Tagged: “UU”

Unexpected and Emergency...

Hello Potential Funders and Angels,

My name is Kecia McMillian, and I have been sponsored and named as a delegate to our General Assembly in Spokane, WA. This is the 7th GA and 5th as a delegate, I have had the pleasure to attend. The knowledge and energy I leave General Assemblies with has been amazing as well as the opportunity to fellowship with UU’s I may otherwise never meet. As you see on my profile, I am currently a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, DE and have been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley, PA and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, CA. My passions are Youth and Young Adults and Cultural Competency. My BA in Religion and Sociology (from Albright College) and MA in Religion with focus on the Integration of Religion, Sociology, and Diversity Issues (from Lancaster Theological Seminary) have bolstered my passions. And now I am working on my 2nd Masters degree (MS) in Restorative Practices (from International Institute for Restorative Practices) which of course pairs nicely with UU consciousness in last year’s GA, All Are Called, and this year’s GA, The Power of We. I have led one of, I hope, many Restorative Practices Workshops for my congregation to help build healthier relationships, as well as one Restorative Practices Worship in which we began to tackle the Characteristics of White Supremacy. I also led a Worship centered on introducing the Congregation to the 8th Principle and hope that is the beginning of our work to have the Congregation adopt it soon. I am excited to see what else I can bring back from this year’s General Assembly.

This $2000 dollars would be used for airfare, lodging and food while participating at the General Assembly. The reason for my late and desperate cry for help is a recent and unexpected decline in my income which I hope will increase soon (I have made some positive changes in employment), but the increases will not be in time for this event.

To My Non Unitarian Universalist Potential Funders and Angels,

General Assembly is what Unitarian Universalists call their annual meeting, and it is a time of moving our journey forward (business), celebrating with each other, grieving with each other, supporting each other, fellowshipping with and learning from each other. Feel free to email me KeciaMcMillian@gmail.com with any questions about the great value of this event.

Allison & Carol’s Excellent GA Adventure!

African Americans make up about 3% of Hawaii’s population.  On many Sundays Carol and Allison are one of the very few, if not the only, African-Americans at First Unitarian Church of Honolulu – the only Unitarian Universalist church on the island of Oahu!

Allison is a 2nd generation UU whose parents were among the founding members of the Unitarian Society of New Haven, CT. Carol is a relatively new UU for whom FUCH is the last church on the block after a long search for a spiritual home and she brings many gifts from her faith journey to her faith home here with UUs.

We need GA so we can replenish our depleted spiritual and ancestral reserves!  We need to get refreshed and renewed so we can continue to use our gifts and talents at First Unitarian Church of Honolulu (FUCH)! We are requesting help from the wider Unitarian Universalist community to ensure that we are able to attend the UUA GA in Spokane.  In order for there to be racial equity in UUism, it is crucial that people of color participate in the process on an ongoing basis. Although Hawaii is a multicultural state, FUCH is still working on being a multicultural congregation. We are asking you to support us in attending GA because, as leaders in our church and two of the very few people of color in FUCH, it is important that we get renewed by being able to tap into the greater Black UU and  Indigenous, Black, People of Color  (IBPOC) community on the continent for ideas and resources. Our participation in GA will be mutually beneficial for the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu (FUCH) and ourselves.

Resources and Expenses:
Our church raised approximately $1,000 and another $500 was received from the UUA for four church members to attend GA in Spokane this year. We each received ¼ of the church and UUA funds which amounts to $375 apiece. We have each included this $375  in this Faithify campaign.We are each volunteering 18 hours at GA in exchange for receiving the GA registration fee.

Airfare is the only transportation option for us to get from Honolulu, HI to Spokane, WA. Please help us bridge the geographic challenges that affect us on the island of Oahu.  We are seeking funds for round trip airfare to Spokane, round trip ground transportation from the airport to GA, and room/board.   We estimate that this trip to GA will cost as follows:

Round Trip Airfare from Honolulu to Spokane $ 750.00 x 2 $1,500
Round Trip Ground Transportation from airport to GA $   80.00 x 2 $160.00
Hotel $120 x 6 days each $ 720.00 x 2 $1,440.00
Per diem for food ($50 x 6) $300.00 x 2 $600.00
TOTAL $3700.00

Please read about each of our backgrounds, the work we do in our church community, and how we intend to use our GA experience.

Seminarian Seeks Support...

Denise Cawley is Unitarian Universalist seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. She seeks funds to offset the cost of food and lodging for General Assembly (GA) and plans to use leadership and arts of ministry tools she learns about at GA to serve our UU faith. Denise provides spiritual and emotional care chaplaincy at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and writes about the intersection of abortion and spirituality. Denise has long been a pivotal player in Milwaukee and Door counties working on diversity, inclusion, marriage equality and voting rights. Denise has written about and continues researching Florence Buck, one of our queer, anti-oppression Unitarian heroes few know enough about. Denise will use connections at GA to further her research in both abortion and UU women’s history to benefit our faith.

Denise has overcome many challenges to pursuing seminary and it has been said that there is never any doubt she will make it, the only question is how. Classmates and professors describe her as both prophetic and pastoral. The congregation she serves in Kenosha, WI have said many wonderful things about her service there including:

“Denise has the ability to turn the subject of stewardship from awkward to inspiring.”

“Denise responds to local events in a constructive manner, most recently co-authoring an article in the local newspaper addressing sexual harassment in the school district.“

“I see Denise as a thought leader in a larger congregation. She holds the big picture, has a great handle on the mission and can raise positive energy.”

Her committee on ministry reports: “She digs in, motivates us and executes. Denise has brought Bradford’s presence to the wider community through networking and media work. Denise has established boundaries that allow her to connect to us without hampering the professional relationship. Many of us have been on ministerial search committees in the past. We have been told that ministers are expected to be good administrators/fundraisers, good preachers and good counselors; and that if your minister is 2 out of 3 of these the congregation is fortunate. Denise is good at all three and as she continues in this internship and her education, she will be excellent at all 3.“

For these reasons and more, supporting Denise’s additional training and classes at GA, Ministry Days and the Ministerial Formation Network events in Spokane, we will be investing in our faith. Any additional money raised will be used for seminary expenses for her classes in Chicago this summer as well as the many books she needs for the MFC.

UU Marin Multi-community OWL Outreach Project

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a curriculum for human sexuality, identity, gender, and relationships with self, family, friends, and significant others. The program focuses on Respect, Relationship, and Responsibility.

Unique in our OWL program this year is the participation of three UU congregations (UU Marin, UU Petaluma, and Berkeley Fellowship UU) and the Marin Waldorf School. A successful outreach campaign meant we had more students in a wider age-range register than one class could hold so we created two cohorts, thus needing a second teaching team.

We are ecstatic about having created space for more families to engage in OWL. We have active participation from thirteen families in this 10-session course. Most of the parents also attended a six-week OWL parent class deepening their own skills to communicate on these subjects with their children.

As can happen in growing programs, we did not have enough locally available certified teachers to meet the need. Hiring two teachers to commute in was necessary. This was not in our meager budget which usually has volunteer teachers. We need financial assistance to fill the gap in our budget. $25, $50, or $100 would help tremendously. It is OK if we “over fundraise” too.

We are just about to finish this two-cohort spring program for grades 4-7. This has been a tremendous opportunity for the Waldorf Community and the UU communities to come together and means that thirty-five more emissaries are being sent into the world, ready to share the good news of self-acceptance and respectful relationships.

Please make a contribution to support this outreach model.

This multi-community OWL program brought in 12 non-UU Marin families on 11 different Sundays. In addition to our Sunday morning programing, this increased our impact in the community by 28% with children and youth and by 42% when including parents as adult learners.

We are proud of the success in sharing the OWL resources outside of our UU circles. We intend to have deeper conversations with the Waldorf community about cooperation.

Two of the Marin Waldorf teachers are now signed up to be trained as OWL teachers.

The circle widens.

Thank you for your support in opening the circle.

Travel and Lodging...

I am attending GA for the first time. My goal is to arrive in time for the Liberal Religious Educators Association Professional Day. This is my first year as a Director of Children and Youth Ministry, I am serving at First Unitarian Church of Orlando, and I am thoroughly enjoying my journey! I am a member of LREDA and SELREDA. The connections and education I receive when gathering with other UUs is irreplaceable. I can’t even imagine what I will be gaining by attending GA.

Ordination of Rachael Hayes and Shari Halliday-Quan

On June 9th at 5 pm, Rachael Hayes and Shari Halliday-Quan will be ordained to Unitarian Universalist ministry by the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. Surrounded by family, friends, religious professionals of many callings, and members of other local UU congregations, Rachael and Shari will have the joy of celebrating this momentous occasion in the life of a minister.  We know that not everyone who would like to be there can attend, and we will livestream the service so others can join from afar.

Many congregations and individuals have helped form them as ministers, and for that past support, we thank you. We’d love your support now in making this ordination and celebration possible. When we talk of the costly life of faith, we generally mean something else, but make no mistake–food, drink, music, photography, printing, childcare, travel expenses for the preacher, etc. do add up. Your generous donations will help make this gathering possible, and donations of any amount are humbly received with gratitude. Any additional funds beyond our expenses, along with the offering taken at the service, will be split between organizations supporting UU ministries.

Funding for UU...

As one of the few women of color in the UUA as a whole and as a part of the lay-lead multicultural women’s group at First Unitarian Chicago, my attendance to this vital Assembly will enable me to share with the broader UU Women’s groups some of the insights which we have obtained in the short time of our women group existence.  At the same time I will be attending workshops and other presentations connected to the UU Women’s group in order to understand better how we grow our own First U Women’s group and connect with the larger movement.

I believe that a description of our emerging Mission and Vision statement will give you a picture of our efforts.  The Women’s Group of the First Unitarian Society of Chicago open to all identifying as women who are members and friends of the Society, is intentionally multiracial and inter-generational.  It affirms and promotes closer relationships among its members and service to the congregation and the wider church community.  I was one of the founders of this group, inspired by my earlier attendance to other GA’s where I saw women of all colors engaged in both leadership and fellowship.  I also attended the Black Convening Conference and met ma y black women in multiracial congregations.  We have a First Men’s Group and so I felt it time for a First Women’s Group.  We had at our first meeting 20 to show up.  It was quite exciting.  Now I hope to see how this group can become a part of our small group ministry here at First Unitarian.

Kaylyn Goes to GA

Kaylyn Elizabeth Miller-Benson is the Chair of the Member Care Committee at High Street Unitarian Universalist Church in Downtown Macon, a lay leader and social justice advocate in Macon, GA. She has made the ambitious goal of going to General Assembly this year in Spokane, Washinton to grow deeper in her faith and bring back valuable experience to her congregation. She is seeking funds to fly to Spokane and back, and Lodging while she is there. Registration and food costs have been covered. Any and all help would be appreciated.

Help Cassie attend GA 2019 in Spokane!

What I am doing in this role:

This will be my 4th General Assembly, and second year as volunteer staff for Young Adults at General Assembly (YA@GA). My first year as Co-Facilitator was in Kansas City in 2018 and we had a great GA, and I learned a lot. As the second year Co-Facilitator I will be supporting some of our brilliant young adult leaders, and passing on what I’ve learned in this position. My role involves working with the Youth and Young Adult staff at the UUA in creating the job descriptions, applications, and the selection of our yearly volunteer YA@GA staff. I also do ongoing work supporting leadership development, creation of workshops and social events for General Assembly, and ensuring everything runs smoothly at GA itself.

I have put a bit about who I am, outside this position. Watch this space for updates on what kind of content we are creating for young adults and the larger UU community at GA 2019!

Who I am:

As a life-long UU and expatriate of the US, I am personally and spiritually delighted to be able to return to the US to participate in GA again this year. I grew up in what is now the Southern District, at the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Texas. I attended UU summer camps in Oklahoma (SWUUSI) most of my childhood and into young adulthood and even Maine (Ferry Beach) a few summers as a preteen. Before I emigrated out of the north Texas area, I spent my Sundays at Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church, organizing workshops for the young adults, facilitating Coming of Age, and teaching Adult/Young Adult OWL.

I am dedicated to doing anti-racism work, such as the White Supremacy Teach-In at Auckland Unitarian and Undoing Racism with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond at GA in 2017. I am a member of Allies For Racial Equity leadership collective, and worked on the application for the Fund for Unitarian Universalism grant (which we were awarded!) to increase the organization’s ability to do anti-racism coaching, education, and activism work in our UU faith spaces.

Here in Aotearoa New Zealand I am a student researcher, pursuing a master’s of public health at the University of Otago on the South Island. I am exploring the positive experiences of transgender and gender diverse people with their doctors and hope to complete early in 2020. I also volunteer locally for teaching on LGBT+ issues for university faculty and student leadership, as well as organizing local transgender and gender expansive social meetups. There is not a U/U church in my area, but I have served as a delegate to Auckland Unitarian Church before and hope to again. Representing a congregation so far from the US, I present our community with a unique and rare opportunity to participate and engage with UUA politics and goings-on.

The nitty gritty:

Flights are about $1660.00 in total, my required international travel insurance will be around $125 USD this year. With the UUA travel stipend of $600.00 USD, it will require about $1300 to cover travel, travel insurance, and Faithify processing fees. Any money raised over that will go toward any unforeseen travel add ons!

Help Send Crash...

Crash (they/them pronouns) is a dedicated, vital member of the youth group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo. They are raising funds to attend Thrive Leadership School this summer in order to deepen their connection to their Unitarian Universalist peers of color, explore their faith, and enhance their leadership skills.

They are raising funds to help offset the cost of registration and transportation from Buffalo, NY to Minneapolis, MN.

Crash has been an amazing leader in our youth group and the congregation at large. They have made deep and profound connections among the Unitarian Universalist youth of upstate New York. Making sure that Crash has the funding to attend Thrive this summer so they can connect with other UU youth of color is an utmost priority of our youth program.” – Sarah Martin, Director of Religious Education, Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo