Love Each Other, Love the World
Dear UU Churchers,
WOW do I miss you! It has been nearly a year now of our Covid-era life, and I am more aware than I have ever been in my life of how very essential you and our community are to me and my wellbeing! I miss singing with you and laughing with you and eating your amazing potluck contributions. I miss sitting with you at Kaldi’s during office hours or in the uncomfortable wooden chairs in my office talking about important and difficult and beautiful things. I miss sharing books and handshakes and hugs. And I know you miss one another as much as I miss you!
Yet, as we have learned to do church online together, I have been deeply sustained by you in this time too. Seeing your faces during Zoom coffee hour and committee meetings is the highlight of my week! Keeping up with you on Facebook, or glimpsing your face up on your porch, or hearing your voice on the phone – all the ways we are finding to connect are so important. I hope you, too, have found yourself sustained by your UU Church friends and neighbors.
We have also found a singular clarity of mission during this time of struggle and pressure – I have never been prouder than I was in the meeting when your board members decided that of course we would give over our sanctuary… and greeting area, and classrooms, and hallways… to Room at the Inn emergency winter shelter for their entire season, just as our forebears in 1918 turned their buildings into field hospitals and shelters during that pandemic.
The thing I have learned most profoundly in this time is that when we love each other well, we are poised to love the world around us more fully. And the reverse is true too: when we are loving the wider world, we are making life tangibly better for one another.
This is the spirit of our Stewardship campaign this year – Love Each Other, Love the World. When we pledge to support the church, we are tangibly and materially supporting the spiritual and bodily well-being of our fellow UU Churchers AND our world. What a gift! What an opportunity!
This year, as every year, we invite you to support our church – which means each other, and which means our mission of courageous love, radical welcome, and deep connection – as an expression of your love. If you are unable to give funds, we thank you for all the ways you love our church and our community. If you are able to make a pledge, we thank you for adding your financial support to all the other ways you love our church and our community.
Last year’s budget was a bit of a contraction as we braced for the impact of the pandemic, and we were relieved and oh so grateful when your giving remained strong. This year we are stretching back out again, and preparing for our financial life to meet our needs as we eventually re-gather in person in the church year to come. We need to catch up on staff cost-of-living increases that we froze last year! We need to make sure we have plenty of coffee on hand, and child care! And we need to invest significantly in our tech capabilities so that we can continue to serve all those who have joined us for the first time online and want to remain connected to our community even when we are gathered back in person.
To this end, we are asking each of you to consider prioritizing our church community in your giving this year, and increasing your annual gift by 5% if you are able to do so. The campaign launches February 14 and wraps up by March 8. Please send in your pledge early if you can so that we can count on you as we carry our mission of courageous love forward into the year to come. It’s really easy to pledge online!
Rev. Molly Housh Gordon