Are you familiar with Chalice Lighters?

This program has been in place for decades in most areas of the United States as a way to fund growth in Unitarian Universalist congregations –

  • establishing new congregations,
  • improving or expanding the existing structures,
  • funding new or expanded staff positions, and
  • resourcing programming innovations.
  • Clusters of congregations may also apply for funding for collaborative projects.

Want to know more?  Read our FAQ.

We are moving toward a Central East Region Chalice Lighter program beginning in the fall of 2017 replacing four individual District-based programs, and this is where you come in.  In order for our program to thrive, we need three things:

  1. Each congregation should appoint one or more Chalice Lighter Ambassadors, volunteers who recruit subscribers and make sure the word gets out about the program.
  2. Congregations should schedule a Chalice Lighter Sunday during the program year where you highlight the wonderful achievements of this program and have a membership drive.
  3. Become a Chalice Lighter Subscriber! Every person who wants to see Unitarian Universalism grow and thrive should consider donating at whatever dollar level might be appropriate.  The suggested donation is $20 per call, yet no gift is too small or too large.

Individual Chalice Lighter Subscribers pledge to contribute three times a year when the calls are issued – and those faithful contributions add up to significant funding.  In the Central East Region alone, contributions have totaled almost TWO MILLION DOLLARS over the past 15 years!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY – There is no payment due at this time, you will be contacted for a payment with the next call.

Andrea Lerner, Program Manager for Chalice Lighters.

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Update on the Annual Program Fund

We are thankful for your support of all of the congregations in our Association through your contributions to the UUA Annual Program Fund and your Central East Region. Just think about all of the lives reached by Unitarian Universalism nationally, and the important, painful and necessary conversations that find a home in Unitarian Universalism, where we transform ourselves in hopes of transforming the world.

As we continue along the path of regionalization, we are further streamlining our system of Associational stewardship in the coming fiscal year. We want to communicate clearly what this means and how it will affect the way your congregation contributes to both the Central East Region and the UUA.

What will remain the same for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018):

  • Your financial support of our Association through our UUA Annual Program Fund (APF) and through your Regional dues will remain vitally important. The vast majority of the budget for Central East Region programming and staff operations comes from your APF and  Regional dues contributions. Your support provides services not only to your own congregation, but also to other congregations who count on your full participation.

What will be different for Fiscal Year 2018:

  • This week you will receive your annual pledge form from us, and it will look a little bit different.
    • There will be a message from our three Interim Co-Presidents.
    • The forms will list the amount requested for your Region, as well as for the UUA, and then a total combined amount. There will be a space for you to enter the single total amount that you pledge.
    • We will ask you to make your FY2018 contributions by sending single checks made payable to UUA-CER rather than by separate checks made out to UUA and to your Region.
  • The amount of combined dues you owe will be based on the district your congregation historically belonged to and your contribution to the UUA.
  • Please note that for the remainder of the current Fiscal Year 2017, you will continue to receive Regional dues invoices from the Central East Region as well as invoices from our UUA for any remainder of your FY2017 Annual Program Fund pledge.

We would be happy to help with any questions you have about Associational stewardship. You may reach out to Andrea Lerner (484-201-4384, [email protected]) with questions about the nature of the program or Cristina Sanchis (302-377-8971, [email protected]) with specific financial questions.  Norrie Gall, UUA Congregational Giving Manager (617-948-6514, [email protected]) is also a resource as we transition to her office for invoicing and record keeping.

Friends, we are congregations in covenant. When each congregation becomes part of the Association, they pledge their support to the UUA. Your gifts to your Region and the Annual Program Fund are the fulfillment of a promise already made. Your contributions are used to provide programming and services to your own congregation, as well as to those throughout our Association, which we are faithfully providing. Thank you so much for your faithful giving, on behalf of all Unitarian Universalists.

In Stewardship,
Rev. Megan Foley, Regional Lead, Central East Region
Andrea Lerner, Associational Giving Program Manager, Central East Region
Cristina Sanchis, Financial Manager, Central East Region

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From Your Regional Lead: Prepping for General Assembly

One of the things I’ve been doing to prepare for General Assembly this year is to work through these excellent preparatory materials provided by the Planning team. As the GA webpage puts it, “General Assembly in New Orleans will awaken and deepen the commitment of Unitarian Universalists to the power and possibility of working in solidarity with those on the margins. [Here] are resources to help you prepare to enter fully into that experience.” Now that the UU conversation about white supremacy has intensified, preparing for GA in this way seems even more important. I’m doing as suggested, exploring the resources in each of the five sections (Encountering New Orleans; Understanding Intersections of Race, Class and Economics; Enhancing Capacity to Build Relationships; Centering the Experiences of People of Color; and Examining Whiteness) to get a broad overview.

I’m personally invested in centering the experiences of people of color. As a leader in Unitarian Universalism, I’ve had no shortage of opportunity to immerse myself in white culture and a white orientation to the world. I get really animated when I can participate in opportunities where the experiences of people of color are centered, instead. I learn more from those times than I would from reading ten books!

What is your next step in “awakening…the power and possibility of working in solidarity with those on the margins”? You aren’t going to dismantle white supremacy in yourself or in the world all at one time. Where’s the right place for you to start? What can you learn about this week that will make a difference? Seeing the world with new eyes can be enormously rewarding. Your efforts will benefit us all. Plus, if you bring your completed resource list to the UUA Expressway at GA, you can get a ribbon to commemorate your learning!

Megan Foley
CER Regional Lead

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Is Your Congregation Participating in the #WhiteSupremacyTeachIn?

More than half of all Unitarian Universalist congregations are joining the #WhiteSupremacyTeachIn. Is your congregation one of them? If not, are you wondering what exactly this is?

Here is an overview from the Black Lives UU webpage for the Teach In:

On Sunday, April 30 or Sunday, May 7, or whatever date works for your congregation, a large, growing group of Unitarian Universalists will shift their regularly scheduled Sunday morning worship to participate in a teach-in on racism and white supremacy. On these two Sundays, you and your UU community will be participating with thousands of UUs around the country in this large-scale historic action.

This call to action and worship comes from a growing network of UUs–religious professionals and and lay leaders from both within and outside congregations–led by UUs of color and white UUs working together.

Over the past few weeks, many have been responding to calls by UUs of color to look critically *within* our faith communities–including hiring practices, power brokers, and cultural habits–for the ways racism, sexism, and white supremacy live.

Why change your worship plan? Many of us work in congregations, and know that such shifts require work and can challenge our comfort levels. That’s precisely why we feel it’s important. We believe that hundreds of UU churches signaling to their own members and to the larger community that “our faith takes racism seriously, especially within our own walls” will push our faith toward the beloved community we all seek.

Whether your UU community has dozens of members and children of color, or just about everyone is white, the commitment to combat white supremacy must be strong and urgent. Battling racism in its many forms is not easy. Everyone has to start somewhere, and it takes a commitment to disrupt business as usual.

It’s not too late to join in. Need help? the Black Lives UU website has a list of resources and has had webinars to assist folks with the planning – you can listen to the ones that have past. Worship resources are now available thanks to Kenny Wiley at http://tinyurl.com/luumzou.

If your congregation is not participating, a map of those who are is on the Black Lives UU website. If your congregation is participating, please make sure you add your name to the list.

The UUA endorses the Teach In and other efforts to move us closer to truly inclusive community.  If you have questions, please get in touch with your CER Primary Contact.

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