Investing in Liberal Religious Outreach

My name is Thomas Earthman. The I Am UU project is my ministry. I am not an ordained minister. I am not trained to do the work of a parish minister. I do have, as the UUA puts it, “gifts to share with [my] faith community and the wider world.”
 
Coming into this project nearly 7 years ago with computer skills and the ability to write, I have picked up a great many other skills “on the job”; skills that include community management, graphic design, a lot of information on theology and Unitarian Universalist history, and the ever-changing needs of Facebook and social media.

These are skills that took time to develop. They take time to use for the benefit of Unitarian Universalism. They are not skills everyone has, and no one is more prolific in creating Unitarian Universalist content for you to share and enjoy. I don’t believe any one person is working harder to make Unitarian Universalism visible on our terms; in ways that show the best of what we offer to the world.

Lay-led does not mean unprofessional.

Like a lay-led congregation, this project still has expenses and requires a huge investment of time and talent. I have been lucky to have some great content offered up by people who value what we are building. It still takes a lot of work to create the art, curate the links and the quotes and manage the comments and emails for the project. Additionally, I have committed to several hours a week in personal study to be better at the job. From online classes to in-person workshops and lots of reading, I am giving so much of myself to this project because it fills a need, and I don’t feel anyone else is doing it as well. It has become a responsibility, and one I take seriously.

You are already a vital part of this project.

You all are already part of this project by liking and sharing posts and giving me your feedback. The community has shaped what I am creating, and it is better because of the diversity of the community. Since the beginning of December, we have reached no fewer than 10,000 people a day, and almost 24,000 on Monday alone. This work matters. We make Unitarian Universalism easy to understand and share, and that means that people are learning about us for the first time every day.

We need just a little more, if you can do it.

Unitarian Universalism does not have a way to fund community ministry. Those who want to be ministers outside of a congregation either need a congregation with a huge budget or to sign up to a hospital or residential facility as a chaplain. Those are amazing callings, but they do not support the work being done here. We need you to reach out into that gap and help fund our work.

We are asking you to make a year-end contribution to the I Am UU project. I need your help to keep going. The project needs you to buy My time for the service of Unitarian Universalism. We need you to invest in outreach and art. We need to know that what we do matters in real terms. I am asking you to invest in growing Unitarian Universalism, not just in terms of numbers but in its engagement in the world and the interfaith community. We hope that you see this project as something worth supporting.

 We need a small investment from a lot of people.

If you can, what we need most is for you to pledge a small, sustainable amount to our Patreon campaign. With 1 nearly 10,000 Facebook fans, it wouldn’t take a large percentage pledging $2 or $3 a month to make this project infinitely sustainable. You can alter, suspend, or cancel your pledge at any time, and you will get extended access to me and the workings of the project as well as membership in the deeper community if you so desire. Only a few hundred more dollars would mean that I can keep doing this part-time for the foreseeable future; there are artists making a living on Patreon, and I believe that this community could raise 3,000 or more a month to fully fund this project fully and make this a true profession.

If you prefer a one time donation, we also have a GoFundMe page.

We really do need community support. I welcome your comments and constructive feedback. As always, I am grateful for the reach and impact I am able to have because you all have given me your trust. It is an honor.

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