Uptown Community Podcast
The Uptown Community Podcast (UCP) raises Unitarian Universalism and its values in discussing the legacy and future of its community. UCP has recently doubled its listenership across generations. Although this podcast is called the “Uptown” community podcast, the ideas expressed have much broader appeal.
The UCP is a program of The Peoples Church and Preston Bradley Center. The building also houses a transitional housing shelter, artist studios, performance spaces, and other churches. The content of UCP is similarly active in its promotion of the arts, culture, and the inherent value of every person.
The building is named for Rev. Dr. Preston Bradley and is located in Uptown, Chicago. He led one of the first broadcast ministries in the country and also provided radio stations with short inspirational messages. His charismatic preaching helped Chicago through The Great Depression and WWII. The UCP offers contemporary commentary on his messages and Unitarian faith. The UCP reviews these short inspirational messages in-between conversations with Uptown’s own inspirational community.
The UCP is a recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Funding program. Additional funding is needed for updated hardware, simultaneous recording, and costs for streaming and hosting digital content. Would you give generously to spread the good news of Unitarian Universalism in Uptown?
Help Families with...
Chalice Sparx Family Camp and Retreat features Unitarian Universalist style worship services and multigenerational learning opportunities for all ages. We are an intentionally welcoming space for LGBTQ+ families and particularly for families with a member or members who are Trans* or non-binary. Informal mentoring opportunities are welcome from the Trans and non-binary adults who attend the camp. We are a diverse group ethnically and racially with some of our annual families being transracially adoptees, children raised partially or completely by grandparents, and children being raised in a polyamory family or LGBTQ+ families. At this camp, children and youth are not whisked away to explore with camp counselors; at Chalice Sparx we are an intentional multigenerational environment that is friendly to the many and diverse configurations of families that are Unitarian Universalist.
Support COVID-Relief for Unitarians in North East India
DISASTER RELIEF CAMPAIGN: ALL donations will be processed immediately
(NO ALL-OR NOTHING GOAL FOR THIS CAMPAIGN)
Background. India currently has the largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Asia, the 2nd highest in the world. The state of Meghalaya, home of some 10,000 Unitarians, has been experiencing record daily spikes since mid-August. Lack of medicines, improper treatment, and insufficient testing laboratories – on top of a poor public health system – are exacerbating the health crisis.
To make matters worse, many homes of Unitarian families were damaged by the monsoon rains. Seng Kynthei, the Women’s Wing of the Unitarian Union of North East India has taken up social projects to help in the fight against COVID-19, such as distribution of masks in rural areas (see project image), as well as provided limited financial aid for the rebuilding of damaged houses and emergency food supplies. However, more funds are needed to strengthen Seng Kynthei’s initiative to confront the COVID-crisis and help prevent further community spread. The project also intends to address teenage pregnancy and child marriage, which the prolonged government-imposed lockdown has aggravated all over India.
What are the goals of this project? The project will provide COVID-19 awareness programs and care packages for families, stimulate behavioral change toward stigma and discrimination of infected individuals, and address mental health impacts of the pandemic. Awareness programs will also include community education and mobilization to prevent teenage pregnancies and early marriages during the health crisis.
Rev. Nangroi Suting, General Secretary, UUNEI
The Unitarian Union of North East India (UUNEI) is happy to learn of this project of Seng Kynthei, in collaboration with the International Women’s Convocation (IWC). Having witnessed the commitment and resourcefulness of the members, I have a strong conviction that Seng Kynthei will take up the challenge responsibly.
Elgiva Dora Shullai, Seng Kynthei Global Sisters Coordinator and IWC board member
Covid-19 throws a challenge to human sustenance. Seng Kynthei has been trying to reach out to the less privileged in the form of relief efforts and awareness programs, especially for rural women and young adults. I am positive that this project will benefit young women and girls in these difficult times.
This is a project of the International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women, dba International Women’s Convocation (IWC), in partnership with Seng Kynthei, the Women’s Wing of the Unitarian Union of North East India. The project benefits Unitarian communities in North East India, contributing to the overall well-being and health of individuals and the entire Khasi society. Through this project, we are living our U*U values, bringing positive change in the world by connection, care, compassion, social justice, and service. IWC and Seng Kynthei have a strong ongoing collaboration – please see more here. Thank you for your support!
UU Fellowship of Dubuque Historic Building Preservation
The UU Fellowship of Dubuque is a small, primarily lay-led congregation with a 35-year history of actively working to create a more just, equitable, compassionate world. Our church is the only one in Dubuque, Iowa in the Carpenter Gothic style, distinguished by its pointed arch windows, steep-pitched roofs, and decorative wood millwork – familiar architectural features in Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting.
Recently, our building caught the eye of historic preservationists, including one who saw an old photo of the belfry and offered to help pay for its restoration. With the help of the wider community – we can bring this charming building back to its original spirit and beauty.
The church exterior will be restored – including replication of the belfry, which was removed about 70 years ago. The limestone block foundation and basement walls will be reinforced, exterior masonry will be cleaned, repaired and repointed.
Entrance doors and entryway transoms will be repaired and restored. Exterior wood surfaces will be repaired and repainted. Wood shingles on the walls and the current roof will be replaced. A drop ceiling will be removed to uncover the vaulted ceiling and pointed arch windows.
In addition, we currently do not have an elevator to access the lower level of the building, and the existing staircase is narrow and uneven – so the lower level is unusable for most events. We look forward to installing a lift, which will double our usable space.
Investing in Our Community
We are not only restoring the bricks and mortar of this building, we’re renewing our commitment to serve as a resource to Dubuque – opening our doors even wider for community events and conversations. We invite speakers from area nonprofits, businesses, organizations and other religious traditions – Hope House, Temple Beth El, Path of Hope Immigration Services, Resources Unite, Tri-State Islamic Center, Dubuque Rescue Mission, Presentation Lantern Center, and Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry – to present at services.
We host the Historic District Coffeehouse, giving local musicians, poets and storytellers from Dubuque and Tri-State region a platform for sharing their talents with an appreciative audience. People from the neighborhood join us as performers and audience members.
We make our parsonage available to Families First, a state-sponsored organization that provides a home-like setting for supervised visits uniting parents and children separated by the courts – helping restore family unity. Many families are from the Jackson Park neighborhood.
The total estimated cost for the restoration project is $1.5 million: $465,000 to replicate the belfry; $410,000 to restore the exterior; $625,000 to renovate the interior. We have generous donors who will match $2 for every $1 we raise – and for every firm pledge we receive – through December 31. This triples the impact of donations! Our application for $300,000 in historic tax credits is under review. With over $60,000 in pledges already in-hand – we need to raise $140,000. We aim to raise $3,500 through Faithify, which with the 2:1 match will equate to $10,500!
Our goals for this project are to increase our visibility to our community, to rededicate and invigorate our membership’s commitment to neighborhood service, and to increase the functionality of our building to enable us to live our mission: to provide a welcoming community that inspires growth by encouraging individuals and families to examine their religious and spiritual beliefs, to explore new ideas, and to respect and enjoy each other’s differences.
Unity Means Community: Not In Our Town
Local organizations are coming together to lift up black voices in Portage County: Unity Means Community: Not In Our Town
Our goal is to raise $3000 to be used by the Portage County NAACP chapter for communications (Zoom conferencing, social media, printing & SWAG, sound amplification for in-person events). This will support efforts to amplify the voices of Black Kent State students, to enfranchise Black neighborhoods with Get-Out-the-Vote campaigns, and will provide seed money for future efforts.
Collaborators: Black United Students, Kent State Undergraduate Student Government, Kent Interfaith Alliance for Racial Reconciliation and Justice, Allies for Racial Reconciliation and Justice, Kent League of Women Voters, along with the primary organization, the Portage County NAACP.
UU community ministers the Rev. Renee Ruchotzke and the Rev. Christie Anderson (affiliated with the UU Church of Kent) are affiliated with the Portage County NAACP chapter.
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
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
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
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
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 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!)