LREDA Endowment Fund

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The LREDA Endowment Fund was established to support the mission of LREDA in serving Unitarian Universalist religious educators through innovative and supportive programs and services which augment those that are made possible by the dues of the members. The Endowment Committee encourages donations to the fund and monitors the investment, responsibly and sustainably maintained as part of the UU Common Endowment Fund. The income distribution rate will provide funding for LREDA programming for generations to come.

Support the Endowment Today

With your gift we can...

• Give more scholarships for professional development—imagine if every religious educator could come to Fall Conference and if LREDA could help more with scholarships for other professional development.
• Fund innovative projects by religious educators across the continent as part of the 21st Century program.
• Provide support to LREDA Chapters for local programming, and those educators isolated from colleagues.
• Support the dynamic Sophia Fahs Lecture speakers at General Assembly.
• More financial assistance to religious educators in the Credentialing Program.

What are YOUR dreams for LREDA?

 Who gives to the LREDA Endowment? LREDA Endowment Donors

Gaia Brown
When asked why she made a generous gift to the LREDA Endowment Campaign, Gaia Brown, replied, “I wouldn’t be the professional religious educator I am without LREDA. It has been a transformative experience to be involved with LREDA, whose promotion of professional standards led directly to the UUA’s credentialing of religious educators. This organization has done so much for me, I wanted to give back. It was a clear choice to make my gift to the endowment.”

Gaia has been a religious educator since 1975, serving congregations in New Jersey and Illinois. It was not until she retired from congregational service that the credentialing program was launched, and Gaia, almost 30 years into her career, was the first person to meet with the RECC. She also used her retirement time to author the Super Heroes duo and co-author Treasure Hunting—Take Two and Compass Points.

A formative experience for Gaia was when she attended her first LREDA Fall Conference in Madison, Wisconsin in 1994. The presenter, Helen Bishop, deeply inspired Gaia with her “Power and Praxis” presentation. Gaia, in turn, has served as a mentor and source of inspiration for many
religious educators herself. She is thrilled to see so many younger religious educators choosing this as a career path and is grateful that, because of LREDA, it is, indeed, a career path.

Thank You, Gaia!

Jennifer Halperin
Jennifer Halperin, Interim Lifespan Faith Development Director at the UU Church of the North Hills in Pittsburgh, PA has been a leader the local LREDA chapter as well the national LREDA organization. She has served as chapter president, LREDA Board treasurer, and on the LREDA Endowment Committee, among many other positions. “LREDA means professionalism of the work of religious educators. It means setting benchmarks and guidelines for congregations and colleagues to establish fair employment practices, professional conduct and continuing education. It has been at the forefront of bringing UU values to the work of religious educators, especially in establishing AR/AO/MC frameworks and lenses through which we lead congregational programs (and the organization),” Jennifer explains.

She believes in the important work of Religious Educators and the need to support it. “We are much more than a ‘union for Religious Educators,” Jennifer said about the LREDA endowment Campaign, “While we focus on professional concerns, we pay equal attention to nurturing and nourishing – replenishing the hearts and souls of our colleagues. This is often isolating, exhausting and depleting work, and it is in those times that we gather together- in worship, small and large group gatherings, chapter meetings and retreats, that give many of us what we need to continue on with our ministries.

Jennifer recalls a distinct moment of clarity and synchronicity while serving LREDA. “I was standing at the LREDA booth at General Assembly one day and a man approaches, and says he is there on behalf of a client’s estate and he has a check to deliver to LREDA. I said, ‘perfect timing, I am the LREDA treasurer.’ He was an attorney with a law firm that was handling the estate of Norma Veridan, ancestral LREDA leader. He then handed me a check for $40,000! I was stunned at the gift designated for the LREDA Endowment, and thought to myself, wow, I am so pleased and proud to accept this generous gift! And what promise LREDA held for the future for Norma Veridan that she included us in her will!”

This moment certainly had a powerful impact on Jennifer and no doubt influenced her decision to make such a generous gift to the Endowment Campaign. Jennifer explains, “I believe in the transformative power of UU religious education, and I believe that happens with well supported leaders held to the highest standards. I believe that we will be able to accomplish more with more resources – and I trust in LREDA leadership, now and in the future.”

Thank you, Jennifer!

Profiles of LREDA Endowment Campaign Donors

Ways of Giving

Current Gifts:
• Cash or Stock Donation
• Sustained Giving—a monthly gift on your charge card or bank account
• Gifts in honor of a religious educator upon milestones like credentialing, anniversaries, or retirement
• Gifts in memory of religious educators
• Collections by your congregation

Planned Giving:
• Bequest in your will
• Beneficiary of retirement account or life insurance
• UUA Umbrella Giving

LREDA Legacy Circle:
Inform us of your planned gift intentions so we can recognize you in our Legacy Circle. You will also be a Legacy Circle member with a current donation(s) totaling $2,400 or more.

Your contributions to the LREDA Endowment will increase the pool of money available each year, and will help ensure long term support of LREDA, its mission and its service to religious educators. Thank you for your contribution!


Donations are gratefully received through postal mail as well.

A receipt will be mailed to you, electronically if an email address is provided, and through the post if it is not. 

The LREDA Endowment Fund Guiding Document