Dear MidAmerica Chalice Lighter,
Chalice Lighter grants are funded by small donations from Unitarian Universalists across our large midwestern MidAmerica Region of the UUA, pooled together to help congregations with specific growth projects. The MidAmerica Regional Chalice Lighter Committee, comprised of representatives from all three of the former districts, considered the four applications that were received. We are pleased to announce the results of the Winter 2015 Regional Chalice Lighter call:
to increase accessibility through the purchase of a new hearing loop system and hand held microphones. For those who had previously been unable to participate fully in the service, a test of the new system was transformative.
in support of expanding their Director of Religious Education from 25 hours per week to full time (part time in summer). More than two-thirds of this church’s recent growth has been through members involved in the RE program.
to support their hiring of a ¼ time Religious Educator. They hope thereby to increase attendance of existing children and families and to attract new families to this congregation in a low population, rural area.
for partial support of a Ministerial Resident. Two congregations have formed strong connections and strengthened their resolve to dismantle racism. While the committee felt this project somewhat beyond the scope of the Chalice Lighters program, we supported a smaller award that could be used to seed other fundraising for this innovative experiment in staff/space sharing, which has potential as a model for congregations across the country.
We thank you for your support of the growth of Unitarian Universalism in our region! There are several ways you can participate in the Chalice Lighter program, with four suggested levels of donation: $20 Believer / $50 Builder / $100 Benefactor / $250 Beacon. These are amounts that would be donated three times each year upon receipt of the Call Letter in Fall, Winter and Spring. If you’d prefer, for tax purposes, to make one donation per year (please send the $60 minimum donation or any amount beyond for the next three Calls) you can send in your check now, and we will hold the funds and divide them equally among the three Calls. If you want to make an annual donation, please be sure to note “Annual” in the memo field of your check. You can donate by either of these methods:
For those of you who are regular annual donors, you receive all call letters to keep you updated on what your funds are being used for. You are not being asked to send more money once you have made your annual donation for a given calendar year unless you wish to do so for a particular group of awardees.
We know that many of you prefer to receive U.S. mail notices and send in your checks three times a year for each of the Chalice Lighter Calls. We will continue to gratefully handle your donations this way. However, if at all possible, we would like to convert the majority of both announcement letters and donations to electronic, since this saves the program money and time. Thank you again for your generosity!
The Chalice Lighter Committee
Emily Jaycox, St. Louis, MO;
Heidi Lackmann, Des Moines, IA;
Karen McMillin, Oak Park, IL;
Kathy Silver, Dexter, MI
with staff support from Rev. Phillip Lund and Dori Davenport Thexton.