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Overview of Envoy Responsibilities: Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office

Welcome to the UU-UNO

Thank you for volunteering to become an Envoy for your congregation. As an Envoy, you are extremely valuable to the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) because you serve as the link between our officeʼs international social justice initiatives and your local UU community.

Sometimes planning envoy events can require a lot of time and hard work. To make your job easier, we encourage you to work with a Co-Envoy, Youth Envoy or Envoy team. Many Envoys have also had great success collaborating with pre-existing committees or coalitions in their congregation (such as the Social Action Committee). You are the expert on your congregation so we encourage you to examine the inner workings of your UU home and decide the most effective way to inform your members about the work of the UU-UNO.

Our Envoy Outreach Coordinator, Holly Sarkissian is available to work with you to strengthen the Envoy Program in your congregation. We encourage you to contact Holly at hsarkissian@uua.org to discuss any of your ideas, questions, or concerns.

Getting Started

  • Announce your position as Envoy to your congregation.
    Get your position officially recognized by your congregation. This is usually done through your minister, congregationʼs board or Social Action Committee. Then announce yourself in your congregationʼs newsletter or bulletin.
  • Create a support network.
    Develop congregational contacts with your minister, director of religious education, youth group, Social Action Committee, peace action task force, welcoming congregation committee, Interweave group and any other person or group at your congregation who may be interested in our work.
  • Get educated.
    Look at our website, talk to UU-UNO staff, and become well versed in what the Office is doing. Build your knowledge so you can articulate what the Office is working on to your congregation.
  • Build an Envoy Team.
    Find a co-envoy, youth envoy, or create an envoy team. Resources on how to form an envoy team can be found on our website.

Fostering Membership

  • Become a UU-UNO member.
    Lead by example and make sure your own membership is current. Contrary to popular belief, the UU-UNO does not receive funding from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) or from any other central church authority. The UU-UNO depends on individual and congregational contributions to keep the UU voice alive and strong at the United Nations.
  • Increase individual membership.
    The UU-UNO encourages Envoys to recruit five individuals in their congregation annually to be members. Your goal should be to get at least 10% of your congregation to become members in good standing with the UU-UNO.
  • Encourage your congregation to become a member.
    One of the main responsibilities of an Envoy is to gain membership and funding for our Office. The Envoy should work alongside their minister and board to promote congregational membership. The fees are $100 or $1 for every member, whichever is greater. If the UU-UNO membership fees cannot be included in the annual budget, Envoys are suggested to be creative about raising the funds. This includes dedicating the collection plate during a service to the UU-UNO or organizing a fundraiser.

Share Your Congregation's Passions and Concerns with Us

  • Coordinate congregational visits to the UU-UNO and UN.
    We encourage congregations to visit our Office and the UN. This gives UUs in your community the opportunity to see what we are working on first-hand.
  • Coordinate Office visits to your congregation.
    The UU-UNO Executive Director and other staff are available to speak at your congregation on a first-come, first serve basis. Many congregations invite an Office Staff member to speak for their UN Sunday Services.
  • Maintain communication with the Office.
    We want to hear from you with feedback from your congregations. Let us know what you are working on. If you have any questions, suggestions or need for assistance contact the Office.

Promoting the UU-UNO and the UN

  • Plan a UN Sunday Service.
    Since the United Nations Charter entered into force on October 24, 1945, it has become a tradition in many UU congregations to designate a Sunday in October as UN Sunday. We ask that all Envoys sponsor a UN Sunday Service or event in support of the UU United Nations Office. UN Sunday is one of the most effective ways to educate your congregation about our advocacy at the UN and recruit membership and support for the UU-UNO. The UU-UNO announces a new UN Sunday Theme on our website each April and publishes an updated, theme-specific resource packet each May.
  • Hold an internationally themed event or fundraiser.
    For ideas go to the Envoy section of our website and check out “Suggestions for Fundraisers” and “Congregational Initiatives”.
  • Publicize the UU-UNO.
    Discover the best ways to publicize the UU-UNO in your congregation. Many envoys post monthly announcements in their congregationʼs newsletter. Others set up a UU-UNO table during coffee hour.
  • Advertise and participate in UUUNO programs.
    This includes our Intergenerational Spring Seminar, Every Child is Our Child Program, advocacy for LGBT human rights at the UN, and activism against gender-based violence and climate change. For more information about these initiatives got to our website or call to speak with Office staff.

For more information contact unitednations @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Monday, January 13, 2014.

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