Dear OUUC Community,
The Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation is alive and well!
We have weathered the COVID storm through innovation, dedication and grace. We are Expanding Our Reach with a greater online presence and regular communications using the many technologies available to us. The work, however, is not finished to bring our congregation to its new normal.
Our commitment to economic, racial and environmental justice is unwavering. Study and discussion groups are exploring “Building the World We Dream About” and multicultural leadership. Lectures and public meetings for environmental issues are offered regularly. Share the Plate donations are steady and keep us connected to the needs of the larger community. The Books, Brownies, and Beans book sale continued throughout the pandemic to help us support those without housing.
Our commitment to each other is rock solid. Online participation numbers continue to be strong, and many are returning to the sanctuary for worship and other events. Weekly spiritual practices and community dinners nurture our bodies and our spirits. The Choir continues to help us transcend us to higher places. We have carefully and safely come back together to celebrate life transitions and to mourn our losses.
Our religious education programs thrive with Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives programming. Special Thursday night children and youth programs focus on practical and meaningful life challenges. Plans are underway to expand Chalice Camp with spring and summer sessions.
OUUC’s leadership has continued to address challenges of keeping the church building and its surroundings safe, warm and healthy. A huge thanks to all that contributed to the Capital Campaign! And many thanks to those who served on multiple committees to address our physical, emotional and congregational needs.
March is the month we ask members, friends, families and program participants to make a pledge to support OUUC’s operations. The Stewardship Drive happens just once a year for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2023. Our goal is to raise $557,090.
The OUUC budget will increase this year by 14.8 percent. Much of the increase is to support the staff needed to maintain our online presence and to expand our capacity to return to offering two Sunday services. The Board of Trustees support a 10% cost of living increase for all staff to provide an equitable pay structure to retain and attract skilled professionals. The budget also anticipates health insurance costs, payroll taxes and benefits to rise.
Each and every one of us can pledge their financial support to our beloved community. All pledges are welcome. We are asking you to consider increasing your pledge by 20 – 25%. For those who are new to pledging, we recommend you look at the Fair Share giving guide provided on the OUUC website. Yes, it is a big ask and yet it is necessary for us to continue Expanding Our Reach.
Please join us in supporting our OUUC community! Learn more at https://www.ouuc.org/giving/pledging/
Many blessings to you this coming year,
Karmel Shields, Stewardship Chair
Arlene Colerick, Board President
Rev. Mary Gear, Minister