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.
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.
Our Envoy Coordinator is available to work with you to strengthen the Envoy Program in your congregation. We encourage you to contact unenvoycoordinator [at] uua [dot] org to discuss any of your ideas, questions, or concerns.
- 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.
- Become a UU-UNO financial supporter.
Lead by example and contribute your dues to the UU-UNO each year. Although the UU-UNO recently joined the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), we are still responsible for fundraising for our own budget. 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 at least ﬁve individuals in their congregation to join the historic mission of the UU-UNO. If five percent of your congregation's membership contributes, you have already accomplished one of the four criteria to become a Blue Ribbon Congregation.
- Encourage your congregation to establish an annual donation.
A main responsibility of an Envoy is to gain interest and funding for our Ofﬁce. Envoys should work alongside their minister and board to promote congregational support. A congregation can be deemed a UU-UNO Congregation by donating $100 or $1 for every member, whichever is greater. If the UU-UNO 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-UNO 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 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.
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 enthusiasm 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 June.
- 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”, or use the Envoy Facebook group to ask for suggestions from other Envoys.
- 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. We encourage you to come up with your own publicity ideas and share them with us. We love to highlight suggestions in the Envoy News and inspire other envoys.
- Promote and engage 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 check out our blog.