As we take the coming months to combine the databases and other documents of the three district’s Chalice Lighter programs, we want to keep all of our dedicated Chalice Lighters across the MidAmerica Region informed of our plans for this important program.
For those who may not know about Chalice Lighters, it is a highly successful fund-raising program that has existed in all three of our former districts for about 20 years. The idea behind it is that Unitarian Universalists who are interested in supporting other congregations in their efforts to grow can make small donations three times a year, generally in the $20-$100 range, and that money gets pooled together to make a grant to a congregation’s growth-oriented endeavor.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to support over 100 congregations across the Midwest since Chalice Lighters started in the 1990s.
In each of our three districts, Chalice Lighter committees or teams have solicited grant proposals from congregations, evaluated them and selected one application to be the recipient of a Chalice Lighter call. These growth-oriented proposals have typically fallen into one of these areas:
- Hire new staff or increase hours of existing professional staff members
- Purchase new facilities or make improvements or additions to existing facilities
- Initiate outreach programs such as advertising, social justice or Young Adult/Campus Ministry to increase visibility of the congregation in their community
- Support the founding of a new congregation
In our MidAmerica region, Phil Lund and Dori Thexton will be working with a regional Chalice Lighter committee to carry this work forward. For the coming year, they will work on merging the grant application processes and building a network of “Ambassadors” – someone in each congregation who will publicize the current Call for a congregation’s proposal and sign up new Chalice Lighters.
For the first part of this year, the regional program will continue to function in a similar manner to the way the three district programs have operated. There will be Fall and Winter Applications and a call across the region in each cycle, with funds pooled to make grants to congregations whose applications have been selected. We expect to make 3 or 4 grants in the $3,000 - $8,000 range.
Looking ahead to the Spring Call, our staff team is hoping to have a region-wide call to support some special programming that will benefit the entire region. Watch for more information to come out about that in the winter.
See the calendar on our website for deadlines. If your congregation is interested in submitting a proposal for a grant, use these forms and information:
Brochure 2013 Rev 4
CL Ambassador Packet
CL Award Considerations
CL Grant Application
CL Grants 1996-2013 (CMwD)
These are links to the application, information about the considerations the committee uses to make decisions, and anything else you might want to know about the Chalice Lighter program.
If you have any questions or would like to talk about submitting a grant application, please feel free to call or email Dori or Phil.
Dori Thexton: email@example.com / 708-805-1866
Phil Lund: firstname.lastname@example.org / 612-875-0959