statement that commits us to “nurture each other, serve the community, and inspire action
that heals the world.”
The attached documents give an overview of the many programs and services our church
provides and which we all pay for. But consider just a few examples:
- Our children are integrated into worship each Sunday while enjoying their own rich religious exploration
- Our adult religious exploration committee is offering more programs than ever.
- Our building has been improved with the dropped ceiling and new duct work in the Fellowship Hall, almost all done with volunteer labour.
- We have a new sound system that does justice to our wonderful musical talent.
- Our Blooms for Africa group has passed an amazing milestone, raising more than $100,000 in just six years to help grandmothers in Africa raise their orphaned grandchildren.
- We served almost 500 lunches to the church and wider community last year and aim to do more in the new church year
- The church is the host for a new Kirkendall neighbourhood planning exercise.
- Several thousand people, from more than two dozen
community organizations, use our building every year for their own
programs. Large numbers also visit our church to take part
in our events
Stewardship is an important part of this exciting agenda. The way we choose to use our personal, household and congregational resources is an expression of our values and a means of making our dreams real. Giving generously from our abundance—our time, ideas, energy, skills and money—can provide spiritual satisfaction while accomplishing practical goals within our faith community
As a Unitarian Universalist congregation, we do not receive denominational money to pay for our building, minister, staff and other expenses that make possible all of what we do together. We pay our own way, mainly through our annual financial commitments, with a little help from rentals and fundraising events.
Our church is fortunate that past members established endowments for future support of our church. Most of our endowments require that their value be protected against inflation. When our investments do well, our endowments earn income in excess of the inflation rate that we can use for church programs. But the market crash of 2008 depleted those funds. Until our endowments recover their value, which will likely take a few more years, there won’t be any excess investment income to contribute to our annual budget needs.
Let’s put some numbers on those needs. Last year, together, we made financial commitments of over $280,000, the largest commitment in our history. We rightly celebrated that achievement, but it was short of what we need to prosper. Despite careful management of expenses, we had to deplete our reserve fund to get by. To maintain our existing programs and staffing in the coming year, together we need to increase our commitments by an additional $39,000. When determining your financial commitment to the church for the coming year, we ask you to consider how much of that additional $39,000 you could contribute.
We will have a three-week annual budget drive in October and early November, kicking off with a celebratory “Motown Hoedown” for the whole church family on Friday October 12. As part of the budget drive, there will be opportunities for one‐on‐one stewardship visits and for small group discussions, to talk about the church and its meaning for you. And you will be asked for your financial commitment. We need your support and are counting on you.
Take some time to consider and decide what commitment of your financial resources is consistent with both what the church means to you and to your family and the other life commitments you must meet. The Fair Share Giving Guide, which draws on the experience of many Unitarian Universalists throughout North America, has been provided to help you make that determination.
Consider what our church needs to sustain and increase the programs, worship and spiritual growth fostered here—and what commitment you will make toward furthering our mission.
We know this faith community makes a difference: to our members, to our visitors and to our wider community. Increasing our collective financial gifts allows us to sustain our efforts and ensure that we move forward with strength into the future we desire.