Union Church Annual Stewardship Campaign
Perhaps like no time in recent memory has this the light of the Union Church mattered so much to so many.
Yet, I clearly remember another time the church felt vitally central for me. It was the afternoon of September 11, 2001. The world changed fundamentally that day. I felt unmoored, afraid and so desperately sad. The past was no longer tied to the present moment and the future was unsure. My faith in humanity was shaken to the core, and my sense of God being among us was lost. Yet God showed up: through the helpers, the hopers, the steadfast and visionary. The destruction of hate was countered with the building of hope. And the church was a place I could go, to be reminded and remember. The church opened that night, and many times after, to bring us together to feel our communal loss and community of love. From there we moved forward, slowly, and God was among us.
I can no longer go to church. The fear I have is not of individuals inflicting harm, but of an unseen and largely unknown virus taking lives, breaking families, ruining stability, altering the most basic aspects of everyday life. Simple actions can be filled with fear. Parts of a single day can feel overwhelming. Isolation, in some form, impacts everyone. I am living in a world I do not recognize and honestly could never have imagined. I have trouble seeing into the future.
Within every week, there is a light for me. There is a place I can go to remember. The church, due to the bold and steadfast efforts of our ministers and staff, has remained a beacon. Where one door closed, many others opened. The peace I share is on Zoom; the song I sing is my solo voice joining with others; our shared prayers reach through my screen and into my heart. I hear and see the sermon, 24 inches away, and I feel closely held. There is a place we all can go.
I feel a renewed and profound conviction about the essential place of the church. I feel God is indeed among us. I believe there is not just an invitation but an imperative to Let Our Light Shine.
In this time of our annual campaign, the stewardship committee invites you to consider how you might help. You will find detailed information below about the needs of the church and how you might answer the call. Whatever you may do, know that the church will be there and will keep the light on. With gratitude and blessing,
Chair, Union Church Stewardship Committee
Let Our Light Shine
Union Church Annual Stewardship Campaign
The majority of our church expenses, approximately 70%, goes to directly supporting our ministers and staff. The remaining 30% goes to mission, property, utilities and administrative expenses.
Our income is largely from pledges (50%), rental income (30%) with a supplement from our investments (5%). The remainder is a result of plate cash and donations, special collections, sales (e.g. Christmas Greens) and registration fees.
The Stewardship team, in consultation with church council, feels this is a time to remain committed to our staff compensation. While there may be a little room to trim expenses in other areas, our budget is already very tight. We anticipate loss in rental income, investment returns, plate cash and donations. We also know that this may be a difficult time for family and friends of the Union Church to make a pledge.
We see a difficult year ahead, and we also see a bright future as we emerge from the present state and grow into all the church is becoming.
We ask that you take all this into prayerful consideration. If you are able to make a pledge at this time, we certainly welcome it. We are in the process of crafting our budget and pledges in by May 10 will help us to do so. This allows us to present our budget to the June 7 annual meeting for congregational approval. If you need time to come to your decision, please take it. While we vote on our budget in June, circumstances may require provisional approval until the fall. We hope that by that time people will have the information they need to make pledges for the 2020-2021 Church year. The Stewardship team will be available for any questions or confidential conversation about your pledge. Thank you.
The Union Church Stewardship Team