Important Message for members & supporters–
Posted by Rev Roger
Posted on April 25, 2016
As the senior minister, I was proud of our lay leadership and inspired by this message by our trustee and Treasurer on Sunday. Several people did get a pledge form after the service to make a pledge for the coming budget, and a handful said they will increase the earlier pledge after they heard what Denis had to say. I wanted to share his words with you.–Rev. Roger
As your treasurer, I would like to talk about our financial health and how it relates to this year’s Stewardship Campaign and our budget. Every year, this congregation decides on a budget to meet our ongoing fiscal responsibilities.
Like every responsible household budget, we make sure our income and expenses are in balance. This current church year, our congregation made some significant and great choices for our future. We hired our minister, Lucy, full time and we hired a new music director, Keith. We gave our staff a 2% raise. Your board decided it was important to acknowledge their service, and one of our staff recently commented, “That small increase shows up and makes a difference, and I appreciate it.”
Three years ago, this congregation voted to borrow up to $1.1 million so that we could sit in this beautifully renovated building. We knew at the time that a million dollar mortgage would be a significant added annual expense and we, as members, also commited to increase the “support” part of the ‘time, talents and support’ that we pledge to our church. We also knew, that to meet our increased expenses that you, as UUSS members, needed to increase overall pledges by 10% for three years.
The good news, based on the results of this year’s stewardship drive thus far, about 35% of our congregation increased their pledges by 10% and some by less than 10%. Unfortunately, many pledges for next year received to date are either the same or reflect a decrease from last year. All contributions are appreciated, and circumstances certainly affect what members are able to contribute.
Your Board of Trustees will meet this Thursday and decide on one of two budgets. One budget will include raises for most staff, which will help to compensate them fairly and bring them closer to meeting UUA guidelines. The other budget will not include salary increases.
I assure you the Board would like to recommend a budget that includes salary increases, but the decision will be largely based on our pledge results. As a congregation we are committed to confronting economic inequality, and that begins with how we treat our dedicated staff. About 75% of our budget comes from member and friend pledges. The remaining 25% is from various fund raising activities.
We cannot operate without your continued generosity. For those of you who already pledged but did not increase your pledge from last year, we hope you will reconsider and fill out another pledge form showing an increase. For those of you who have yet to pledge, do so today, and if not today, then early this week.
Consider all you receive from your association with this congregation. Your pledge matters! Thank you.