Skip to main content

You Are Here


Seasons of Giving, Autumn 2018: Elections, disaster response, Faithify survey, and more.

Banner Image
Image: fall foliage reflected on a calm river
Seasons of Giving
Autumn 2018

In this Issue

Opening Words

Mobilizing for the 2018 Elections

Matching Gift Opportunity for Promise & Practice

Faithify Survey, Featured Campaign

Disaster Fund Update

Wake Now Our Vision is Complete

Opening Words

"They Are With Us Still"
Rev. Kathleen McTigue

In the struggles we choose for ourselves,
in the ways we move forward in our lives
and bring our world forward with us.

It is right to remember the names of those
who gave us strength in this choice of living.
It is right to name the power of hard lives well-lived. 

We share a history with those lives.
We belong to the same motion.

Read more

They too were strengthened by what had gone before.
They too were drawn on by the vision of what might come to be.

Those who lived before us,
who struggled for justice and suffered injustice before us.
have not melted into the dust,
and have not disappeared.

They are with us still.
The lives they lived hold us steady.

Their words remind us and call us back to ourselves.
Their courage and love evoke our own.

We, the living, carry them with us:
we are their voices, their hands and their hearts.

We take them with us,
and with them choose the deeper path of living.

"They Are With Us" is excerpted from Becoming: A Spiritual Guide to Navigating Adulthood (Skinner House, 2015) and available on WorshipWeb.

Mobilizing for the 2018 Mid-Term Elections

from Susan Leslie, Congregational Advocacy and Witness Director, UUA

One of the fundamental principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is the use of the democratic process. As an expression of our faith, many UU congregations engage in voter registration, election reform, and protecting voting rights and democracy.

This year, the UUA has been supporting two key state ballot initiatives led by front-line organizers in Florida and Ohio: Florida Amendment 4, the Second Chances Amendment, and Ohio Issue 1, Safe & Healthy Ohio.

There are important ballot measures in many states, from protecting transgender rights in Massachusetts, to clean elections in Missouri, stopping gerrymandering in Michigan, and a democracy initiative in Wisconsin, as well as various ballot questions on living wages, health care, environmental protections and more. Check out the Field Guide to Democracy to see issues at stake in your state.

Read more

These initiatives uphold our commitment to the democratic process and commitment to justice as an expression of our faith. They also call us to live out our principles of inherent worth, inherent dignity, and interdependence.

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of UUs like you, the UUA is partnering with front-line community organizations in Florida, Ohio and through the Coalition of UU State Action Networks to support and fortify local organizers working around the country to defend democracy and protect access to the ballot box.

With a gift of $25 or more, we will send you a set of "I Vote My UU Values" stickers to show your commitment to democracy this fall and beyond.

Getting wins in Florida and Ohio will not be easy but is something we UUs can help achieve. Further, these ballot initiatives are part of long-term strategies to end criminalization and mass incarceration and to build power for racial and economic justice.

Both initiatives are led by Black organizers, the formerly incarcerated, and directly impacted people engaged in front-line community organizing including the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative. They have built broad coalitions and are working with many partner groups and faith communities.

Florida Amendment 4—Second Chances Amendment (Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative):

1.4 million people with past convictions who have served their time (excluding murder and felony sex crimes) regain the right to vote if this is passed. Florida is one of four states with a lifetime ban on voting for anyone who has served time for felony convictions, a law stemming from Jim Crow-era voting restrictions.

Ohio Issue 1—Safe & Healthy Ohio (Drug & Criminal Justice Policies Initiative)will reduce non-violent crimes such as drug possession and probation violations from felonies to misdemeanors retroactively, freeing thousands from state prisons and disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Issue 1 also includes parole reform which will greatly reduce recidivism rates. Savings from reduced prison costs will be directed to community-based re-entry, drug treatment, counseling, and services programs.

Nationwide, in Florida, and in Ohio, we need your help with canvassing, phone banking & Get Out The Vote!

And remember, "I Vote My UU Values" are available with a gift of $25 or more to help you share the importance of democracy this fall and beyond.

Promise and Practice of Our Faith Matching Gift Opportunity

A moment from the BLUU Convening in 2017 (photo courtesy of Black Lives of UU)

As our Unitarian Universalist faith denomination works on addressing our own history of upholding white supremacy culture, the Promise and the Practice of Our Faith Campaign continues.

Right now, individual donors have a unique opportunity to double their impact:

All individual gifts or pledges made by December 31, 2018, of $500 to $5,000 in total amount, will be matched by the UU Funding Program up to $150,000. 

To learn more, please contact Cheri Taylor at

Faithify: Take the survey! Plus a featured project

By Halcyon Westall, Faithify Project Manager, UUA, the Unitarian Universalist crowdfunding platform, needs your feedback on site improvements. Whether or not you use currently, let us know how you support the causes and organizations important to you. How do you determine financial donations? How about donations to UU causes? Your experiences are welcome. This quick survey will take you less than 10 minutes to complete. Please help us serve Unitarian Universalist fundraising. Thank you for your participation.

Yes, take me to the survey

Featured Project: UUFWS Yoga

In 2015, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston Salem (UUFWS) made a commitment to address racial and economic inequities in their city. This has led to a longstanding relationship between the congregation and Petree Elementary School, a Title I majority-minority school in the community.

  Photo courtesy of UUFWS.

UUFWS partners with teachers, administration, and students, showing up how they are asked including providing winter clothes, backpacks and food, weekly mentoring and tutoring, and providing childcare for Parent-Teacher night.

Now the UUFWS has another way to support more peaceful, positive, and fair outcomes in public education. The principal of the school started a yoga and meditation program for third graders for stress reduction and in lieu of detention.

Although the program showed positive results and great potential, funding for this year is insufficient to continue. UUFWS is raising $4,000 through Faithify to keep the program and to expand this program to fourth and fifth graders, and to train staff in assisting children exhibiting behavioral issues and dealing with trauma. 

The Petree Elementary School yoga program helps to build strong and resilient children who are better equipped to handle stress both in and out of school. If you would like to learn more, please visit the Faithify campaign page.

Disaster Response Update: Fall Hurricanes

UUA Stewardship and Development staff are grateful to the many individuals and congregations who have contributed to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund. This fund has made it possible for UU congregations, members, and partner organizations to receive much-needed help after disasters like fires and hurricanes.

The fall of 2018 saw two major hurricanes hit the Southeastern U.S. In both cases, UUs and UU congregations were hit with property damage, but members survived the storms. Read on to learn about Hurricanes Florence and Michael and the impacts on UU communities.

Read more

Hurricane Florence Aftermath

Florence made landfall on September 14, lingering over the Southeast and dropping heavy rainfall on North Carolina and neighboring states. 

According to UU World, Shelter Neck Unitarian Universalist Camp in Burgaw, NC, suffered extensive flooding as a result of Hurricane Florence. Shelter Neck has held several volunteer clean up days so far, with more to come.

Other area UU congregations have reportedly escaped serious property damage, with no loss of life.

Hurricane Michael Aftermath

Hurricane Michael became a hurricane on October 8, intensifying rapidly to become a Category 4 storm by October 10. It made landfall that same day near Mexico Beach, Florida.

UU World reports that Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bay County in Panama City, FL, was damaged by wind and rain, particularly many fallen trees on the property.

UUFBC is collecting damage reports, and thankfully, most members and regular attendees have been reported safe as of Oct. 28. The fellowship Facebook page has updates, including the news that as of Sunday, October 28, UUFBC had electricity and water back in time for Fellowship Hour. 

As reported by UU World, the UU Church of Tallahassee reported no damage to their buildings, despite the loss of power for almost a week, and no injuries, but again some members do have damage to their homes. 

We encourage those interested to give to the Disaster Relief Fund

Congregations can apply for aid here for themselves, their members, or for their local partners who were affected. For disaster relief fund donation questions, please contact Resources for you, your family, and your congregation to deal with natural disasters can be found on

Wake Now Our Vision Challenge Complete! 

The Wake Now Our Vision Collaborative Campaign Legacy Challenge, directed by the Rev. Laura Randall on behalf of six Unitarian Universalist institutions, has been very successful encouraging bequest giving to congregations and UU entities.

Thanks to a generous grant from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, new legacy gift intentions designating one or more of the WNOV partner institutions, or a UU congregation or fellowship, were eligible for a 10% matching cash gift, up to $10,000.

The Wake Now Our Vision Team is delighted to announce that our goals have been met for this matching challenge. Though you may still make a legacy gift intention at any time, funds have been allocated and will not be matched going forward.

While the matching aspect of the Legacy Challenge is at an end, we encourage you to visit for more resources on the many ways you can transform the future of Unitarian Universalism through legacy giving.

Thank you to the many UUs and friends who are strengthening the future of Unitarian Universalism through legacy giving. Your generosity supports our institutions and congregations in bringing people together and working for love and justice. 

Any questions about the UUA Legacy Giving Program should be directed to the Legacy team at