The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock (UUCSR) is a Unitarian Universalist church known for its active funding of left-wing activist groups.  UUCSR funds “social justice” and environmentalist groups through its Veatch and Congregational Large Grants programs, but it receives the bulk of its philanthropic funds from its ownership in German natural gas wells—a gift to the church from a now-deceased congregant, Caroline Veatch. 
UUCSR advertises itself as a “faith community.” In 1941, four families formed a “liberal religious education program” for their children. This education program became the North Shore Unitarian Universalist Society in 1944 and was later renamed UUCSR.
In 1953, Caroline Veatch, a member of the North Share Unitarian Universalist Society, granted the congregation half of the oil and gas rights that she had inherited from her husband, an oil geologist.
UUCSR divides its main philanthropic work between two programs: the Veatch Program and the Congregational Large Grants program.
The Veatch Program was established using the funds UUCSR receives from the church’s oil royalties. While there is no official timeline for when UUCSR began issuing grants, the Veatch Program began sometime after Caroline Veatch’s death in 1953.
Congregational Large Grants Program
UUCSR began its Congregational Large Grants program in 2007, intending to continue funding this program for just seven years (through 2014). However, the program was later extended through June 2019.
UUCSR obtains much of its funding from the oil and gas royalties it received from Caroline Veatch, something that former UUCSR president Arnold Babel acknowledged in 2015, saying, “The congregation gets royalties from the gas wells in Germany.”
In its peak year, these oil and gas rights brought $20 million in income to UUCSR.
Since 2007, UUCSR has annually given an average of six $100,000 grants to organizations that support “efforts within the religious and spiritual mission of the congregation.”
Past recipients of these grants include National Women’s Law Center, the Peace Action Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and the League of Women Voters. Between 2007 and 2013, these grants totaled $7,695,000.
In 2017, UUCSR’s Veatch Program gave a total of $8,347,985 in grants to over 190 groups, many of which are left-of-center. Grant recipients include Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Black Lives Matter, Funders for Justice, Transgender Law Center, and labor union-aligned Jobs With Justice Education Fund.
UUCSR’s grants have surpassed $500 million total since 1953.
Joan Minieri is executive director of the Veatch Program at Shelter Rock.