​​The United Covenant Union 

Our Strategic Objectives:

The United Covenant Union has three objectives:

  • Organizing clergy to advocate for just secular employment, and train in organizing informal workers. 
  • Organizing informal workers to gather for prayer, food sharing, voter registration, and action in public life. 
  • Organizing congregations to support informal workers, and act on issues affecting their community. 

UCU is consists of three 'clergy covenant unions' that train clergy to organize informal workers into a  “congregational union,” as well as teaching clergy to advocate for just employment and living wages in their supplemental work.

UCU will organize informal workers and their families into congregational unions that do the following:

  1. Prayer Meetings (Weekly)
  2. Food Sharing
  3. Informal Worker Organizing
  4. Thrift Store
  5. Voter Registration

UCU will train partner congregations to be in solidarity with informal workers, and in the methodologies of congregation-based organizing in the following ways:

  1. Forming Congregational Unit
  2. Solidarity with Congregational Union
  3. Congregational Organizing 
  4. Voter Registration  

Our Values:

  • Faith
  • Agency
  • Mutuality
  • Solidarity
  • Reparation 

Our Prayer for Change: 

The United Covenant Union believes that prayer is “work in action.” Our prayer is found in the ways we accompany clergy to find just and meaningful supplemental employment, and the way in which we empower informal workers to band together to address wage theft, or the steps congregation takes to address injustice with a public official or stakeholder. We believe that the exploitative nature of the industrial and plantation economic systems have caused displacement, poverty, and widened the sphere of the informal economy, which has left many people vulnerable to wage theft and trapped in the web of poverty. At the same time, congregations have declined in membership in no small part due to a shrinking middle class. Without a vibrant congregational culture, nonprofit agencies provide clinical top-down solutions to poverty – failing to recognize the inherent dignity, worth, and agency that their clients, most of whom are informal workers, have. Our prayer is that by organizing informal workers, we can repair the breach that divides people who share the same agony – and rebuild our democracy and eradicate generational poverty through prophetic leadership development.   

The United Covenant Union is a union of clergy, informal workers and their families. Economists estimate that nearly 40% of the working age population are engaging in informal labor, and are paid in cash. Most informal workers live near or on the edge of poverty. Some have part time jobs, others are reliant on public assistance benefits, while some are even retired from formal employment, but cannot afford to live on their pension. For the vast majority of informal workers, the breadline is the new shop floor. 

Congregation-Based Community Organizing 

Examine our methodologies. 

Organizing the Informal Workforce 

Understand the ins and outs of the informal economy. 

Organizing Strategy for Clergy 

Study UCU's innovative strategy to elevate clergy voices! 

Our Work 

Our Story 

Discover UCU's history and the story of who we are becoming. 

Our Resources 

Explore our anthology of resources for members. 

Our Vocations  

Learn the disciplines and expectations of UCU's organizers