Skip to Content

Giving & Generosity

Seasons of Giving, Summer 2017: Love Resists, Cheri Taylor, Matching Gift Deadline, GA 2017

Banner Image
Bee balm flower in full bloom with stamp-like image reading "Your generous gift will be doubled! Matching gift challenge"
Seasons of Giving
Summer 2017

In this Issue

Do the Next Thing with Love

15,000 sign on to Love Resists Campaign

Stewardship & Development at General Assembly 2017

Donor Profile: Barbara W. Brown

Matching Gift Challenge near $100,000 Goal

UUA Welcomes Cheri Taylor

Resources for Congregations 

Do the Next Thing with Love

Becky Brooks for Braver/Wiser, June 14, 2017.

“The sacred is not in heaven or far away. It is all around us, and small human rituals can connect us to its presence.”— Alma Luz Villanueva

By the time Karate class rolled around Monday evening, I was still dazed. The day before — June 12, 2016 — my kids wanted to know why the parents were so sad. I told them I was crying for a really big group of people who had died in the night: fifty people. We got out their blocks to count and see what fifty looked like. We all agreed that fifty was an awful lot. I set one block aside and explained that one person had killed the others with a gun.

"Why? Who were they?" the kids wanted to know. They’re like us, I said, and different too. They were Latinx like your aunt and cousins; queer like your parents; Black like our neighbors; Muslim like your uncle; Trans like some of our friends.

They were moms and dads and parents and sons and daughters and beloved adult children, siblings, partners, and friends.

I asked if they wanted to send good wishes to the people who died. My son slid the separated block back over to be with the other 49. "Yes, let’s send good wishes." So we did.

The next day, I wasn’t surprised when the mom of one of my daughter’s friends plopped down on the bench next to me during karate. Julia and her husband were always at the dojo with their son. But I was surprised when she handed me a small paper plate, heaped high with homemade mini muffins, secured with cling wrap.

I laughed for the first time in nearly two days. “Thanks. What’s this for?” I asked.

Julia’s eyes were red. “I just didn’t know what else to do,” she said.

What DO we do in the face of evil? Anything. Everything. Pray, protest, bake, hug, grieve, wail, laugh, explain, linger, research, fight, cry. What we absolutely must not do is ignore it.

On the way to the car, my daughter asked, “Why did Ms. Julia make us muffins?”

"Because she loves us,” I explained, “just the way we are.”

"Love is the most important thing,” she affirmed.

When you don’t know what to do, do the next thing with love. 


Spirit of Life and Love, keep my hands busy with kindness when I just don’t know what to do. Open me to all the small things, each a reminder that even the Big Love is built from pixels and pebbles.

Braver/Wiser is a weekly message offering courage and compassion for life as it is. Subscribe here.


More than 15,000 Join Love Resists Campaign
Love resists

This spring, the UUA and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) have been working on a new collaborative project of an unprecedented scale. The Love Resists campaign aims to create “safer, more just, welcoming and sustainable communities” through activation of people of faith and conscience.


Born from the Declaration of Conscience, a joint statement of our progressive values, Love Resists has already grown to be some 15,000-strong, with individual and group participants in every state and around the world. The UUA’s Carey McDonald and UUSC’s Pam Sparr are leading this effort, and both organizations are collaborating to connect UUs and congregations with resources to conduct this important work.

One example is the work of expanded sanctuary. Certain congregations have made news as they declare sanctuary and house undocumented people. Love Resists defines the term in the broadest sense; our congregations are held as safe spaces for reflection and healing in spiritual community, and beyond to include pushes for sanctuary policies at the local level and support for those who may be offering physical sanctuary.

The UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) has created a free resource for downloading, the Congregational Suggested Action Guide, which helps congregations determine the kind of sanctuary activity that is best for them.

The Love Resists website is the home for resources of all kinds, from background reading, to tactics, to support networks and partnerships. Congregations and individuals participating in Love Resists activities are encouraged to document their work on the Love Resists page, and to tune in to monthly Conscience Calls with movement leaders. Check out to see these new offerings. 

Stewardship and Development at General Assembly 2017

General Assembly begins the evening of Wednesday, June 21.

For those observing from home, don't forget to check the GA Livestream page on to see what's going on in the Plenary Hall. Plenary sessions and worship services will be streamed and recorded, while the Ware Lecture will be streaming-only, with no recording.

A Celebration of Life for Jim Key will be held in Room R-02/R-03 and live-streamed on Saturday, June 24, at 12:30 pm Central Daylight Time.

For those attending in person, your Stewardship & Development team will be handing out Honor and Merit congregational giving ribbons as well as hand fans to keep cool in the New Orleans heat. Attendees can also visit the Wake Now Our Vision Collaborative Campaign booth in the Exhibit Hall, or attend any of the four Legacy Giving workshops.

For more details about General Assembly please visit the GA page on

Donor Profile: Barbara W. Brown

Barbara W. “Barb” Brown discovered Unitarian Universalism at age twelve, after she began to question the idols venerated in the Christian church where she was raised and baptized. As a teenager she was introduced to the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, where she attended services sporadically throughout high school and college. Over the years, Barb’s involvement with Unitarian Universalism has grown.

Today, Barb is an active member of Church of the Larger Fellowship, and also supports both the UUA and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). She has been a Faithful Sustainer, contributing monthly to the Friends of the UUA, for ten years.

She served in various leadership roles in her congregation in St. Louis. Then, Barb served as president of the Central Midwest District, which has since become part of the Mid-America Region. She has also been an active member of the UUA’s Annual Program Fund Committee and served on the UUA President’s Council.

Professionally, Barb practiced full-time as an optometrist before returning to her alma mater, the University of Missouri at St. Louis’ College of Optometry, in administrative roles and as an adjunct faculty member. She has returned to professional and volunteer optometry since retiring from the university.

Barb’s optometry skills intersect with her UU faith most clearly through her service work in Haiti. After the recent hurricanes, she felt called to the country to conduct eye exams, schedule surgeries, and make sure that everyone who needed glasses got them. On her visits, she sees somewhere between 225 - 400 people.

Her service work and her philanthropy are important to her and she feels “blessed to have the funds to give away” each month. On choosing to become a Faithful Sustainer, Barb says that it’s “giving for the things that keep us [as a faith community] going.”

Matching Gift Challenge Nears Goal
  Matching Gift Challenge

Thanks to the generosity of more than 800 UUs around the country, the spring Matching Gift Challenge offered by the UU Veatch Program at Shelter Rock is two-thirds of the way to reaching its $100,000 goal. All donations made to Friends of the UUA between April 1 and June 30, 2017 will be matched and doubled by Veatch, up to a total of $100,000. With more than $65,000 raised so far, there's still time to make your gift online or by calling (888) 792-5885. Gifts mailed and postmarked by June 30 will count towards the match.

UUA Welcomes Cheri Taylor

Cheri Taylor has joined the Stewardship and Development team as Major Gifts Officer. Previously Cheri served as Membership Development Coordinator at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee.

In addition to leading the stewardship and development teams of the congregation, she provided administrative support for the small group ministry program, led Membership classes, and helped execute events for the music, religious education, and social justice programs. Cheri is “passionate about connecting Unitarian Universalists and their passions to our mission and principles. I view stewardship as the vehicle to the place where our mission becomes our living reality."

Cheri has a B.S. in Social Welfare and Justice with a Minor in Women’s Studies from Marquette University, as well as a Certificate in Religious Fundraising from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. She is a Milwaukee native and is married with two children.

Cheri Taylor can be reached at (617) 948-6510 or  


Is your congregation looking for stewardship resources? Find some helpful links here. In future issues we will answer frequently-asked questions and provide resources for congregational stewardship.