Stewardship Snapshot: Ask Not What Your Church Can Do for You

Today our 2019–20 spring pledge drive is in full swing and we are making connections throughout our community. Vital conversations are taking place concerning our mission and priorities and exploring our commitment as individuals and as a church. This year’s theme “This Is What Generosity Looks Like” covers pledges as well as our generosity of energy and precious time, our willingness to hear a diversity of voices, our acceptance of change and how these all can lead to true inclusion.

These are formative conversations as we deepen our efforts to effect change in troubled times. To “follow that challenging call at the heart of our faith to embody the fierceness of love in the face of hate and violence,” in the words of UU President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray.

Members should already have heard from a Stewardship Connector, calling to meet with you to share stories about what fuels you, what fires you up, and what breaks your heart. And to explore what generosity and commitment look like. If you’re a member – or want to become a member – and haven’t been contacted by a Connector, call or email The Rev. Greg Ward to make a connection and have your voice heard.

What’s changed?

There’s lots more that’s new with this year’s pledge drive.

  • First, it’s happening now. Instead of a fall-winter 2018 pledge drive, we have transitioned to a spring pledge drive to align better with our church year.
  • This will be our only pledge drive, and it will not continue into the summer. On Monday, March 25 all the pledges will be tallied and the numbers will go to the Finance Committee and the UUSM Board of Directors to make decisions and formulate a budget for the 2019–20 church year.
    • There will be a  brief, Sunday afternoon meeting on the last day of the pledge drive March 24 to show near-final pledge numbers and what’s next.
  • Are you playing possum? We want every member to activate and turn in a pledge form this year.
  • If you’re an annual, lump-sum pledger, we thank you kindly and ask that you consider becoming an automatic monthly contributor, to benefit both your cashflow and the church’s.
  • Instead of relying as much on our biggest pledgers, we are seeking to grow our average donation to the nationwide UU average of $1700 (last year we were at $1300). Not everyone can pledge at this level. We’re asking each member to do their very best.
  • Our “heavy hitters” have joined forces to inspire the congregation through the Sustainability Fund.
    • Anyone who increases their pledge by at least 10% will have their increase matched up to $500!
    • Anyone who increases their pledge by 20% will have their increase matched up to $1000!
    • Anyone currently pledging below our $1700 target who increases their pledge to $1700 or above will have their increase matched up to $1000!

Snapshot

So far, we have received $127,973 in pledges from 25% of our membership. More than $13,000 of these are increases that are eligible for a match; thanks to all our Sustainability Fund supporters. Here’s how it stacks up as of Wednesday, March 13.

Stewarship snapshot shows lots of increased pledging

Remember that UUSM receives no funding from our denomination and that 70% of our operating income comes from pledges. Please, when your connector calls, say “Yes!” Give your Connector your completed pledge form or turn it into the office by Sunday, March 24. The Stewardship Committee is so grateful for your pledge, which is critical to our covenantal community and to supporting our mission and ministry.

May we not be silent or shrink back from the demands of love. And may we hold one another as we follow new pathways of joy, of community, of change, of the unknown.

– The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

 

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