Dear UUSM Family and Friends,
I hope this message finds you healthy and well. If you are someone who has supported the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, you will be receiving a mailing in the next day or two that mimics this letter.
It’s a strange time to be kicking off a pledge drive.
We have just wrapped up our second week of live-streaming our Sunday service. This time coming together from many locations to create community online and hold space for breathing and being together.
Additionally, dozens of members are ramping up pastoral care efforts to check in with every community member on an ongoing basis. And they are beginning to roll out new ways of deepening connection even as we shelter in place.
We continue to co-create the community we aspire to be—beloved to each other, uplifting and encouraging, and caring for a world that hurts. But times call for us to more creatively answer the call as Unitarian Universalists, to side with love and come together (at a safe spatial distance).
As we move further into uncertain times, you will find deep comfort through small group ministry. You’ll find wonderful inspiration in streamed worship. And you’ll find great meaning in service to members of our community. The Unitarian Universalist Community Church will be at your side, figuratively speaking, and literally, if you need it.
But here is the challenge, you play a more critical role than ever in keeping UUSM healthy. Rental income and fundraising event revenue has evaporated; and we have a moral obligation to pay our staff throughout this public health emergency.
So as we kick off our 2020 pledge drive, I am asking you to join me in making a financial commitment to the very best of your ability so we can build a stronger UUSM in the coming fiscal year, no matter what.
Will you make a generous pledge for the coming year today? It’s easy. Sign up at www.uusm.org/2020pledgedrive.
And if you support UUSM events like Dining 4 Dollars, please consider tacking that on. I’m sure our hosts will be thrilled to hold events when things get back to normal.
What’s afoot at UUSM?
A lot! Even if it’s all happening in cyberspace right now.
First, with Reverend Jeremiah on board we have a new kind of transformative worship, a comprehensive pastoral care model in the works, and a spirit of joy and playfulness permeating our culture!
Second, we are enriching multigenerational religious education, supporting families with children and youth in exciting new ways. A new Adult RE model, membership program, and leadership development offerings are coming. And we are becoming more connected to our national UU movement.
Finally, we are creating a culture of abundance within and beyond our walls, and with kindred UU organizations. We are better supporting our staff and loving our campus. We are increasing the share of our Sunday offering going to partners doing good in the larger community. And we are more consciously aligning our investments with our UU values.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asserted that a society of justice, equity, and peace, established on a foundation of love, was a goal for human life. He called it the Beloved Community.
You and I fuel our beloved community at UUSM with our pledges of support. Indeed, more than two-thirds of next year’s budget will come from pledges like yours and mine.
Your generous pledge means that we can continue to transform worship and pastoral care, build enriching multi-generational RE, and create a community more capable of bringing love and justice into the world.
Society needs Unitarian Universalism. Our UU principles are a bulwark against a dominant culture that feeds on comparison, consumption, and exclusion.
We need UUSM. Our shared spiritual home at the corner of 18th and Arizona provides a wellspring of inspiration, friendships, and support as we navigate 21stcentury life. And it challenges us to work together to create the society that Dr. King imagined.
“Denunciatory rhetoric is so much easier and cheaper than good works, and proves a popular temptation,” William Lonsdale Watkinson wrote. “Yet it is far better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.”
Thank you for Igniting Our Faith with your 2020-2021 pledge.
Jacki Weber, President