Timeline for UN Sunday Service Planning

This is a general timeline to help you plan and prepare for your UN Sunday service. The guidelines are for an October service – if your service is at another time, just adjust the month! Italics indicate that these items are not applicable for a virtual service.


  • (ASAP) Settle on a date for your UN Sunday service. Inform UU@UN of the date you’ve selected.
  • Read through the UN Sunday resources thoroughly and educate yourself on the UN and this year’s theme.
  • Brainstorm ways to engage the congregation in concrete action that relates to the theme: Will the action be focused on changing congregational culture? Organizing locally for change? Joining a national or international campaign?
  • If you don’t already have youth in your Envoy team, reach out to your congregation’s youth group and invite them to help you plan a multigenerational service.
  • If you plan to invite a guest speaker to give the sermon, reach out to potential speakers to check their availability. (UU@UN staff members are available to speak at your congregation. Invite them ASAP, as their schedules fill up quickly!)
  • See if your congregation can have a special collection for the UU@UN during the UN Sunday service (or during October if your congregation has month-long plate recipients).


  • Reconvene your UN Sunday Service planning team and check in on progress.
  • If speakers/musicians haven’t confirmed yet, follow up or find an alternative.
  • Brainstorm music and a Time for All Ages for your service.
  • Talk with congregational leaders about how to engage congregants in taking action on the theme after the service is done. Will it happen the same day? Later in the week? Will it be a single event or an ongoing campaign?
  • Develop a plan to advertise the UN Sunday service so you can get good attendance (e.g. post on social media/congregation’s website; tabling during coffee hour; mention in announcements prior to services; place a notice in newsletter, local newspaper).
  • Talk with Director of Religious Education about possibly using UN Me curriculum to help the children learn about the UN in lead-up to UN Sunday. Suggest the RE curriculum for UN Sunday as recommended in the UN Sunday resources below.


  • Finalize order of service, special collection for UU@UN, and list of people to speak/perform during the service.
  • See if you can get a photographer to take pictures of your service and check with your congregation’s administrator if the photos may be shared and used by the UU@UN.
  • Begin advertising UN Sunday service & action so you can get good attendance.
  • Prepare for a table during coffee hour following the UN Sunday service (or during the whole month!) to educate congregants about the UU@UN. Flyers to display can be downloaded and printed from the Envoy Resources webpage .
    • Ask UU@UN to send you donation envelopes for Order of service/display table.
  • Follow up with whoever will give the sermon to make sure they’re familiar with the UU@UN and will talk about the topics you’d like them to address.
  • Finalize details for post-service action that helps congregants put passion into action.
  • Talk with treasurer or church admin about check processing protocol:
    • Can they provide you and/or the UN Office with a list of the names of donors?
    • Should checks be made out to UU@UN or to the congregation who will send a combined check?
    • Review donation protocol for congregations. (Instructions available for download from the Envoy Resources webpage.)


  • Finalize the worship script for the worship associate.
  • Meet up with your UN Sunday Service planning team to run through the service.
  • Make sure donation envelopes for the service have been procured a week ahead of time.
  • Continue advertising UN Sunday service & action so you can get good attendance!
  • After the service, make sure to follow up to thank your guest speaker(s) and check in with the UU@UN to report how it went!

UN Sunday: The Day Of

  • Be there early to:
    • Get water for the speaker(s).
    • Test microphones; (if recording) set up recorder and/or video camera.
    • Make sure the Religious Education participation is ready.
    • Greet guests as they arrive.
    • Help stuff donation envelopes into the orders of service (if applicable).
  • If a collection is being taken for the UU@UN, encourage people to write their information on the donation envelopes included in the orders of service so that you can get the Supporters needed to become a Sixth Principle Congregation
  • After the service: Enjoy coffee hour socialization, introduce speaker(s) to members of the congregation, make sure people know about and will join you for the action that follows.
  • Collect checks made out to the “UU@UN”:
    • Mark checks from donors who want to be sustaining friends of the UU@UN.
    • Make a list of individuals who made donations, to qualify for Sixth Principle Award.
    • Use the UU@UN’s Donation Instructions sheet (PDF).
  • If applicable, work with treasurer to add up income from the collection. If the collection plate isn’t for the UU@UN, remind people during the service that UU@UN is supported by their donations.

UN Sunday: Follow-Up

  • Please send (email is fine) the following to the UU Office at the UN:
    • A few photos (if you can get permission from the congregation for photos from the service to be used by the UU@UN)
    • The number of individual donations w/ amounts (include names if you have permission)
    • Total amount donated from collection plate (if applicable)
    • The Order of Service/ Program & any additional information you’d like to share
  • Head to the UN Sunday map and log in to share about your UN Sunday event so others can read about it and be inspired. Instructions are on that page. Include pictures if you can! While you’re there, look at what other congregations have done. Adding a description to the map is important to qualify for the Sixth Principle Congregation Award
  • Upload pictures of the service; if on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, tag the UU@UN (@UUOfficeUN)!
  • Write thank you notes to speaker(s), committee chairs, and others who contributed to the service or action. You can also enclose copies of photos of participants.
  • Confirm that the offering was sent to the UU@UN.

Celebrate! You did a wonderful job.