Become a UU-UNO Envoy!
About Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) Envoys
What is a UU-UNO Envoy? An Envoy acts to represents the UU United Nations Office within their local congregation. They connect the congregation to the UU United Nations Office and get important information on current UN activities. They receive information on our program initiatives and then plan events in their congregation to promote the program. Envoys are extremely valuable to the UU United Nations Office because they are the link between the office and the global UU community. If your congregation does not already have an Envoy or Youth Envoy, consider becoming one. Or better yet, consider forming an Envoy Committee. To join the team, contact the office, and we will get you started. Envoy Outreach Coordinator: unitednations @ uua.org.
How did the UU-UNO and the Envoy system originate, and how is it related to the UUA? In 1962 the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson in talking to Reverend Dana Greeley suggested that each UU congregation have an Envoy who would inform UU’s about the activities of the UN. Following this, an office was set up by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to coordinate the efforts of such envoys. Thus, the UU United Nations Office was formed and initially under the Department of Social Justice, UUA. Later, it was spun off as an associate organization with no direct funding from UUA. In July 2011, the UU-UNO rejoined the UUA as apart of its the International Resources Department.
- Increase membership First, lead by example and make sure your own membership is current. The UU-UNO depends on individual and congregational contributions to keep the UU voice alive and strong at the United Nations. One of the main responsibilities of an Envoy is to gain membership and funding for our Office. Your goal should be to get at least 10% of your congregation to become members in good standing with the UU-UNO.
- 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 each year. In general, the theme matches the spring seminar topic from the previous year. In 2011 the theme was Empower Women for a Better World. In 2012, the theme was Race and Immigration. Each summer, the UU-UNO publishes an updated, theme-specific resource packet. Submit the sermon or address to the Dana Greeley Award competition.
- Advertise and participate in UU-UNO programs. Discover the best ways to publicize the UU-UNO in your congregation. Many envoys posts monthly announcements in their congregation's newsletter. Others set up a UU-UNO table during coffee hour. Our programs include our Intergenerational Spring Seminar, Every Child is Your Child Program, advocacy for LGBT human rights at the UN, and activism against gender-based violence in Darfur and elsewhere. For more information about these initiatives go to our website or call to speak with Office staff.
- Hold internationally themed events and fundraisers Share your ideas and success stories on the Envoy blog.
- 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.
- Have fun!
How Can I Become an Envoy or Youth Envoy? To become an envoy, contact our Envoy Coordinator by email, uuenvoy @ uua.org or by phone at (212) 986-5165, ext. 3. We will add you to the envoy email list and send you an envoy welcome packet.
Tips for 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, congregation’s board or Social Action Committee. Then announce yourself in your congregation’s newsletter or bulletin.
- Build an Envoy Team. Find a co-envoy, youth envoy, or create a UU-UNO committee
- 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.
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 Thursday, February 28, 2013.
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