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New Church Partnerships Expand Support for ILYA

We are excited about the recent development of a new partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek! Their congregation has recently chosen to include ILYA (Independent Living for Young Adults) as one of their social justice projects that they support during the year.

The conversation first started between First U member Kathie Stamm who attends Chalice Circles with Mill Creek member Ann Draper. The idea was then enthusiastically welcomed by Rev. Greg Pelley and Mill Creek leadership. Rev. Pelley says that “the partnership makes a lot of sense on many levels. Our members were looking for a program to support and ILYA was an initiative that easily resonated with our congregation because it’s clearly making an impact. It is well-organized and there are multiple ways for our members to get involved in the various projects, whether through the Student Care Packages, mentoring or supporting students at the holiday times.”

Already, the congregation made ILYA their focus project for Share the Plate Sundays in July and August this past summer and have been sharing about the program in their weekly church newsletters. Rev. Pelley adds “As things begin to get back to normal and our congregation starts meeting in person again, I’m sure this relationship with First U will continue to develop in the coming year.”

Ann Draper now serves on the ILYA Leadership Team as the liaison to Mill Creek. She reiterates that getting involved with ILYA is an opportunity to do something good for others and is a wonderful program for members to invest in. “We are still learning about the project and ways we can support students, but we know that ILYA is making a difference and are committed to getting involved further.”

A partnership is also underway with the congregation at Unitarian Universalists of Central Delaware in Dover. More details to come. It is wonderful to connect with these new congregations around a unified mission of empowering young people who are aging out of foster care.