Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Minister’s Letter for 2009-10 Pledge Drive

Dear Members and Supportive Friends,
I am confident that right now all our members and friends are searching their conscience, evaluating their financial capabilities, and reflecting on the importance of UUSS in their lives and its impact on the lives of so many others in the larger area. I have faith also in our church leaders to make hard but wise choices—even to challenge us to dig deeply and stretch ourselves to make UUSS stronger and more effective in the coming budget year.

This is what the pledge drive is all about. It’s about putting our faith and trust in one another. For a financial pledge is not a typical legal contract, it’s a personal commitment to support the church over a given year at a certain monetary level.

Imagine putting your trust in about 400 people that they will come through for you. Imagine that 400 people are putting their trust in you to do what you can.

Religious community in our tradition is based on the trust that we will be there for one another, that we will do what we can, and that we will ask for help if we need it. Our trust in one another is a blessing. Our trustworthiness is a blessing as a well.

So, trusting that I will be working for UUSS and serving with you in the 2009-10 church year, I am making my financial pledge in the Stewardship Campaign.

Folks who are new to congregational life may not have thought much about pledging, and may feel some stress or lack of clarity about how to think about making a pledge for the coming church year. As with all aspects of participation in a voluntary organization, the amount of your pledge is your own decision.

We ask only that everyone give the pledge drive thoughtful consideration and be as generous as they can in making their commitment. We have a wide range of pledge amounts, reflecting that as a congregation we are an economically diverse community. Indeed, some people pledge more because they realize that for others a much smaller pledge is a significant and generous one. We are in this together.

When you see the pledge card, you’ll see the suggestion that we think of our pledge in terms of a percentage of our anticipated total income. This has been a helpful practice for me, and I began learning it (at a fairly low percentage level) as a new UU and newly employed 20-something a long time ago in a church far away from here.

My percentage level has grown, and my feelings of connection, generosity, gratitude and personal mission have grown. I look at my charitable and church giving in total, and every year strive to give away 10-12% of my income to causes and organizations that feed me spiritually and put my values and hopes into practice.

To UUSS I’ll pledge 5% of my income for 2009-10. In addition to a church pledge, I give yearly to both of our our UU theological schools (www.sksm.edu and http://www.mlts.edu) and a number of other UU-related organizations (www.uusc.org , for example), and to public radio, health, human rights, hunger and arts organizations.

Why am I’m telling you all this? Well, I just sent my records off to my tax preparer and it’s all fresh in my mind. I also wish to thank you, because it’s your money I’m giving away! (At least it has been since I started here on August 1.) Your generosity supports my income, which enables me not only to eat, sleep and get around but also to support organizations that make a difference in the world. I didn’t use to think I could give away this much of my income, but I’ve learned that I can, and it makes me feel grateful and blessed to do so.

I have faith that as the nation goes through these economically tough times, we at UUSS will be here for one another.

I have faith that we all will do what we can to stretch ourselves and support the values we care about and strengthen this congregation which cares deeply about us and our world.

Thank you for the many blessings you’ve brought to my life so far!

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