The purpose of the ICUU is to support and nurture our global U-U faith around the world, by helping each other, group to group, to be vibrant and sustainable where we each live and work. As each group is nurtured to grow in capacity and reach, all groups are nurtured and strengthened. As we respond to new and emerging groups, as we help existing groups who are struggling, we help each other and ourselves, to be better stewards of this faith tradition in the service of love, to bring our values and voices to a world in need.
One of the unique tasks of the ICUU is to respond to and work with emerging groups of U-Us wherever they live in the world. In the past decade, much of this emerging U-Uism has taken place in Africa and South America. The ICUU, through staff and volunteers, establishes relationships with inquiring individuals in many countries, makes site visits when appropriate, and helps build mentoring relationships between established U-U groups and new/emerging groups. We take steps to assess and nurture the organizational capacity and sustainability of new groups, helping them become stable organizations which are able to take on the responsibilities of organizational presence and leadership in their own communities, right relations with other U-Us around the world, and membership in the ICUU.
It is also a task of the ICUU to support and respond to the needs of existing member groups, especially as they go through organizational changes. Some of our historic groups in Europe have found themselves in decline and hardship, and the ICUU has been there to provide connections, support and training, to help strategize new approaches to liberal faith in changing demographics and realities.
Staff members are trained and experienced in organizational assessment and lead many of the training projects with new groups. We also often partner with the UUA Partner Church Council, especially in the use of Community Capacity Building workshops, based on the work of Richard Ford. We recruit individuals from many ICUU groups to bring their experience and expertise to this work with emerging groups, and we also build coalitions of mentoring congregations to help establish ongoing relationships. In 2014 we began a pilot program for ICUU regional staff located in Africa and South America, to help develop and sustain this training and mentoring work.