Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Minister’s May Newsletter Message: Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way!

I’m overdue to redraft my Last Will and Testament. I also should create a Trust.

Since doing my will in 1991, things have changed. My nephews have grown up. They are out on their own, and their parents have done quite well, so they are not in need of all my assets. For 17 years, I haven’t even been in the Midwestern UU church that I listed as a beneficiary in my will long ago. Now I have a new congregation that is near to my heart and whose mission inspires my actions. This one!

 

Other things have changed. Since those days, I’ve become a graduate of one UU seminary and I feel very close to another one. I want them to continue to produce “all the ministers that are above average” for a long time to come.

 

At UUSS, our 50-year Master Plan for the Buildings and Grounds is visionary and beautiful, and the amount of resources necessary over the years for it will not be small. What made this plan possible in the first place were bequests of beloved members and friends of UUSS, now departed. You can see all their names on the metal Gratitude and Appreciation tree sculpture in the lobby.

 

Our fundraising consultant, Rev. Bud Swank, told me that we need an organized program to invite people to consider and plan on leaving a bequest or other legacy to UUSS with instruments like wills, trusts, mutual fund beneficiary designations, etc. This will ensure the Master Plan has sufficient resources down the road. I decided to get going on this need myself.

 

I don’t expect to die soon, but I don’t want to neglect putting down on paper the decisions that could put my assets to use in the service of my liberal religious values and in support of the mission and continuing ministry of this congregation.

 

If you’d like to talk to a minister about the kind of legacy you would like to plan for the future of Unitarian Universalism, please be in touch with one of us. I’m glad you are here now, in person. I look forward to seeing you soon on a Sunday. Take care!

 

Thank you for being part of UUSS.

 

Yours in service,

 

Roger

 

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NYTimes: Why the U.N. Can’t Solve the World’s Problems
July 27, 2014, 7:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

NYTimes: Why the U.N. Can’t Solve the World’s Problems
http://nyti.ms/1zg8Zhg



Ground Breaking Ceremony and Building Fund Update
July 24, 2014, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bridging the Gap:  The Time to Give Is Now!

Some friends and members have said they not sure when would be the best time to donate to the renovation project: Will there be another capital campaign in the fall of 2015? Should I hold off donating now?

Please don’t be confused by timing and possible giving campaigns–the time to give is NOW!

UUSS has just received our loan approval, with up to $1.1 million needed to complete the project. Giving toward this amount will Bridge the Gap between money we have raised and received in bequests so far, and the total cost of the project.

Our goal is to minimize borrowed money, as soon as possible. If we raise the full amount, we won’t need a campaign to pay off a loan!  So, don’t wait for a future campaign to donate. The time to give is now.

One-time gifts or new commitments to the Building Fund over a 2-year period would be gratefully accepted. If you made a commitment to the Building Fund back during the 2012 Capital Campaign, please consider extending your donation amount for another year or two.

Every dollar given now can help UUSS avoid up to three dollars in payments to a bank later. Thank you for helping UUSS be in the best shape it can be financially as we begin construction!

The Gifts Keep Coming!

We are 1/10th of the way to Bridge the Gap. Many members, friends, ministers, and staff are coming forward with additional donations on top of their earlier Building Fund gifts. See Ginny Johnson or a UUSS minister if you’d like to participate with a gift at this promising time for UUSS.

On June 29, Nicholas Dold, our guest pianist, donated his honorarium and mileage reimbursement back to UUSS for the Building Fund! He completed his master’s in piano in Indiana just a year ago and began his career in San Francisco. Say thanks when you hear and see him again this month!

Groundbreaking Ceremony this Sunday, July 27

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place after the 10:00 a.m. service on July 27. We will say thank you and farewell to this UUSS home we have known and loved for so long. Stay after the service for some ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt, brief but inspiring words of celebration and remembrance, refreshments, and fellowship. This big day in our shared history is a big step in living our UUSS mission in the local community and region. Don’t miss this day!



Pastoral Prayer for UU worship service, July 20, 2014

Rev. Roger Jones, Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento

Now please join me in a time of contemplation, in words and silence. Notice your feet on the floor and your body in the seat. Notice your breathing, in and out. Relax your eyes, whether open or closed.

O Spirit of the calm summer clouds, ease our souls, as we gather in reflection and in hope. We give thanks for those around us in this community of encouragement and welcome.

We give thanks for the gift of life and the gift of this new day.

Life is fragile and fleeting, and many of us are thinking of those we have lost, perhaps recently, or some time ago. Let us make the sound of their names now at this time and, by our speaking, let us bring them into the space of our sanctuary with us.

Life holds many kinds of challenge. We hold in our hearts those who need our good wishes and help for all kinds of struggle, and we offer our own burdens to compassion’s warm embrace. We ask for serenity, courage, and wisdom as we make each new step on the journey of life.

Life brings occasions for joy and gratitude. Let us call to mind the milestones and celebrations that lighten our spirits. Whether speaking aloud into the sanctuary or whispering to ourselves, let us now speak of our joys or those of others.

Many another’s good fortune lift our own hearts in praise of joy.

Life brings change to this hallowed spiritual home. As this congregation prepares to vacate this building for a year of construction, we recognize the dedication of our volunteers and staff members. Their vision, purpose, collaboration, reliability and generosity have brought us to this point of promise. We give thanks!

At the same time, we must look beyond these walls to the desperation and agony afflicting the human family. We lift up the people of many tragic scenes, including three in recent weeks or days. A Malaysian jetliner was destroyed by a missile fired from separatist rebel-held areas of Ukraine, killing hundreds of innocent adults and children. Fighting in the Gaza Strip in Palestine is now in its 13th day. The Israeli military and Palestinian Hamas militants ratchet up the violence, with Hamas missile strikes into Israel and a military incursion of tanks and troops into Palestine.   At last report, the lives lost include at least 5 Israelis and 336 Palestinians, including 65 dead children. [As of July 21, per the New York Times, 27 Israelis and 556 Palestinians have been killed.]  It was the killing of teenagers from both sides that sparked this wave of pain and chaos. It makes the heart weep.

On the United States border with Mexico, hundreds of thousands of Central American youngsters arrive as refugees from the destitution and violence of their home cities and villages.   While fragile children wait for mercy, U.S. government leaders vacillate and fight.   While some citizens argue, others go to guard the children or send money for basic needs.

We lift our voices to the sky to call for a world without violence. We long for a renewed wave of dignity and healing to cover the human family. We extend prayers for peace to all places of conflict and oppression, near and far.

May each of us have the courage to do what we can. May we choose the ways of peace and courage.

Now let us take silence together for a minute. May we come home to our breathing.   May we come home to the feelings of being alive. Now May the breath of life breathe in us a new sense of hope and the motivation to make that hope a reality. Blessed Be and Amen. Namaste.