By Intern Minister, Christina Hockman
A Faithify crowdfunding project for the Unitarian Church of Norfolk (UCN) raised $10,991 in on-line donations for the Rev. Jennifer Slade Memorial Fund. Contributions made after the on-line fundraising deadline have brought the total to $11,500. More than forty individuals made donations, as well as the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Glen Allen, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula (Newport News), the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Rappahannock (White Stone) and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg. The project was sponsored by the Hampton Roads Unitarian Universalists.
The project was initiated as a way for individuals and congregations to show their support for the Norfolk church, which suffered the sudden death of its minister, the Reverend Jennifer Slade, in July. Jennifer had been helping the congregation plan a move to higher ground — both literally and spiritually, as rising tides are threatening its current building, one it has already outgrown.
Thanks to an exceptionally generous gift of $5,000 from “Paul from Virginia”, the project met its goal by the funding deadline. Paul says, “Although I have never met the vast majority of people from the Norfolk Church — even if I’d never met anyone there — that congregation is part of my UU family. What happened is heartbreaking. Being present to those in need is part of living my faith.”
Our friends from the Unitarian Church of Norfolk say, “The entire UCN community wishes to thank the very generous contributors to the Faithify fund in honor of the Rev. Jennifer Slade. These contributions have been placed in the New Building Fund to be used for expenses (real estate lawyer, consultants, architect, etc.) related to our search for a new building. The support of fellow UUs has meant so much to all of us.”
Faithify (www.faithify.org) is a crowdfunding site where passionate people FOLLOW, SHARE and FUND a variety of Unitarian Universalist ministries. Its purposes include inspiring a culture of innovation that extends the reach of UU values, lowers the walls between existing congregations, and ignites ministries in new venues, formats and communities. As of December 30th 2014, more than $145,000 had been raised on Faithify for thirty-six projects, ranging from rainwater harvesting in Southern California to a youth mission trip in Vermont.