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neil.jpgJust today a leader in one of our congregations suggested that his congregation could use a reminder of what a congregation receives for its donations to the UUA. I find that appropriate as we come close to the end of our fiscal year when we ask our congregations to reach one last time into their budgets to meet their pledges.

To that end, I quote, with permission, the thoughts of Rev. Naomi King, UUC of Utica, NY who has summarized the benefits more eloquently than I could have:

Why do we contribute to our District and the Unitarian Universalist Association?

10. Our gifts support General Assembly and District Assembly, leadership development and training, the monthly newsletter for congregational leaders, and small group ministry programming and training.

9. Our gifts supported the development of our hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, and the new hymnal supplement, Singing the Journey. Our gifts also support other worship resources that we use regularly.

8. Our contribution supports telling the great stories of our living Unitarian Universalist faith all around the world, through The UU World magazine, publicity campaigns, the International Association for Religious Freedom, the Church of the Larger Fellowship, and Skinner House and Beacon Press.

7. Our "fair share" gifts support youth programs, youth empowerment, and resources for youth and youth advisors.

6. Our gifts support religious education training, curricular development, communication among religious educators, the comprehensive sexuality education program, Our Whole Lives, and the UU World insert for children, UU & Me.

5. Our gifts support our association taking important action and witnessing what our faith really means in the world: supporting human rights and democracy, caring for those who are being left behind, and advancing science and education.

4. Our gifts plant new congregations, provide resources to struggling congregations, and reach out to people who have yet to hear about the good news of Unitarian Universalism.

3. Our gifts support Unitarian Universalist theological education, ministerial search, internship programs, the long process that leads to fellowshipping ministers, and systems that provide pension investment plans, disability insurance, and dental insurance that maintain, develop, and grow our ministers.

2. Our gifts have developed programs such as Balancing Acts: Keeping Children Safe in Congregations; materials for Conscientious Objectors; the Washington Office on Advocacy; the Planned Giving Workshop; and the SpiritPlay Religious Education Training.

1. Doing so supports all of our congregations in becoming even better and more amazing places. Our greatest strength is communal; we are not alone. Together we're creating not only a better today, but a better tomorrow.