February 2017

Dear Chalice Lighter,

Thanks for your participation in the Chalice Lighters program. Starting with this Winter 2017 Chalice Lighter call, the PCD has decided to not limit the program to only congregational projects. We want to encourage innovation, including joint congregational projects and even non-congregational initiatives. Whatever good ideas are out there to encourage growth and development of our faith will be considered. For our inaugural call under the new program, we are supporting a new type of internship program. This idea was proposed by Rev. Lindi Ramsden, who has a front row seat to the challenges facing ministry students and new ministers. Funds collected from this call will be held by the district until an application comes from a suitable sized congregation to run this trial internship program—which we hope might become ongoing.

“Most seminarians studying for parish ministry complete their required ministerial internships in mid-size to larger congregations. Why? Larger congregations can better afford to pay the internship stipend.

“However, after graduation, many new ministers begin as the sole minister in a smaller congregation. There they quickly discover that small congregations have some particular challenges and opportunities that are different than what they encountered in their larger multi-staffed internship sites. In addition to internal organizational differences, it is not uncommon to find our smaller congregations serving in more conservative or rural communities.

“Wouldn’t it be great if seminarians interested in serving our smaller congregations could hone their skills while doing their required congregational internship in a small congregation? It is a win-win for the small congregation, the seminarian and the growth of Unitarian Universalist values and leadership. Together, we can make this happen.”
– Rev. Lindi Ramsden, acting dean of Students and Community Life, Starr King School for the Ministry

Please respond now with your contribution to help build the PCD Ministerial Internship Fund.

Can you afford to give $20? We are grateful for whatever you can contribute. Payments will be accepted towards this call through April 10. Ten percent of each call reimburses expenses to administer the program. If you prefer to make your payment online, please see the NEW donation page. If you can, sign up for email call letters and use electronic payments to lower our administrative costs. Or mail your check, payable to PCD Chalice Lighters to: PCD Chalice Lighters, 7511 Greenwood Avenue North, #414, Seattle, WA 98103-4627. Please note that this address is new. Include the PCD designation on both your check and payment envelope. Questions may be directed to sfulton@uua.org. Thank you for your generosity!

Sincerely yours,
Steve Burns,
PCD Board President