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About the Chalice Lighters program
The Chalice Lighters program provides opportunities for all individuals in the Prairie Star District to participate in the growth of existing and emerging congregations.
Chalice Lighters Calls
You may donate to Chalice Lighters at any time, or you may pledge to contribute when your support is needed.
When you register as a Chalice Lighter, you are asked to respond during the year to three calls for help. For each call, you are asked to give $20 (or whatever other amount you pledge) to help one or more congregations in the District grow. Grants are given to congregations to
- build or expand facilities,
- secure their first minister or other professional help,
- carry out a project that will help the congregation grow and spread the liberal light,
- work with a cluster of other UU congregations working together on projects designed to increase the visibility of Unitarian Universalism, build capacity within established congregations, and provide newer congregations with the help they need to do well and grow.
Grants are also given to groups with potential to become congregations for start-up costs.
Each call comes with a description of what that grant will fund. You can contribute the amount of your pledge, or more or less, as you deem fit.
Chalice Lighters Social Justice Fund
Chalice Lighters can also donate to a Chalice Lighters Social Justice Fund, a separate fund which makes grants of up to $1,000 to congregations for integrating social justice work into the active life of their congregation. Donate to the Social Justice Fund by selecting that option on the Chalice Lighters donation form.
Making a Donation
You do not need to register as a Chalice Lighter to contribute. One-time donations to any call are always accepted and appreciated! Donors will receive future Call Letters until they request removal from the list.
If you prefer to pay by check, use the form sent to you as a registered Chalice Lighter, or print a donation form.
A small portion of contributions is used to pay the administrative expenses of the Chalice Lighters program.
How Have Chalice Lighters Helped?
The full list of Chalice Lighter awards records a history of generosity extending over the past three decades.
They have helped secure ministers in
- Fridley, Minnesota (2002)
- Omaha, Nebraska (Second Unitarian) (2001)
- Topeka, Kansas (1995)
- Manhattan, Kansas (1995)
- Eau Claire, Wisconsin (1994)
They have helped purchase, construct or remodel buildings in
- Bemidji, Minnesota (2009)
- Wichita, Kansas (2008)
- Lawrence, Kansas (2007)
- La Crosse, Wisconsin (2006)
- Bismarck, North Dakota (2005)
They have helped establish new congregations in
- Decorah, Iowa (2006)
- St. Cloud, Minnesota (Spirit of Life) 2002
- Kansas City, Missouri (Gaia Community) (1998)
- Salina, Kansas (1998)
They have helped our young adults by supporting
- Mankato, Minnesota, Campus Ministry (2004)
- St. Cloud, Minnesota (UU Fellowship), Campus Ministry (2001)
- Ames, Iowa, Campus Ministry/ Young Adult Outreach (1998)
- Minnesota UU Campus Ministries (1996, 1997, 2003)
They have supported new growth opportunities with smaller growth fund grants.Two examples include a regional advertising campaign by several congregations working together in the Kansas City area; working on a web site and marketing program in Northfield, Minnesota; and help in hiring a part-time music director in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
How Recipients are Selected
The projects chosen for calls are evaluated and selected by the Prairie Star District Chalice Lighters Grants Committee. To receive money from the program, congregations must apply to the District Office for evaluation by the Committee.
Enlisting Additional Chalice Lighters
If you would like to conduct a campaign in your congregation to enlist additional Chalice Lighters, brochures are available.
- Download a brochure to print
- To order hard copy brochures, contact the District Office at 612-870-4823 or by email at info [at] psduua [dot] org.
By participating in this program, you are giving of your UU experiences to projects outside your congregation.
Contact the District Office at 612-870-4823 or by email at info [at] psduua [dot] org.
— Robert Swain, Unitarian Universalist Minister