In just a few days as of this writing. several of us from Starr King Church will make our way to Portland, Oregon for the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Because this congregation pays its “fare share” to support the UUA, which costs close to $100 for each of our 142 members, those of us who are delegates at the GA will get to wear ribbons on our badges that proudly proclaim Starr King Church as a fully supporting “fair share” congregation.
There is much that we receive from being a part of the larger denomination, including the support of professional denominational staff, the development of curricula for the religious education of children and adults, online resources and workshops for congregational life in such areas as worship, leadership development and fund-raising, a voice in the democratic process by which the denomination is run, a subscription to the UU World for every member of each congregation, and, especially important at this time in the life of Starr King Church, support for congregations undergoing a transition in ministerial leadership, with online resources for ministerial search committees and through the training, credentialing and continuing education of interim ministers.
Here is a list of some of the ways that supporting the larger UU movement both sustains and grows our faith, from the UUA website:
A Dozen Ways Our Gifts to Our Association Sustain and Expand Unitarian Universalism
- When we choose to share our gifts with our wider Unitarian Universalist community, we invest in the extension of our common values and purpose in the world.
- We strengthen the connection between our congregation and our a Unitarian Universalist Association. and beyond.
- We connect people of all ages with the great stories and teachings of our Unitarian Universalist faith.
- Our giving strengthens our covenant of mutual support and affirms our connectedness as congregations.
- We encourage generosity by modeling generosity.
- Together we create a better today and a brighter future for all beings through our attention and intention as generous givers.
- We make a positive difference for tomorrow when we invest in our wider community today.
- We spread the good news of Unitarian Universalism by exemplifying our principles in our daily lives.
- Our gifts to our UUA reflect our commitment to our relationship of interconnectedness, which nurtures cooperation, love, equity, and justice.
- We Stand on the Side of Love as we work to overcome oppression, fear, alienation, and loneliness.
- Our ministry and worship inspire hearts, enlighten minds, nurture spiritual growth.
- Our gifts enable us to heal and transform our world.
The lay delegates from Starr King Church to the General Assembly this year are Jo Murdach, Beth Ogilvie and Bob Simoni. Ministerial delegates are myself and Rev. Michelle Favreault. We will report back on the highlights and major decisions of this year’s GA. Talk to us and we’ll be glad to also tell you how much fun it was!