Giving Beyond Our Walls 2017-2018

By: Ken Bosma

Photo by: Ken Bosma

Over a decade ago ( !!) the MUUC Board proposed an initiative titled “Giving Beyond Our Walls”. Each month we share 50% of the Sunday non-pledge Plate Offerings. Through this initiative we have supported the work of many worthy causes in our community and beyond.

Thanks to all who have contributed their time and dollars in prior months and years. MUUC has donated thousands of dollars to worthy organizations, putting our 7 principles into action and working on behalf of the dignity of all people.

2017-2018 GBOW

December 2017 GBOW Recipient:

Housing Families

Housing Families, Inc. was founded in 1986, and serves families in Malden, Medford, Revere and beyond that are without housing or whose housing is in jeopardy, through a shelter and assistance program, eviction prevention program, and efforts to provide more affordable housing units. Housing Families offers a variety of academic and therapeutic programs for all ages, and after-school and summer services for children and youth. For more information or to donate to them directly:

Christmas Eve, 2017 GBOW Recipient:

Minister’s Discretionary Fund

The Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church has a discretionary fund, to be used as our Minister sees fit, to help those who need help getting through difficult times. The Minister’s Discretionary Fund is used to help people facing an immediate need. Often it is a stop-gap measure, while the regular relief services (insurance, food stamps, delayed reimbursements, etc.) are being accessed. It might be a gift card to a supermarket, or help with the co-pay for medicine or medical care. It could be to help with a rent payment or a utility bill. While priority is given to members and friends of the congregation, occasionally a need comes to the attention of the minister that is from outside the congregation which the minister deems appropriate for these funds. Adding to this fund will provide our minister with the opportunity to assist a wider group of people in need.

January 2018 GBOW Recipient:

BLUU: Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism

During January 2018, 100% of the cash in MUUC’s collection plate will go to BLUU.

Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) Organizing Collective works to provide support, information and resources for Black Unitarian Universalists. They also work to expand the role & visibility of Black UUs within our faith. The UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) has started an initiative to have each of the congregations participation in the “BLUU: Promise and Practice of Our Faith”. The following is from the UUA:

Imagine what our faith would look like if we upheld and centered the history, the perspectives, the voices, and the leadership of Black Lives of Unitarian Universalists. The “Promise and Practice of Our Faith” campaign is our opportunity to take the lead as a faith denomination in addressing our history of upholding white supremacy. Together, we can collectively work to dismantle it and amend a long broken promise to the Black Lives within Unitarian Universalism. 

During the Promise and Practice campaign to fulfill the historic $5.3 million commitment to BLUU, the UUA is providing annual cash support to BLUU equivalent to the investment returns it would be earning on the $5 million, as well as providing fiscal sponsorship and other support as requested. 

To donate by mail, please indicate “BLUU: Promise and Practice” in the memo line of your check and send to:



BOSTON, MA 02210

To donate online directly to BLUU and the Organizing Collective above the $5.3 million commitment, please visit: UUA Giving to BLUU Collective

To learn more about “BLUU” select this link: Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism

To learn more about the “Promise and Practice of Our Faith” campaign select this link: Promise and Practice of Our Faith

About Our 2017-2018 GBOW Program:

In the Cottage Meetings held in Spring 2017 (small group meetings, where MUUC’ers discussed our hopes for our future church and for our future minister), MUUC members clearly stated that we want to be more deeply and honestly involved in all aspects of true diversity, learning where our own experiences are lacking, and gaining understanding and acceptance. To that end, MUUC is going to dedicate this year to exploring diversity together. More information can be found on this important subject on our “Exploring Diversity: On the Path to Understanding” web page (including information about each diversity topic).

In conjunction with this diversity initiative, several of our GBOW recipient organizations will be selected by Diversity Topic Teams. This means the list of recipient organizations will develop as the Diversity Initiative progresses. Each of the Diversity Topic Teams will engage the MUUC community in one of the following topics for several months, and will select a GBOW recipient organization. Other organizations will also be selected through out the year. Our Diversity Topics include:

Recipients in 2017-2018:

MUUC Minister’s Discretionary Fund, The Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES)

Recipients in Previous Years:

Bread of Life, Elizabeth Stone House, Melrose Mayor’s Emergency Fund, Habitat For Humanity, Housing Families, HomeStart, Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), Project COPE, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (ECAD), Lucy’s Love Bus, Friends of the Fells, Melrose Humane Society, Melrose Alliance Against Violence, The Children’s Room, ROCA, Papaye Peasant Movement, Hope For Our Sisters, National Alliance on Mental Illness, MassBike, UUSC/UUA Refugee Crisis Fund, UU Ministry Bethany House, UU Church Of The Philippines, Extras for Creative Reuse, Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, Center for Coastal Studies (Cape Cod & surrounding ecosystems), Boston Area GleanersUU Urban MinistryImmigrant Learning CenterHomes for Our TroopsChange Is SimpleCommunity Legal Services and Counseling Center, MUUC Minister’s Discretionary Fund