The PSD Chalice Lighters program provided opportunities for all individuals in the Prairie Star District to participate in the growth of existing and emerging congregations.

This has been replaced by the MidAmerica Chalice Lighters Program.

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.

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.

  • 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

Faith is not enough. Nor belief. Living what you believe is the principle of honesty put into practice. Unitarians and Universalists over the centuries have been active, out of proportion to our numbers, in seeking justice, struggling against oppression, and making this a better world to live in. — Robert Swain, Unitarian Universalist Minister


Since its inception in 1984, Prairie Star District Chalice Lighters have provided more than $495,000 in funding to promote growth of Unitarian Universalism in 117 projects.

The years listed are the years the congregation received grants.

Chalice Lighters is a program designed to help UUs throughout Prairie Star District be part of “lighting the chalice” for individual congregations: helping congregations to get started, or to get over that next barrier to growth. The program works through modest periodic donations from a large number of donors like you.

PSD Chalice Lighters has been replaced by the MidAmerica Region program. Donate now!

You possess only a small light, but uncover it, let it shine, use it in order to bring more light andunderstanding to the hearts and minds of men and women. Give them, not hell but hope and courage.
— John Murray (Universalist Preacher, 1741–1850)

Call #1 for 2012-13: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities, Davenport, Iowa