March – From the Minister

SETTING STRONG ROOTS TO SPREAD OUR BRANCHES WIDE

This month, we are asked to pledge our financial support to the congregation that in turn supports us, in so many tangible and invisible ways. No matter what each household is able to give, it is an honor to be asked, and a joy to respond as we’re able. This year, the request is two-fold.

First – Consider the contribution you’ll make to sustain the 2017 Operating Budget: the programs, services, ministry and staffing. Payments begin with the fiscal year in July 2017, and can be made in any increments over 12 months. We know the average pledge needs to be about $2500 per household, and we depend upon many gifts much larger.

Second – On the recommendation of the Board, and with the congregation’s overwhelming support by vote in October, we are launching a Special Campaign, to sustain our church over many years to come. Our goal is $1.25 million, and thanks to the generosity of early lead donors, we’re well on our way! We’ll get there if each household can make a gift equal to 3-5 times their annual pledge; it’s payable over 3 years. Ross and I will pledge to both campaigns because the love of this church and the light it shines in the world guide our path, every day. We hope you’ll join us!

–Victoria

When I asked two Board members why they’ve pledged early (and generously), here’s what they said:

“Jackie and I are making a pledge to the 2016 Special Campaign because the work of this church is important to us and financial strength is the foundation for all of our good work. We are grateful for so many things. One recent realization: With our daughters in their 20s, we can see the long-term benefits of the years of RE classes. The annual pledge is critical as that is how we pay our staff and pay for our building. Enjoy the sermons? Do your children participate in Religious Education? The annual pledge makes all that happen and more.

We have never contributed nearly as much to any cause as we are this time to the Special Campaign. We can visualize our church without furnaces and mortgage payments hanging over our heads and the image is thrilling. Sometimes people say they can’t give as much as they would like to WBUUC because of their other charitable commitments. One thought: How big is the pool for those other commitments? Other organizations also do good work but they may receive donations from hundreds of thousands or millions of families. The entire financial security of WBUUC rests on our 750 members. ”

–Steve Kahn, President

“This is the most generous gift we will make this year. We’re doing it because WBUUC makes a difference in our lives, in the lives of our community, and in the future of the world. It matters to me because WBUUC provides a spiritual, emotional, and intellectual home to many. It is a place where we can speak openly about our spiritual beliefs without risk of censure, where we can immerse ourselves in working for each other and for our community and beyond, where we can expect to be continually challenged to think more deeply, feel more compassionately, and to become who we are called to be. I am so grateful for the exceptional ministers and staff at WBUUC. We are pledging to both campaigns because WBUUC is an invaluable part of our lives. I am proud, excited, and inspired by our congregation’s vibrancy and ever growing work for social justice. My hope for our community is to continually see the power and impact of what we can do together. ”

–Laurie Kigner, Vice President