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Personal & Spiritual Development

Denominational Connections: The Chalice Lighters Winter Call to Grow UU Congregations From Bruce Wiggins, Denominational Affairs Coordinator

The “Chalice Lighters” program gives you an opportunity to grow Unitarian Universalism in our state and region. It is an initiative of our Unitarian Universalist Association’s MidAmerica Region to fund small projects by individual congregations. Chalice Lighter grants are funded by small donations (for example, from $10 to $50) from individual UUs across our large region, pooled together to help congregations with specific growth projects. The MidAmerica Regional Chalice Lighter Committee, comprised of representatives from throughout the region, considers applications and recommends worthy projects for UUs to donate to. There are three “calls for funding” each year. This winter, the committee considered six applications and is recommending these four (you can visit the links below to go to the websites for these congregations):


The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato, MN will increase the hours of their Coordinator of Faith Development and their Office Administrator. They will create a youth program for graduates of their OWL class. Recently they hired a fulltime minister and improved their facilities. With better youth programming, they will be better poised for growth.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield, MN seeks funds to increase their administrative and bookkeeping staff hours so their minister and DRE can focus on growth-oriented goals: adding summer services, beginning small group faith formation and deepening social justice engagement. The Fellowship has experienced steady growth in membership and budget since 2007 and aims to move from a family-sized congregation to pastoral-sized.

The James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Madison, WI wants to expand their professional staff, and bring them into alignment with fair compensation goals, all as part of their three year plan to grow the congregation, and expand religious education programming plus justice work.

The UU Fellowship of Decatur, IL requested Chalice Lighter funds to develop and manage a new website along with additional outreach initiatives. They have been energized this year working with their first interim, full-time minister and are using some special funds to increase staffing as they pursue a three-year strategic plan for growth


People interested in donating to help these projects should donate by March 31. For more information and a way to make a donation by check or online, see MidAmericaUUA Chalice Lighters on the UUA website.



First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee  is a home for spiritual community, social justice, and intellectual freedom, active in Milwaukee since 1842. Unitarian Universalism is an inclusive denomination; core principles include recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.

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