In these extraordinary times, your generous donations to the Chalice Lighters Program are welcome more than ever. This year’s round of Chalice Lighter calls begins with an opportunity to support one of our MidAmerica congregations as they respond to the stress of the COVID-19 outbreak by creating an outdoor space for their community with plenty of room for people to safely gather.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing, Michigan, has been reclaiming the urban property around their congregation to create an oasis that is welcoming and accessible to all congregants and the surrounding community, a place where children can engage in noncompetitive, cooperative, and imaginary play amidst native plants and trees; where neighborhood and church families alike can get together for outdoor play, where adults can renew their spirits in a natural setting; and where, after worship (when in-person church resumes), people of all ages and abilities can bring their coffee and continue to build Beloved community.
A guiding principle of their design process is inclusivity and accessibility for all. They know that too few parks and play areas are welcoming and accessible to children with disabilities. They also know that historically marginalized communities have limited access to quality parks, playgrounds and natural spaces. The COVID-19 pandemic again reveals that systemic racism leads to huge disparities for communities of color, not only in access to health care, but in access to healing outdoor areas for renewing physical and mental health. The Natural Play Space the congregation is developing will be a beacon for all those wishing for a well-designed natural setting for play and community. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing is excited to create a space in their neighborhood where currently nothing of the kind exists—a place to nurture all children, families, communities, and Unitarian Universalism.
New Faithify Campaign
Chalice Lighters is also supporting a new Faithify Campaign to assist Iowans recovering from the devastation caused by the derecho last month. While many of our fellow Unitarian Universalists in Iowa had no power for a week and suffered damage to their homes and trees, they are most concerned with those who had lost their homes, particularly those most vulnerable. This Faithify campaign promises to provide relief by directing all of the money pledged to non-profit organizations in the community hit by this storm that ravaged one third of Iowa. These organizations include the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, and the CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank, as well as the food bank of the People’s UU Church in Cedar Rapids. The funds will be distributed where there is the most need. Chalice Lighters will support this campaign by contributing 10% of the final amount raised, up to $1000. You can donate directly to the campaign.