Generosity Campaign Blog
May 2, 2018
It’s a Wrap
We are moving from the time limited, active phase of our campaign i.e. “Pledge Now!” to a broader focus on all the forms of generosity that infuse and sustain or community 24/7 and 365 days a year. In terms of dollars pledged, your generosity has made this the most successful campaign in many years. So far $586,240 has been pledged by 278 households.
But as important as these figures are for the health of the congregation, financial resources can only enable the efforts that we make to fulfill our mission. Let’s pull together to do great things with the money which we have committed to our UUFR.
This Sunday we will celebrate our achievement with goodies and fellowship after The State of the Congregation service. Join us during coffee hour.
For the Generosity Team
April 26, 2018
It’s Almost a Wrap
As the Board of Directors and Finance Committee are hard at work formulating UUFR’s FY19 budget, our Generosity Campaign has gathered $586,590 in pledges. We are still short of our goal of $609,000. But we have 9,2% more in pledges than last year. We can be thankful and proud of how our congregation has stepped up to the challenge.
Personally, I was moved to encounter several college students and young adults with challenging personal and financial situations as they came up to the pledge table after service and made monetarily small pledges. It was clear that their commitments to our community were deeply held values.
Although we are close to wrapping up the campaign, it is never too late to offer a pledge!
April 18, 2018
Four Percent and Fifty-One Households to Go!
As we move toward the end of the church year with a strong response to the Generosity Campaign, pledging and church finances tend to be supplanted by thoughts of summer. We have had a remarkably successful campaign to date.
But we are not yet done!
The progress chart shows that we are tantalizingly close to reaching ambitious goals Whether you follow the news media or simply attend to your own lives and our community, there is much that needs doing. Now is the time to stretch and do more than the minimum.
Significantly, we have equaled the number of pledges we received in last year’s campaign. If you haven’t pledged it is NOT too late. Even, and perhaps especially, the smallest pledge contributes to our solidarity and our focus on mission.
April 12, 2018
Wrapping up the Generosity Campaign
The Board of Directors and the Finance Committee have begun creating our Fiscal Year 2019 budget. And the Generosity Team is close to finishing its work. To date, we’ve received pledges of more than $568,915. This is 93% of our goal of $609,000. More than 261 households (80%) have committed toward our goal of 100% participation This is the result of open-hearted giving and the hard work of planning and carrying out the campaign. Many, many thanks to all.
But we are not yet done!
As work has begun on the budget we are still stretching to reach the financial and participation goals which will enable UUFR to continue our mission and have a greater impact on lives within and outside of our walls.
If you have not yet submitted your pledge it is crucial that we receive it within the next week. To plan responsibly and strategically for our initiatives over the next year, our leaders need the most accurate projection of our annual income. Unpledged contributions made throughout the year are welcome. But without being able to predict this income, we cannot incorporate it into the budget.
Along with each of you who have pledged, many members and friends contributed to the achievements of the Now More Than Ever campaign: The Generosity Team: Sara Grover, Pat McLaughlin, Mark Stamm, and Chary Sundstrom put in many hours and did double duty as Visiting Stewards. More than 30 members took on the work of Visiting Stewards, many also doing double duty in other capacities. Fran Wise is largely responsible for our crisp graphic design and brochure. Gary Chvatel provided videography for the Visiting Stewards training and provided advice and support for Sara and Pat who created the video testimonials which ran before Sunday services and were posted Facebook. Last but not least, Dr. O. provided support and encouragement, often with his gently repeated question: “I’m curious. Why is it that you do it that way?”
We have been trying some different things in this campaign. We certainly want any feedback that you have on how effective the campaign was in reaching you.
Remember: Every pledge given with intention, no matter the amount, makes us stronger!
For the Generosity Team
March 29, 2018
CLOSING IN ON OUR GOAL
Seven weeks into our Generosity Campaign, we have had a magnificent response from the 240 households who have already pledged. We have raised 10% more than last year at the same stage of the drive. And we are within $71,000 of achieving our financial goal of $609,000 in pledged income. This is the result of open-hearted giving and the hard work of planning and carrying out the campaign. Many, many thanks to all.
We are getting closer but we are not finished. Another goal is commitment from 325 households.
If you have yet to pledge we need your commitment as soon as possible to create the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Throughout the campaign we have lifted up the myriad ways in which UUFR enriches us spiritually and empowers us. Our pledges create the resources which will strengthen our community. And now more than ever we are called to strengthen our ministries within and outside of our walls.
Every pledge given with intention, no matter the amount, makes us stronger.
March 22, 2018
YOU ARE A PART OF SOMETHING GREAT!
Great things are happening at UUFR. Some are obvious: inspiring Sunday Services with swelling attendance, greater involvement in Social Action programs, as well as Wednesday night dinners and Wellspring becoming foci of community building. Others are “under the hood” and not so easily seen: better organized teams and committees, implementing best practices in governance and finances, and realistic long-term planning. Still others are intangible:our spirit of excitement, determination, and optimism in the face of an increasing mean-spiritedness in culture and politics.
Six weeks into our Generosity Campaign our aspirations are within reach. We have pledges for $519,025 or 85% of our $609,000 financial target. Two hundred eighteen or 67% of 325 households have contributed to date.
By April 8th our Board of Directors and Finance Committee will begin formulating our FY2019 budget. The essence UUFR is intangible. But what we do in house and our capacity to reach out to Raleigh and North Carolina requires money to be spent. How much we can train and support staff, maintain and beautify our campus, improve communication internally, and create a presence beyond our walls depends on each of us. Pledges received by April 8th will determine how we actualize our vision and our values in the next year.
If you have already pledged, thank you for helping to build a foundation for action. If you have yet to pledge, this is the time to step up. There are virtually no limits to what we can accomplish with our spirit and energy AND with financial resources to empower action. Now More Than Ever we need a strong UUFR. And Now More Than Ever Raleigh and North Carolina need a strong UUFR.
March 15, 2018
CLOSING IN ON OUR GOALS!!!
New excitement and energy as well as spirited work is moving UUFR toward a culture of abundance. No element of our ministries embodies this change more than your response to our 2018 Generosity Campaign. As you can see in the table below, we have reached 80% of our monetary goals and have increased our pledging by 13% compared to last year at the same point in the campaign. These are encouraging results.
Our progress on pledging households lags behind our progress on financial goals. Each pledge is crucial for two reasons. Along with the obvious need to fund our programs, each pledge is a spiritual and moral commitment. Each pledge, of any size, broadens the spiritual foundation that grounds our ministries. We need spirit, as much as money to nurture ourselves and reach out to the community around us in these challenging times.Thanks to so many of you for already stepping up. Those who pledged both last year and this year have increased their giving by more than 18%. Our goals of $609,000 and 325 committed households are within reach. But we are not there yet.
In early April our leaders will begin formulating a church budget based on the success of this campaign. When we reach our goals, we will have resources to strengthen our community and carry a culture of abundance into the next church year.
If you have yet to pledge please make the most generous commitment possible. Working together we there is no limit to what we can accomplish, and the world needs a strong, vital, vibrant UUFR advancing our shared values in NC.
Generosity to Our World
March 8, 2018
Campaign Update: We have pledges of $447.469 (73% of our goal of $609,000). With 168 households (51% of goal, we’re lagging a bit in reaching full participation. We need all to pledge for a strong UUFR.
“I’m a reasonable, stable, middle-class, middle-of-the-road patriotic American … who just happens to be religiously, socially and politically liberal …AND who happens to be appalled by the deterioration of our democracy… the erosion of our civil liberties… the carnal misogyny and homophobia that’s tolerated every day in our society… the gradual bankrupting of our nation… the systematic betrayal of our country’s values… increasing indifference to state-sanctioned violence both in this country and abroad…and the rise of racist rhetoric and policies in the halls of government.”
-Reverend Justin Osterman, “Must I Be an Activist?”, January 21, 2018
These words resonate with many of us. The direction of our country since the 2016 election has sparked a new passion for change. New members speak of finding refuge, acceptance and community at UUFR. Others tell stories of a renewed spirit toward collective action.
Political action is but one avenue. There are myriad ways we can participate – as a Welcoming Congregation, in voter advocacy, anti-racism, or by direct service to the homeless and other marginalized groups.
For Christina Stableford, a lifelong UU, Social Action is a calling. She believes that the “justice gene” is embedded in her DNA. Active since the Vietnam war, she states:
“Participation in the UUFR community keeps me more closely in touch with my own inherent capacity for empathy, and empathy in action looks like Justice to me.
Every UUFR member, and every pledge to the UUFR community, represents a single ‘candle in the darkness.’ When we join together in common cause, we create a broad and healing light in an often-dark world.”
In the next year, there will be more opportunities to engage. Your generous support through the Generosity Campaign will help us keep moving, “Forward together, not one step back!”
Generosity: Paying it Forward
March 1, 2018
Campaign Update: We’ve received $371,641 from 122 households. This is 38% of our goal of 100% participation by 325 families. Remember, every pledge strengthens our community!
Each Sunday we sing to the children as they head downstairs to Religious Exploration (RE) activities. If asked, we’re proud of our youth programming. But many of us without school age children don’t give it much thought.
When we do take notice, we see a large RE program for a church of our size with 80 – 95 weekly participants. Tryst Chagnon, our RE Director, and 5 part time assistants ride herd on the adult and high school volunteers who conduct the classes as well as Our Whole Lives sexuality education and youth groups.
RE has an impact on the future of our church and our world second to no other UUFR ministry. In today’s society elected leaders model bullying and hypocrisy Where else will children find peer support and adults who model and teach humane values and principles?
Here is one example of what we provide:
Kathryn Reis joined UUFR several years ago because she wanted her daughters: Seneca, now 7, and Lorna, 2 ½, to begin forming friendships and sharing values with children who could be part of their lives through high school and beyond. Seneca learns UU principles through verbal lessons but most importantly through age appropriate service projects.
As has Kathryn, many parents bring their young ones to UUFR knowing that the children need a beloved community to thrive and develop values and sense of self. They will one day need this home base as they navigate the troubled waters of our culture and politics.
So when you consider your financial commitment to UUFR, think of Seneca, Lorna, and the other children who skip out of the sanctuary toward their RE classes after the Story for All Ages. Now More than Ever they need your support.
Now More Than Ever – We Need Community
February 21, 2018
Campaign Update: We have received $295,718 in pledges from 78 Households.
Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free. –Starhawk
Our beloved UUFR community provides connection, support and healing. Whether we’re walking in the door for the first or for the thousandth time, we are met with welcome, warmth and fellowship.
Each Sunday the services, the sermon, and the music give us strength to move forward. But this fellowship doesn’t only occur on Sunday mornings. There are opportunities to connect every day of the week. Support and affinity groups share experiences and reduce the sense of isolation. Members reach out to others in need.
The Ministry of Music (MOM) Singers are but one example of care and connection. These UUFR volunteers visit homes, hospitals and long-term care facilities to share familiar songs with members and friends who are ill, recovering from surgery or facing other life challenges. As Athena Tracy said about a visit during her convalescence:
“It’s so clear that music makes all the difference in the world. When I was first asked if I was interested in having the MOMs over I thought to myself ‘I’m stuck at home (after knee surgery), I’m not really sick.’ But what a breath of fresh air hearing the singing and the music.”
Yes, we have many active members and volunteers. But none of this can happen without generous contributions through our pledges. By meeting or exceeding our financial goals we can provide the spaces, programs and staff we need to keep growing. Please give generously.
The Generosity Team
February 14, 2018
Commitment to Our Future
Our Generosity Campaign has begun well. We have received commitments for nearly $185,000 toward our goal of $609,000 from 34 pledgers (10.4% of our goal of 100% participation) since we began. While this is encouraging, let’s remember that UUFR’s health as a community depends on many more commitments. We still need 291 members and friends to generously pledge their support.
Rev. Justin offered an inspiring message on Commitment at our Kick Off Service. Several of his key points bear repeating:
First, a commitment to UUFR is a commitment not only to this congregation but to the future of our families, or faith, and our values.
Second, now more than ever that future is threatened by a political and social culture increasingly driven by and fear, xenophobia, racism, corruption, and greed.
Third, the world needs liberal religion and UUFR as a refuge and a solid ground to stand on as we lift up our values
Fourth, we certainly need generous financial commitments to sustain us. But most importantly, it is our acts of commitment, not the size of our pledges which creates and sustains our community. No one need feel shame for a small pledge
Fifth, give until it makes you smile! That’s confusing??? Click the sermon link below.
To view Rev. Justin’s sermon, Commitment click HERE.
February 9, 2018
Our Generosity Campaign begins on Sunday Feb. 11th. Please come to the Kick Off Service and the reception following.
Excitement is building at UUFR. Our Sanctuary is crowded for Sunday Service. Sparks of energy burn throughout the week at Wellspring educational programs, Covenant groups, and social justice and diversity initiatives.
To match our energy with an abundance of resources your leadership has set goals of commitments from 325 active households and $609,000 in pledges.
As in other areas at UUFR, we are doing some new things this year.
- Most of us will receive a mailing on Monday containing our pledge cards and messages from Rev. Dr. Osterman and the leadership.
- Please review the materials which highlights how UUFR enriches the lives of our members. The fair share guidelines also provide a context for balancing your resources and ability to pledge with your engagement and commitment to UUFR.
- If you do not receive mailing you are one of about 100 families who will receive a personal visit from a volunteer Visiting Steward. Each year, on a rotating basis, we are offering about 1/3 of our households a personal visit. Generosity is about community and connection more than about filling out pledge cards. The visits are a way of making these connections and starting conversations. Some friendships have begun during these calls.
- When your Steward calls please agree to meet with him or her at a mutually convenient time. They have offered their time and energy and extended themselves to reach out to you. If you so choose, the Steward will accept your competed pledge card.
$609,000 is an ambitious goal. Achieving it depends on each of us considering the value of UUFR in our lives and matching that value with as much of an increase in our commitment as possible.
Watch the Chalice, our Facebook pages and our improved website for information and developments.
The Generosity Team
Generosity flows into and out of UUFR 52 weeks a year. We nurture ourselves and others less fortunate with meals and fellowship. We support and participate in moving Sunday services. We offer a spiritual foundation to our youth and adult members through youth programming, Covenant Groups, and Wellspring. We stand with the disenfranchised seeking a more just society. Perhaps most importantly, we support each other with countless, often unremarked upon, acts of kindness and friendship
Acts of generosity are priceless. However, the foundation that supports them: our physical environment, the materials we consume, and the time and professional development of our ministers and dedicated staff all have a cost.
Each February we focus on gathering your commitments to pay the financial price of enabling these priceless gifts.
This year our Generosity Campaign: Now More than Ever will begin on February 11th
We will be lifting up both the ways our generosity serves our congregation and the world as well as the ways that your financial generosity is a spiritual act.
Watch this space, the UUFR website, and Facebook pages!
There is more to come.
The Generosity Team