligned with efforts to heal the environment due to the climate crisis. This goal and the spiritual practices of the Ramapough Lenape are intrinsic to the goal of healing Mother Earth for seven generations into the future. We are grateful to the Unitarian Universalist Association for providing this platform for us to fund raise.

For more information on the Ramapough Lenape, view #612, On Demand video from 2020 General Assembly. Also view American Native or Mann v. Ford, both on Amazon Prime. Anushiik! (Thank You!)

Gay For Good – Board Development

Gay For Good (G4G) is the nation’s leading LGBTQ volunteer service organization, mobilizing thousands of volunteers annually, to enhance LGBTQ visibility, cultivate understanding and build positive relationships between diverse groups of people, while helping the environment, animals and people in need. Gay For Good volunteers have logged thousands of hours with our sixteeen chapters throughout the USA and are steadily growing to become leaders in social impact.

Since 2018, the all-volunteer Gay For Good board has hired the organization’s first full-time employee, added five new board members, and grown the organization by adding six new chapters. Each summer the board meets for a retreat. This year, with COVID-19 travel restrictions, we are forgoing our in-person retreat. Instead we will dedicate time to further our own understanding of non-profit leadership with the assistance of a governance coach. We are in final stages of selecting from three very strong proposals, and this Faithify campaign will fund that training plus ongoing follow up.

So why does this matter? Why is this important?

While our nation is often celebrated as a cultural melting pot, made up of citizens from a variety of backgrounds, races, sexual orientations and beliefs, those differences can also be its greatest challenge to overcome. Many neighborhoods are formed by people of a shared familiarity: cultural identity, religious alignment, economic status or political viewpoints. These neighborhoods exist both geographically and virtually (online), where many people primarily interact with only those who share similar history and beliefs. Fear of those who are different is exacerbated by these divisions, leading to isolated groups of people living in proximity to each other geographically but miles apart in their understanding of their neighbors. Those who perceive themselves to be an “other” within these silos can feel isolated and may struggle to find a sense of belonging in their own backyard.

Gay For Good brings people together. Through interaction and shared goals, people of different backgrounds can foster new relationships with each other and discover through their shared experiences that they have more in common than they knew.

As an incredible byproduct of our work, our volunteers have found community within our community. Often, volunteers lack family support and turn to the LGBTQ community to fill the void left by family rejection. Some face increased challenges connecting with like minds where marketing and traditional business models favor more lucrative social interactions like night clubs and parties. Gay For Good offers an alternative way for people to connect and our members have forged family-tight bonds.

What are the connections between Gay For Good and Unitarian Universalism?

When our board recently revised our non-discrimination policy, we used the policy on the UUA website as a guide to be sure that we created a policy that was as inclusive as possible. Our Boston chapter has a long-standing partnership with Arlington Street Church, which has given grants as part of their support of community programs and also provided space for our volunteer projects. Our current national board chair, Art Nava, has been a member of Arlington Street Church since 2004 and also serves as a lay leader at the regional and associational level. His leadership has been shaped by his Unitarian Universalism, and he brings his experience from UU settings to his work with our organization.

Photos: Rev. Kim K. Crawford Harvie and members of the Arlington Street Church worship team help build wagons at an annual Gay For Good project in Boston that has provided over 600 wagons to partner organization Toys4Joys.

Be sure to share this campaign using any of the icons near the top of the page. Take your pick from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or dozens of others. By sharing this campaign you will make it 3x more likely that we reach our goal!

Champaign County COVID-19 Relief

DISASTER RELIEF CAMPAIGN:

ALL donations will be processed immediately

(NO ALL-OR NOTHING GOAL FOR THIS CAMPAIGN)

Food insecurity has skyrocketed in Champaign County as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. The Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Church of Urbana-Champaign has created a Faithify crowdfunding campaign to help ease the suffering and uncertainties of families in our community experiencing hardship.

We have selected three organizations whose outreach to families in our community are both reliable and effective. They are

  • CU Better Together
  • CU FAIR’s Pandemic Response Fund
  • Channing Murray’s Bucket Brigade

Funds during this campaign will be shared equally among these organizations. Our goal is to collect at least $10,000 in this initial round of fundraising. We will continue to offer this as rolling 30 day campaigns to meet the ongoing needs of these organizations.

Many of us have, or will be receiving checks from the government as part of the recent relief package passed by Congress.  Would you be willing to donate some – or potentially all – of those funds to our campaign?

Even if you aren’t receiving a stimulus check, but are looking for the best way to help those in our community who are in need, this campaign will target the funds where they are needed. In Illinois the peak of the virus impact is going to be mid-May to mid-Jun so now is a critical time to act.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Social Action Committee
Unitarian Church of Urbana-Champaign

CU-Better Together

CU-Better Together is a combined effort of several organizations to support families with school-aged children who are suffering from food insecurity during the pandemic. This project is designed to work within the food distribution structure set up by the Champaign and Urbana School Districts. It utilizes the large spaces available at the Stone Creek Church and the Vineyard Church for organizing food. Large initial donations came from United Way, the Community Foundation, the Stephens Family YMCA, and the C-U Schools Foundation. Several local churches and other organizations are supporting this project.

CU FAIR Pandemic Response Fund

Thousands of undocumented immigrants in our community do not qualify for unemployment benefits, and they are among those who need our help. Champaign Urbana Friends and Allies of Immigrants and Refugees (CU FAIR) has established a Pandemic Response Fund.  They are working with local organizations such as the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, the PTA Council of Champaign, and the Immigration Justice Task Force of the Unitarian Church of Urbana-Champaign to provide food and other support to our immigrant and refugee families.

Your funds will be used to purchase and deliver groceries and hygiene and health supplies, free of charge. Information about COVID-19 and how to access healthcare resources that has been translated into Spanish, French and English will be inserted into grocery bags, and emergency cash assistance is provided to those most in need.

Channing Murray Bucket Brigade

Channing-Murray has been preparing a #bucketbrigade of essential grocery deliveries for extremely low-income families in Urbana who are recommended by staff at the Champaign Township Office and the Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office. These buckets have beans, rice, cereal, soup, eggs, and often some prepared meals.  Each and every item is sanitized, then delivered to the doorsteps of the families served.

Channing-Murray has been C-U’s home for social justice programming over many years, and now there is no better time to put our values into action!  Your contributions will be considered a part of a local movement, to provide aid, to be courageous, and to choose a spirit of generosity over scarcity.

Risking in Community

Uncertainty can feel really horrible. Uncertainty can feel invigorating. It depends on what is at risk, how grounded we feel in the moment, and what we have to lose.

Immigrant Detainees Face Horrendous COVID-19 Conditions 

Most detainees are incarcerated for only the civil offense of lacking documentation. No one should risk serious sickness and possibly death because they do not have the right documents, but this is the reality detainees are facing as Covid19 positive cases and deaths rapidly increase within New Jersey’s jails and detention center.

YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED NOW!

UUFaithActionNJ has joined with our long-time advocacy partners to demand the release of immigrant detainees from these inhumane conditions. While we take this fight to ICE, detainees are desperate and alone. Your UU generosity can make a difference. A donation today will directly benefit a detainee in need.

In collaboration with our partner, First Friends of NJ and NY, who has ongoing support programs for immigration detainees, we are collecting donations to provide material support for both detainees who remain incarcerated as well as aid for those who are being released from detention. All donations collected go to:

  • Purchase inmates’ personal products available in the facilities’ commissaries,
  • Pay for added time on detainees’ phone cards so they can maintain contact with families, friends and attorneys,
  • Pay for Uber rides for those released from detention, and
  • Pay for additional Covid19 protection supplies (masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, etc.) for released detainees.

ACT NOW!

Our New Jersey detained neighbors need your support NOW! Your financial support furthers our first, second, and sixth UU Principals:

  • Recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every person,
  • Strive for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, and
  • Strive for a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE HERE ON FAITHIFY.ORG AS GENEROUSLY AS YOU CAN TO SUPPORT NEW JERSEY’S DETAINEES.

While our UUFANJ funding goal on faithify.org is $1,000. Please, help us BLOW past this goal to foster immediate improvements for as many detainees as possible facing these horrendous life-threatening circumstances.

FORWARD THIS URGENT REQUEST FOR DONATIONS TO YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, AND ADVOCATES FOR JUSTICE.

THANK YOU!

Social Differencing, No Child Goes Hungry Making a Difference during COVID-19

According to NPR, as of April 23, 26 Million Americans have lost their jobs due to the novel coronavirus. Also, nearly 35 million children who rely on school-based nutrition and financial assistance lost access to vital services when COVID-19 forced states to shut school doors. As a result, millions of American families are being forced to choose between heating their homes and putting food on their table, and critical financial and health aid resources are being rapidly depleted.

No Child Goes Hungry is committed to filling the gaps for food-insecure families across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with local non-profits to launch innovative programs that ensure that families are getting enough nutritious food and that no child goes to bed hungry.

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), we have received over 17 requests for funding of community-based hunger advocacy initiatives. Many of the applications represent new partnerships with innovative, passionate, and persistent community leaders looking to make a difference in society and fill the hunger gap caused by COVID-19.

So far during the pandemic, NCGH has already funded several grant requests, totaling $8,500 which include such initiatives as:

  • The addition of a Little Free Pantry on the grounds of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, DC.
  • Both food for the immediate need and funds for the startup of a new community garden with The Good News Community Kitchen in Occoquan, VA.
  • Funds to the Bull Run Unitarian Universalists to build a Little Free Pantry.
  • Partnering with Food for Neighbors located in Reston, VA, to help them as they supplement breakfasts and lunches to school children in need.
  • Funded a Little Free Pantry in Tylertown, Mississippi, which will be placed on the property of Velma Jeans Chicken and Waffle House.
  • Partnered with So What Else to provide both funds for food for its Little Free Pantry in Rockville, MD, and also to help provide bags of food for kids in the inner city of Baltimore, MD.
  • Sent funding to the Children’s Learning Center in Jackson, WY, which is using their van to drop off bags of food for their kids in need. So many of their parents are out of work.
  • Supplied a grant to help My Why in Cincinnati, OH, as they raise funds for a van to drive much needed donated fruit and vegetables to their inner-city families.

While these partnerships are creating an impact in communities in need and helping us make a social difference, we aren’t nearly ready to stop. With more requests being received monthly, we need your help raising more funds to share with non-profit organizations across the nation that are ready to roll up their sleeves and ideate and execute grassroots solutions to the exacerbated issue of hunger caused by COVID-19.

Please know that any donation in any amount makes a significant impact. The average cost to feed a child a school lunch is only $3.41. Our commitment is to end childhood hunger one child, one meal at a time, and our pledge to our donors is to use every dollar raised in this campaign to fund our community grants.

Please, help us make a difference during COVID-19.

Let’s feed some kids!