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."
In 2002, Mountain Desert District over 900 Chalice Lighters contributed about $24,100 to help congregations in the district. In 2008 the Chalice Lighters gave more than $35,000 to three individual congregations and to district projects that help small congregations such as the Small Congregation Conference: Zeal Appeal, and the small congregation grants program that helps small congregations with grants of $500 or less to "make something happen." We have over 6,000 Unitarian Universalists in MDD. Imagine what we could do if even half of them were contributing Chalice Lighters!
To enroll as a Chalice Lighter send an email to:
Subject line: Chalice Lighter Enrollment
Please include your name, mailing address, phone, email, and congregation name.
Posted Tuesday, 02 March 2010 16:25 Written by Jess Cullinan