LREDA Grant Program History


The LREDA Grant Program


In 1998 the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock (UUCSR), Manhasset, NY approved the grant proposal submitted by the LREDA Grant Committee and awarded $800,000 to provide grants of $15,000 each to congregations in order to help them raise compensation levels of their religious educators to at least the minimum levels recommended by the Unitarian Universalist Association. The plan was that the grants would give each congregation the initial incentive as well as the time to develop a plan to maintain the salaries at the higher levels.


Because of the success of this incentive program, LREDA wished to benefit more congregations. They submitted a second proposal to the Veatch Program at UUCSR and received a second grant of $250,000 which provided grants to 15 additional congregations to raise the salary and benefits of their religious educators. 


These grants have proved to be an important investment to the participants. Strong religious education programs are vital to the health of our congregations. Not only do they provide essential religious education leadership but a strong, vibrant ministry of religious education is often the major point of attraction for families seeking a religious and spiritual home. LREDA is grateful for the creative vision of the leadership of the Congregation at Shelter and the Veatch Program. We are grateful for their confidence in the ability of LREDA to administer this program and change the face of religious education leadership in our Association.  


Pat Ellenwood for The LREDA Grant Committee

Deborah Kahn, Jaco ten Hove, Barbara Wallace


Goals of the LREDA Grant

·        greater job satisfaction and longer tenure in the position

·        increased stability and depth in lifespan religious education programming

·        better educated, more experienced religious educators through continuing education and participation in professional meetings and conferences

·        greater congregational satisfaction with and respect for the religious education professional creation of models for good compensation and benefits practices

·        changes in norms and standards of congregations and the association


Criteria of the LREDA Grant

Each congregation will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for this grant:

1.      Completion of a written covenant between the congregation and the religious educator

2.      Minimum employment at half-time or six units per week without expectation of additional volunteer hours

3.      Presentation of congregational budget with plans to reach within three years fair compensation in salary, benefits, and professional expense provisions within the guidelines published in "To Sustain the Living Tradition" and to sustain it thereafter.

4.      Paid membership in LREDA for the religious educator

5.      Evidence of support by the congregation for Anti-racism/oppression and Welcoming Congregation initiatives

6.      Receipt of positive written recommendation from district field staff

7.      Evidence of fair share congregation status in the UUA Annual Program Fund

8.      Evidence of full payment of district dues


LREDA Grants awarded through the generosity of The Congregation at Shelter Rock 1998-2003


Community Unitarian Universalist Church                                  Daytona Beach, FL

Tennessee Valley UU Church                                                Knoxville, TN

Buxmont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship                                 Warrington, PA

First Unitarian Church of Honolulu                                          Honolulu, HI

Unitarian Society of Ridgewood                                                     Ridgewood, NJ

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe                       Santa Fe, NM

Towson Unitarian Universalist Church                                     Lutherville, MD

Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County                    Media, PA

Henry David Thoreau Congregation                                         Stafford, TX

All Souls Unitarian Church                                                       Colorado Springs, CO

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook                      Stony Brook, NY

South Nassau UU Congregation                                              Freeport, NY

Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champagne    Urbana, IL

Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento                Sacramento, CA

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York                 York, PA

People’s Church of Kalamazoo                                                Kalamazoo, MI

Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach                Long Beach, CA

Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley                                 Kensington, CA

Valley Unitarian Universalist Church                             Chandler, AZ

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Frederick              Frederick, MD

Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration                         Philadelphia, PA

Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church                                  Walnut Creek, CA

Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis                                Annapolis, MD

Unitarian Universalist Church of Montclair                                Montclair, NJ

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia                       Columbia, MD

White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church                                  Mahtomedi, MN

Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville                Jacksonville, FL

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton       Binghamton, NY

Unitarian Universalist Church of Eugene                                    Eugene, OR

First Unitarian Church of Omaha                                              Omaha, NB

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito                      Solana Beach, CA

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County     Churchville, MD

First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn       Brooklyn, NY

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills  Somerville, NJ

Unitarian Universalist Church                                       Palo Alto, CA

Second Unitarian Church                                                         Chicago, IL

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sonoma County     Santa Rosa, CA

Unitarian Congregation                                                            Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Fellowship                  Marysville, WA

Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalist                                            Odessa, FL

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Conejo Valley            Thousand Oaks, CA

Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship                                Port Townsend, WA

First Unitarian Church                                                  Des Moines, IA

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northwest Tucson          Tucson, AZ

Unitarian Universalist Church of Riverside                                Riverside, CA

Unitarian Universalist Community of El Paso                        El Paso, TX

Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte                                Charlotte, NC

First Unitarian Society of San Francisco                                    San Francisco, CA

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada          Reno, NV

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship                                               Bellingham, WA


Conclusions of Research and Analysis

The Grant Committee LREDA is pleased to share with you a summary of the results of a Research and Analysis Project completed in January 2007 designed to determine the effect of an incentive grant for religious education leaders on the congregations that received the $15,000 awards. Dr. Carol Owen, Professor Emerita Northeastern University, was the Research Director; and Lynn Larsen, a graduate student in the School of Education at Boston University, the Research Assistant.   


·        The majority of congregations reporting were able to sustain higher levels of payment to their religious educators at least one year beyond the life of the grant.


·        The majority of congregations reporting were paying at least a 10% pension benefit after the grant period ended.


·        Less than half of congregations reporting seemed to have recognized the importance of professional expenses to a religious educator’s work.


·        The LREDA Grant was perceived as having many beneficial effects on the role of and respect for religious educators.


·        While congregations have reported some physical growth, more often they have commented on the program’s many contributions to congregational health.


·        The majority of the responses (51%) were that either more employees were being paid at guideline levels or a plan had been developed to accomplish this.


·        There is no indication that some pre-existing condition other than the grant could account for a congregation's increasing the salary of its religious educator to the recommended level.


LREDA Grants awarded through the generosity of The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock 2003 - 2006


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wayne County                   Wooster, Ohio

Atkinson Memorial Church                                                       Oregon City, Oregon

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church                                          Charlottesville, VA

Unitarian Church North                                                 Mequon, Wisconsin

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation                 New London, Connecticut

Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation      Toronto, Ontario Canada

Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing                       East Lansing, Michigan

Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara                                            Santa Barbara, California

Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill                               Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Channing Memorial Church                                                       Ellicott City, Maryland

Unitarian Universalist Church of Harrisburg                               Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson                                    Tucson, Arizona

First Unitarian Church of Chicago                                             Chicago, Illinois

Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula            Monterey, California