UUAM (formerly known as UFETA, which remains the official name for business purposes) often runs ads in UU World, and we hope to run more ads, ads with varied messages that will challenge all Unitarian Universalists to rethink how animals are treated in our society (click here for samples.). Your donation will be used for this purpose only.

Empowering Unitarian Universalists in spiritually grounded intersectional justice and animal advo­cacy, for the good of all animals.

A world embodying multi-species justice, based on compassion, empathy and a deep respect for the inher­ent worth and dignity of all beings.

Home > UUAM Chapters > Forming a UUAM Chapter

Forming a UUAM Chapter

Chapters work to promote compassion for all species at the local level. In return, by being a chapter your leadership is prominently displayed on our UUAM webpage where people can find you, as well as other UUAM chapters and congregations. Also as a chapter your leadership and experience matters in what we do as UUAM, and what happens in the greater association of congregations. By being a chapter you know that you are part of something larger and can give and receive to other chapters and congregations; We are stronger together than alone.

There are many ways to form a UUAM chapter. Contact UUAM Board Patrick Tullo (UUAM Board Chapter Liaison) if you have questions or would like support and guidance. Here are the basic steps and requirements:

  1. Review the UUAM website and the list of activities/goals for chapters below and see if they are part of your ministry within and without your congregation.
  2. If your goals are in line with UUAM's, then you may begin the steps to form a chapter.
  3. You need to begin with having two or more UUAM members within the chapter.
  4. Hold a meeting inviting other members within the congregation, perhaps coupled with an activity such as a meal, outing, or discussion group.
  5. Determine that you have a ministry as a small group within your congregation.
  6. Decide on a name for yourself (we suggest calling yourself the "UUAM Chapter of "such and such a congregation"). However you may pick any name you choose, and perhaps have the UUAM chapter as part of your second line.
  7. Decide on a vision/goal for your group.
  8. Contact Mike Gruteke, UUAM Chapter Liaison, with your intention to be a chapter with your history to date, name, goal/visions, and contact person.
  9. After the UUAM Board approves you as a chapter, you may apply for membership.
  10. Fill out the UUAM Membership application. Dues are $100 a year.
  11. Congratulate yourself on becoming a chapter and bringing about the change you wish in the world.
  12. UUAM chapters are self-organizing and autonomous. We do ask however for that you report to the UUAM Board Chapter Liaison on a yearly basis with any changes in your organization (such as the contact person), with updates for our website, and with a brief summary of your activities.
Our goal in UU Animal Ministry is to embrace the various ways we celebrate and care for animals, and to affirm our faith's call to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all beings through our daily actions. We do this by drawing on UU theologies, traditions, religious practices, and our Principles and Resources. Forming a local UUAM Chapter will help members work together:

     To support individual and congregational exploration and deepening of UU faith as it concerns the understanding of humans in communities of mixed species, and our response to this understanding;

     To encourage and support UU ministers, lay leaders, and congregants to open a dialogue about this challenging moral and religious issue;

     To inform UUs and other people of conscience about the widespread abuse of animals;

     To incorporate humane education materials and attitudes into our religious education programs at all age levels;

     To encourage UU ministers to deliver sermons on animal rights issues and to develop services on animals during the yearly calendar;

     To develop and support social action programs to implement our goals of justice and compassion for all creatures;

     To work, along with other people of humane and compassionate beliefs, toward the exclusion of cruel, wasteful and repetitive testing of commercial products; duplicative, unnecessary, wasteful and even frivolous biomedical research using animals; the widespread abuse of "food" animals on factory farms and in transit to slaughter, the destruction of fur-bearing animals for profit; "sport hunting", and events which mistreat animals for entertainment;

     To encourage UUs and others to explore and adopt a more humane lifestyle, focusing on ethical consumerism, vegetarianism and veganism, the use of cruelty-free products and the development of alternatives to the use of animals in research and products testing.

Some of the things you might consider implementing for your congregation is to hold an annual "Animal Blessing" service*; provide support for those grieving the loss or illness of a pet; serve vegetarian and vegan fare at community meals; and have available at your congregation a list of restaurants that offer sustainable/animal friendly choices.

There are many excellent resources available for both adult and children's RE viewing, activities and discussion. Please note the Resources pages on our website.

* Rev. Gary Kowalski and Rev. LoraKim Joyner have compiled a helpful guide for anyone wishing to plan a service celebrating our kinship with other living creatures. You can obtain this information in a slide show here:

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