Who is Original Blessing Original Blessing began as an idea when a group of friends came together to as what it would be like if we could create a Unitarian Universalist community that put a transformative spiritual experience at the core of our mission. Several of us had worked locally and nationally on a diverse range of social justice issues and we had come to believe that understanding the suffering we face, intellectually anyway, was not enough. If we were going to experience ourselves as sacred beings, if we were going to experience the Earth as our sacred home, as the source upon which we all depend, we needed a place where, communally rather than individually, we could seek to be transformed by the spirit, by God, by something that is larger than us, whatever the name.Over the course of a year we played and worked, prayed and danced as we developed the ideas that would serve as the foundation for this new community. Six months ago, we officially launched Original Blessing, a spiritually ambitious movement seeking a relationship with God so we can transform the world through creative worship, social justice and compassionate community. As we developed the mission and vision of Original Blessing, we also worked with several fundraising and church plant consultants to create a business plan that will bring us to financial sustainability within a few years. It is a model, we believe, that can be replicated and used by other UUs hoping to start new congregations. But don't just take our word for it. Here is what Wayne Clark, PhD., Director of Congregational Stewardship for the UUA and author of Beyond Fundraising, had to say about it:For the past 15 years, I have been the Director of the Congregational Stewardship Network for the Unitarian Universalist Association. During that time my 10 stewardship consultants and I have had the opportunity to review hundreds of congregational strategic plans.The Original Blessing plan is clearly the best plan that I have seen…I am so supportive off the Original Blessing plan that, with their permission, I will distribute the plan to my stewardship consultants. The plan will be placed at the top of my list of examples that I will make available to our UU congregational leaders.What We Need & What You Get We have about 40 regularly attending adults and 10 children, which is a great start, but as many of you know it takes some time for people to give at a level that sustains a congregation. Over the next four years we need to raise around $300,000, but in this campaign we are just asking for $15,000.-20,000 Of course, if we raise the whole $300,000 now it would make our lives a lot easier so feel free to give big.The First Unitarian Society of Brooklyn has provided us with a $75,000 grant, which is a huge vote of confidence and we are incredibly grateful to them. Doing well in this Indiegogo campaign will give them the confidence to support us with another round of funding. We are a mission driven community, which means we are investing in our vision by hiring the staff we think is needed to build a congregation that will grow fast and with purpose. We are watching every penny and our staff works for less than they could get elsewhere because they really believe in what we are doing. Our budget is just about $110,000, which is a bargain for what we deliver. Still the money goes quickly. We know that many of you are passionate about Unitarian Universalism and would support us regardless, but we'd also like to offer you some amazing gifts that not only reflect what is going on at Original Blessing, but will also inspire you to visit the next time you come to New York.You Will Change Our Faith CommunityWe believe that crowd-funding is the way of the future. There are a lot of new, innovative projects being developed by young Unitarian Universalists, in particular, that will make a huge difference in how we engage as people of faith in our nation and in our world. We believe that Unitarian Universalism can be a spiritual solution to the problems we are facing in the world. Helping us and others build these transforming communities is as important as many of the other organizations we donate to. By championing crowd-funding the really innovative and passionate projects have a chance of succeeding in a space that just didn't exist before. A successful campaign here will inspire the next truly great project.