Last Sunday we began OUUC’s first Spring Stewardship Drive. The annual request to financially support OUUC changed from Fall to Spring this year when the congregation votes to change the fiscal year to July through June. We are in a short 6-month budget term to make this transition.
OUUC has undergone many changes these last few years, in organization, governance or how we make decisions, and lots of minister changes. So, how we do stewardship has changed a bit too. In last Sunday’s service, I explained a bit about how the budgeting and stewardship is happening this year, and what the minister’s role is. Or at least my role as I understand it, acknowledging that it may change over time and with a different minister. That explanation is included in The Spark today and you can watch the service here. Or, download the sermon PDF here.
If you ever doubted the power of a community to impact lives, make a call to Peptoc, a helpline created by the kindergartners of Westside School in Healdsburg, California. If you are feeling stressed, down, anxious, or just need a bit of encouragement, you can call this helpline and get words of wisdom from kindergarteners. It’s my “go to” lately and I always smile. The number is 707-998-8410. You can learn more about them here and donate to support them here.
It is the generosity of each of us joined together with the generosity of all of us that keeps OUUC growing strong. In the process, we grow community. Please join in making your pledge to OUUC.
Blessings on your week and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Text from Sunday, March 13:
It is the work of the congregation to tend to the well-being and growth of the organization, growth in the many ways that congregations grow. OUUC has been growing for many years and continues to do so, even in tough times, maybe even especially in tough times. Unitarian Universalism has a life-giving message that has been a balm and inspiration to many of us. It’s especially in hard times, that we need a community to help us define our values and find our moral compass. It’s in uncertain times that we need to know that a community will be here for us, no matter what. It’s in tough times that we need a place for our spirits to be renewed so we can return to the world with strength and compassion. We want to share our life-saving message with all who share our values, wherever they may be.
While we come to this community as individuals, what we are together defines us as a community. One of the covenants we make is that each of us will share our time, talents, and treasure as we are able. All are welcome and our gifts are welcome.
How we organize ourselves at OUUC makes the minister the spiritual leader of the faith community and the administrative executive of the non-profit. I experience both roles as very connected and I return to our shared values as I work to fill those roles. As the executive, it’s my job to tell you what resources are needed to fulfill the mission of this congregation. That is what I presented to the Board, and what the Board is presenting to the congregation in the form of the stewardship drive.
Each year we pool our financial resources to support the work of this congregation. During the stewardship drive, we ask for pledges of financial support that will help sustain and grow this community over the next year. The staff and I will develop a budget based on those pledges, a budget that includes funding for staff positions, for all programs, like classes and religious education for children and youth, for our justice efforts, and our worship. Then the budget is adopted by the Board and voted on by the congregation in May.
For the coming budget year of July 2022 through June 2023, we want to grow our capacity for Faith in Action and Adult Ed programs, and we want to grow our administrative support for the work of the congregation. We also want to provide just compensation for the staff that support this congregation.
We are making a big request this year. Some of us can increase our pledges to help reach that goal. Some of us will make new pledges. Some of us can contribute what we have in the past, and others are feeling the effects of these times. Our covenant is that we offer what we can to support the spiritual work of this community.