Overview of Envoy Tasks: Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations

Welcome to the UU@UN

Thank you for volunteering to become an Envoy for your congregation. Continuing a proud tradition of Unitarian Universalists worldwide taking the lead in justice movements, Envoys serve as a link between the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations 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 or multigenerational 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@UN.

As an Envoy, it is expected that you will keep up-to-date with the monthly tasks listed in the Envoy News as well as maintaining communication with the Office. Below is a list of suggested things to do. You are not expected to do all of them; instead they provide you with some guidance as to what types of things Envoys work on.

The UUA's International Engagement Associate is available to work with you to strengthen the Envoy Program in your congregation. We encourage you to contact them at unenvoycoordinator@uua.org to discuss any of your ideas, questions, or concerns.

Recommended Envoy Tasks

Getting Started

  • Announce your position as Envoy to your congregation.
    Get your position officially recognized by your congregation. This can be a short introduction moment during a Sunday worship service and can be done by your minister, congregation's board president, or Social Action Committee. Then get an announcement 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. Make sure to connect with the people in the congregation who are responsible for publicizing announcements and posting on social media!
  • Get educated.
    Look at our website, talk to UU@UN 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 or create a multigenerational Envoy team. Reach out to others in the congregation with a passion for global engagement, and work together on a project to get started.

Promoting the UU@UN 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 Office at the United Nations. UN Sunday is one of the most effective ways to educate your congregation about our advocacy at the UN and recruit enthusiasm and support for the UU@UN. The UU@UN announces a new UN Sunday theme on our website each April and publishes an updated, theme-specific resource packet each June.
  • Hold an internationally themed event or fundraiser.
    For ideas go to the Envoy section of our website and check out the Envoy Resources page, or use the UU@UN Envoys Facebook group to ask for suggestions from other Envoys.
  • Publicize the UU@UN. 
    Discover the best ways to publicize the UU@UN in your congregation. Many Envoys post monthly announcements in their congregationʼs newsletter. Others set up a UU@UN table during coffee hour, or share information on the congregation's social media pages. We encourage you to come up with your own publicity ideas and share them. We love to highlight suggestions in the Envoy News and inspire other Envoys.
  • Promote and engage in UU@UN programs. 
    This includes our Intergenerational Spring Seminar and advocacy for human rights, especially police demilitarization and climate justice at the UN and beyond. For more information about these initiatives, explore our website or check out our blog.

Fostering Membership

  • Become a UU@UN Supporter.
    Lead by example and contribute to the UU@UN each year as a Supporter (see levels below). The UU@UN depends on individual and congregational contributions to keep the UU voice alive and strong at the United Nations.
    • $250.00 - Global Equality Supporter
    • $150.00 - Family/Household Supporter
    • $60.00 - Individual Supporter
    • $30.00 - Retired/Student Supporter
  • Increase individual Supporters.
    The UU@UN encourages Envoys to recruit at least five individuals in their congregation to join the historic mission of the UU@UN by becoming Supporters. If five percent of your congregation's members become Supporters (or 15 individuals for large congregations), you have already well on your way to becoming a Sixth Principle Congregation.
  • Encourage your congregation to establish an annual donation.
    A main responsibility of an Envoy is to gain interest and funding for our mission. Envoys should work alongside their minister and board to promote congregational support. Congregations are encouraged to give $100 or $2 for every member, whichever is greater. If the UU@UN suggested sustaining donor amount cannot be included in the annual budget, Envoys are encouraged to be creative about raising the funds. This includes dedicating the collection plate during a service to the UU@UN or organizing a fundraiser.

Share Your Congregation's Passions and Concerns with Us

  • Maintain communication with the Office. 
    We want to hear from you. Let us know your feedback and what issues your congregation cares about. What social action have you been involved in or do you want to be involved in? If you have any questions, suggestions, or need for assistance, contact the Office.
  • Coordinate Office visits to your congregation.
    The UU@UN Director and other staff are available to speak at your congregation on a first-come, first-served basis. Many congregations invite a staff member to speak for their UN Sunday Services.

Timelines Are Helpful

If you're more of a plan-it-out-months-ahead type of person (or even if you're not!) the UU@UN's Envoy Timeline can help you with goals and keeping on track! Check out the Envoy Timeline (PDF).