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November 1, 2017-
Dear NUUC Friend,
It is autumn. The leaves are falling, the days have grown crisp, and the time of year that we do our annual pledge canvass has arrived.
Congregations in our tradition are entirely independent. This means that we are free to choose our own leadership, determine our own path, and when necessary, speak the truth to power. It also means that we are completely independent financially. Our only way to plan fund our budget is to ask what you, our members and friends, might contribute in the coming year, so that we might live out our mission together.
This past year has been a very exciting one in terms of our continuing renewal of our sense of purpose as a congregation. Building on strong work from the Board in past years on strategic planning and long-range vision, the Steering Committee began its work over a year ago, charged with preparing the way for expanding our building in such a way as will allow us to fulfill our principles more fully. Their hard and dedicated work has resulted in the hire of an architect, and a financial feasibility consultant. And while we will be having many conversations in 2018 with consultant, our architect, and our Steering Committee, we do not anticipate asking for capital funds related to the building until this time next year. Hence, know that this canvass request will be the only “ask” for funds that we plan to make this year.
Also, just this month, the board approved new language that captures the framework of our mission: “Welcome, Inspire, Connect, Act.” The language is new; but in the past year our congregation has already lived out these values in so many ways. With your pledge, we can continue to realize these ideals in the year to come.
We WELCOME beyond ordinary borders, boundaries, or personal identities. This also means that we are committed to generously offering the resources available to us as Unitarian Universalists to seekers in our area. Two examples include our annual community Autumn Ritual and Winter Solstice Service, which draw participants from inside and outside the congregation.
We INSPIRE with thoughtful worship, our growing and energetic religious education programs for children and youth, and, also, our adult enhancement programs, including examples such as as Spiritual Autobiography, Mindful Writing, Brown Bag Books, UU Beliefs, Yoga, UU 101, Women’s Group, and so much more. We are gifted with a very talented and creative Director of Religious Education, Jen Aultman.
We CONNECT through spirituality, the arts, shared learning, social events, and caring. One example is our music program. Under the leadership of Music Director Marlene Hartzler and Pianist Wade Jones, our program is alive, dynamic, and a real center of our lives together. But we enjoy doing many things together (do not miss the Empty Bowls Soup Lunch after worship Nov. 5, with its yummy variety of soups, good conversation, and benefit to area families with food security issues).
We ACT in the service of compassion and justice. In the past year, we have offered an anti-Islamphobia workshop, extensive anti-racism trainings as well as a Sunday morning anti-racism teach-in, served Christmas dinner to the women in the Horizon program at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, as well supported more than a dozen other justice initiatives in a myriad of ways.
Our ability to continue to make a difference is directly linked to our level of commitment—commitment of our financial resources, commitment of our time, and commitment of our skills and talents to help us fulfill our mission. The many ways of making a pledge are detailed below. If you want to know the amount you pledged last year, please contact RevRitchie@aol.com. And please do consider increasing your pledge this year; we find that many people fix on a round number and stay there for a while, which causes us difficulty as our fixed costs generally have at least small increases each year. But most of all, thank you for all the support you offer our congregation, in so many ways.
Rev. Susan Ritchie and your NUUC Board of Trustees
President Steve Conley, Vice-President Dee Burlison, Rick Gentry, Molly Watson, Jeff Turner
UUA Suggested Pledging Levels
- Supporter: The congregation is a significant part of my spiritual and intellectual life that I want to support. My fair share financial commitment starts at 2% of my income and rises to 6% as my income and capacity rise.
- Sustainer: The congregation is my central community; I am committed to sustaining the programs and ministries of my congregation. My financial commitment starts at 3% of my income and rises to 7% as my income and capacity rise.
- Visionary: My commitment is a clear demonstration of the unique importance of this congregation and of my spiritual principles. My financial commitment starts at 5% of my income and rises to 9% as my income and capacity rise.
- Transformer: I am deeply committed to the congregation; my contribution provides fuel for transformation and is part of my spiritual practices in living out my UU Principles. My fair share financial commitment represents 10% of my income.