I hope you were able to tune in and celebrate with Rev. Dr. Isabel Call at her ordination last Saturday. If you didn’t have the opportunity to watch this truly wonderful service, you can find the video here. A huge congratulations to Rev. Isabel!
I also want to say thank you for an absolutely heart warming stewardship campaign. Because of your generosity, we had $44,000 in pledge increases. This is absolutely amazing news. Because of this, we are able to meet several of the goals outlined in the pledge material. You will be hearing more about those exciting changes once the budget has been finalized. I and the rest of the staff are truly moved by the generosity that we have seen in this campaign. Thank you.
I also believe in being transparent and honest about what we are not able to accomplish with this current budget. One of our goals was to increase our fair share contribution to the Unitarian Universalist Association. We are able to allocate some resources to increase our contribution, but we still have some work to do to get to the recommended 6.75% of operating expenditures. The other area where we were able to make some progress, but not reach our goal was bringing staff to fair compensation. We know that this has been a goal for First UU for awhile, and we are certainly moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, we only received enough pledge increases to bring the Director of Religious Exploration and the Director of Congregational Life positions to 72% of fair compensation. Several other positions remain around 90-95%.
It is so difficult to share this with you. Yes. One of those most underpaid positions is my own and I want to be clear that I am so honored and grateful to be here and serving you every single day. I love this job and the opportunities I have to get to know you on a deeper level. And still, I know this news is hard. I know from seeing each and every pledge form that came in that so many of you are literally giving everything you can. And I am truly speechless at the unbelievable faith and generosity that you are showing in us and in the work and values of Unitarian Universalism. When I get the opportunity to share with someone what I do for a living, I can’t believe the words as they come out of my mouth because I know that I get to work with you all in the important work of fighting for justice and equity, and promoting our UU values. That’s why I know that sharing this information with all of you is important.
So, you might be wondering how you can help. There are a few ways:
- Finish paying your current year pledge. This helps us plan our budget more accurately as we don’t have to estimate where we will be at the end of June. If you have questions about your current year pledge, please let me know and I am happy to help!
- If you are in a financial position to be able to increase your pledge for the 21-22 church year, there is still time to do that. (We have not heard from about 38% of our pledges.) If you have already submitted your pledge form, but would like to modify, please let me know.
Again, I want to say how grateful I am that we have been able to increase our budget for the first time in 4 years. I cannot wait until we are able to be back in person, and see each other face to face, without a screen between us. Please let me know if you have any questions.
And, as always, my weekly reminder, if you would like an announcement in the Friday News, please email me no later than Wednesday at 8:00 pm with FRIDAY NEWS in the subject line.
Director of Congregational Life