2020 Winter

January 2020

Dear ­MidAmerica Chalice Lighter,

Before I tell you about the recipient for the 2020 Winter Chalice Lighter Call, I’d like to share with you the impact your contributions to Chalice Lighters and Faithify made in the last quarter of 2019.

In addition to raising money for Peoples Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to hire a professional choir director and a professional weekly accompanist for the first time in at least 30 years, your donations helped Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, purchase and preserve 40 beautiful acres of farmland to create a nature sanctuary and green burial ground for our region. You also helped the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, open the doors of FirstSteps, a transitional house for people returning home from prison to Champaign County.

All told, your generous contributions to Chalice Lighters and Faithify have helped raise almost $35,000 to support these important projects around the MidAmerica Region. Thank you!

sign at First Unitarian Church Cincinnati Ohio

Now we’re asking you to generously support the First Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, as they live out our UU values in their community. Located in a diverse and fast-changing urban neighborhood, First Unitarian hopes to grow the congregation by making improvements in the churchs digital media infrastructure. Better digital media infrastructure will help the congregation: extend the reach of their anti-racism work; support their anti-ableism efforts; retain elderly members; bring First Church to over-scheduled, stressed-out families; increase rental income; and better use UUA resources and meeting technology.

Through this project, the congregation will

  • Upgrade their sound system microphones, speakers, and control board.
  • Add screens in the sanctuary and other parts of the building.
  • Add video cameras, switching, and video recording capacity in the sanctuary.
  • Employ a neighborhood-based, ethnic minority, high school digital media student as a production intern.
  • Add audio and video feeds from the sanctuary to other parts of the church.
  • Upgrade their server and internet connections to allow for streaming.
  • Upgrade their FM audio assistance system.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support them in this effort.

There are several ways you can participate in the Chalice Lighter program, with four suggested levels of donation:

  • $20 Believer
  • $50 Builder
  • $100 Benefactor
  • $250 Beacon

These are amounts that would be donated three times each year upon receipt of the Call Letter in Fall, Winter and Spring. If you’d prefer, for tax purposes, to make one donation per year (please send the $60 minimum donation or any greater amount to be divided among the next three Calls) you can send in your check now, and we will hold the funds and divide them equally across the three Calls. If you want to make an annual donation, please be sure to note “Annual” in the memo field of your check.

You can donate by either of these methods:

You can use the form on our Giving page - click on the Donate option of your choice; or

Write a check out to MidAmerica Region. Please note “Chalice Lighters Winter 2020 Call” or “Annual Donation” in the memo line and send it to the MidAmerica Region, 2355 Fairview Avenue #312, Roseville, MN 55113.


In addition to supporting First Unitarians Digital Media Upgrade Project, the MidAmerica Chalice Lighter Program is also supporting the Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist in Palatine, Illinois, plan to convert a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house that is adjacent to their main church building into transitional housing for immigrants seeking asylum. Chalice House is a shared project of Countryside Church and the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants, a non-profit, faith-based organization called to respond actively and publicly to the suffering of all individuals and communities affected by immigration detention, deportation, and post-detention through pastoral care, advocacy, public witness and other activities. Chalice Lighters will contribute 10% of the total amount Countryside Church receives for their campaign. Individuals can donate to this important work through Faithify at https://faithify.org/projects/immigrant-housing-in-chalice-house/.

In Faith,

Phillip Lund, Congregational Life Consultant, and the Chalice Lighter Committee