The MDD Chalice Lighter program has been slightly revamped effective the 2019/2020 church year. Beginning July, 2019 there will be an active call open at all times: Fall – July-October; Winter – November-February, and Spring – March-June. As in the past, all calls for the fiscal year will open for contributions with the posting of the Fall call. If you prefer to fulfill your annual pledge in one sitting, you may still contribute to the Winter and Spring calls in advance when you make your Fall donation.

Read the current call letter.

Many donors have requested the option to set up automated monthly payments. By having calls open continuously, automated monthly withdrawals will be easy for donors to arrange.

Make a one-time gift (to one or all calls) on the MDD Giving Page.
Set up automatic monthly payments on the MDD Automatic Giving Page.

Contributions and correspondence are no longer mailed to Seattle. If you make your contributions by check, please make check payable to MDD Chalice Lighters and mail to:

MDD Chalice Lighters
P.O. Box 567
Brighton, CO 80601

If you are not yet an MDD Chalice Lighter, you can sign up here to become a Chalice Lighter. If you are already enrolled as an MDD Chalice Lighter, you can use this same form to let us know if you wish to change from paper mailings to receiving emailed calls.

Learn how your congregation can apply for a Chalice Lighter Grant.

If you have questions about the program, contact

Program Description

The idea Rev. Alan Egly had in the early 1980s, that many UUs might be willing to contribute occasionally to help a congregation that needed a boost, was a good one. Egly, Minister Emeritus of both the Burlington congregation and the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Quad Cities passed away on January 31, 2016 at the age of 84. He saw his idea implemented in the Prairie Star District through the district’s Extension Committee. The program became known as Chalice Lighters and has spread to other UUA districts. It has raised more than $2 million nationwide.

The idea is simple. Ask individual UUs if they’d be willing to contribute $20 or more up to three times a year to help congregations in their district complete a special project linked to growth. Egly adapted the concept from another denomination and said, “It’s not a completely original idea, but I’m proud to claim it.”

The Chalice Lighter program assists the growth of member congregations in the Mountain Desert District, providing grants that are funded through contributions from Unitarian Universalists who participate as Chalice Lighters. The Chalice Lighter program gives individuals an opportunity to provide financial support and extend Unitarian Universalism in the District.

Chalice Lighter grants help congregations by providing funds for such things as:

  • starting a new congregation
  • assisting in the purchase, improvement, or furnishing of a building
  • contributing to other outreach projects that further growth

Become a Chalice Lighter!

Your generous contribution joins with over 400 others to support the growth of our liberal religion in the Mountain Desert District. The more Chalice Lighters we have, the more we can support our growing congregations. And, by being a Chalice Lighter, you help your congregation qualify for a Chalice Lighter grant.

When you become a Chalice Lighter, three times a year you will receive a “call” or email letter, explaining the purpose of the call and asking for your donation of at least $20. Or, you may make an annual donation and designate that it be divided between the three calls for that year.  MDD is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax deductible.

Become a Chalice Lighter Today | Download the Chalice Lighter brochure

How to Apply for a Chalice Lighter Grant

The Mountain Desert District will soon merge with 3 other districts to become the Pacific Western Region for real. Before the merger, the MDD has $30,000 to distribute as Chalice Lighter grants. The number and amounts of grants will be determined by the applications received.

To apply for a grant, please write a letter and send it to The deadline for submitting the application is April 15, 2023.

  • The application letter needs to include the following:
  • The name and address of the congregation/covenanting community
  • Name and email for contact person
  • Background statement/Description of need for project
  • Specifics of project, including the proposed budget, listing what resources and/or finances are available from the congregation to help with the project
  • The potential impact on the growth of Unitarian Universalist through this project
  • Criteria for determining the success of the project
  • Number of members of your congregation/covenanting community
  • Date application approved by your Board of Trustees

Grant History

UU Fellowship of Bozeman Montana
UU Fellowship of Durango Colorado
Jointly: Columbine UU Church and Two Rivers UU, both in Colorado

San Juan UU Fellowship (Farmington, NM)
UU Community of Casper, WY
Namaqua UU Church (Loveland, CO)

Create Meaning
UU Fellowship of Durango (CO)
Mountain Desert District

UU Church of Boulder (CO)
Pacific Western Region Leap of Faith Program
Mountain Desert District