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Chalice Lighters

Chalice Lighter Program Helps Dreams Come True

Latest Chalice Lighter Calls

The idea Rev. Alan Egly had in the early 1980s, that many UUs might be willing to contribute $10 occasionally to help a congregation that needed a boost, was a good one.

Egly, former minister of the Unitarian Church of Davenport, IA, saw his idea implemented in 1984 in the Prairie Star District through the district’s Extension Committee, of which Egly was a part. The program became known as Chalice Lighters, and has spread to other UUA districts. In the past five years it has raised more than $2 million nation wide.

The idea is simple. Ask individual UUs if they’d be willing to contribute $10 or more up to four times a year to help congregations in their district complete a special project linked to growth. Egly, now the settled minister at the Unitarian Church, Davenport, Iowa, adapted the concept from another denomination. “It’s not a completely original idea, but I’m proud to claim it.”

Chalice Lighters Process

chalicelightersHow a congregation can request a Chalice Lighter call:

  • A congregation completes a Chalice Lighter Grant request form (PDF): Chalice Lighters Application
  • The form is sent to the MDD Office
  • The 4 grants for the following year are approved at the MDD Annual Conference in the Spring

How mailings are sent out to Chalice Lighters:

  • Two mailings are sent for each grant, totaling eight mailings per year
  • The 1st mailing is sent to over 500 Chalice Lighter members
  • The 2nd is sent to anyone in our Chalice Lighter database who didn’t respond to the 1st letter
  • If you choose to make one yearly donation, you will only receive one letter at the beginning of the year
  • You may also notify us that you would like to receive your call letters via email

How the donations and database works:

  • The Chalice Lighter database is based in Microsoft Access
  • Each member’s form (name, address, phone, email, congregation, date joined) is entered into the database
  • Each donation received is entered into your personal form
  • At any time, a report can be generated showing  the amount donated to each call and the date deposited
  • A report can also be generated showing how many Chalice Lighter members are in each congregation

When a new call starts:

  • The new grant letter is mailed out
  • A report is generated showing the total amount received for the last grant
  • $750 is deducted from that amount to cover the cost of mailing, etc. and the remainder is sent to the congregation

Tax information:

  • MDD is a 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization and your donation is tax deductible
  • Notices of charitable contributions are sent to everyone at the beginning of the following year

Please join today!

  • Fill out the email form below
  • Or, send an email directly to office@mdduua.org, with “Chalice Lighter Enrollment” in the subject line. Please include your name, mailing address, phone, email, and congregation name.