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Institutionalizing a Ministry of Generosity
Institutionalizing a Ministry of Generosity

A program of the Pacific Western Region of the UUA.

What would it mean for your congregation to practice “Generosity in All Things”?

Institutionalizing a Ministry of Generosity will provide religious leaders with materials and support to shift congregational practices and transform culture in order to promote generosity in all areas of congregational life. Areas to be covered include operational management (mission clarity, narrative budgets, annual giving campaigns, multiple giving opportunities, planned giving, donor appreciation, compensation etc.), covenantal congregational life, worship, faith formation, pastoral care, and membership formation.

Congregational teams of five (including the minister) spend a year in formation and planning which includes a weekend retreat February 15-17, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. At the end of the year, the team will have created a three-year plan tailored to their congregation.  

While applications are due by June 1, 2018, the application requirements should be reviewed well in advance.


The idea for this program came out of the work of our Congregational Life Staff and the surveys we have done asking leaders to identify areas for growth.

We think of generosity as being an attitude and a behavior and encompassing many areas (the ability to assume good faith, to forgive, to give freely of ones time and treasure, to set aside one's own preferences for the greater good, to receive the blessings of community etc.).

The content will build on research out of the United Church of Canada that showed an 82% increase in giving over six years in congregations that were intentional about adopting new practices and paying attention to the need for cultural shifts. It will be adapted to our context as Unitarian Universalist congregations. Our intent is to move beyond technical fixes and reactionary responses to a more intentional and comprehensive approach to generosity.


Congregations across the PWR are invited to apply for the program. Note that participation will be limited to 10 congregations.

Applicants make a commitment to:

  • Create a team of five participants (including the minister);
  • Engage in preliminary group and individual work (approximately 20 hours between September and January);
  • Participate in a weekend retreat to be held February 15-17, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona;
  • Create a three-year plan by May 15, 2019 and implement it;
  • Follow-up conversations;
  • Completion of a “One Year Later” report in the spring of 2020.

We are currently seeking funding, which we hope will cover all retreat costs for your team. The Pacific Western Region is contributing a substantial amount of time to this project. Congregations are responsible for travel costs to the retreat and an additional $500 if traveling fewer than 400 miles to Phoenix and/or $500 if the congregation is not currently contributing the requested amount to both the UUA and your district.

Submitting your application

You'll need to have the following congregational details in order to submit your application:

  • Number of certified members;
  • Congregational budget;
  • The date when your board voted in support of your application;
  • Who your five participants will be;
  • The answers to the ten-question self-assessment (which requires input from a minimum of eight leaders).

Review or submit your application.


Any questions about this application or program should be directed to the Rev. Jan Christian at jchristian [at] uua [dot] org.

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