David Feil, UUCW President
The church’s financial year begins in late Spring, and then, just before summer starts in earnest, the Board gets three new members! This June our three new members were Scott Shulick, Heather Bartlett, and Jeanne Jarecki. It’s a nice thing to begin Board service at this time, because the summer church calendar tends to be a little lighter, so this gives new Board members a gentler introduction to the process. I recall my own experience last year as very much this way.
I also recall the feeling of suddenly seeing the church from an entirely different angle. For me, even though I “knew” that the church was an organization with a budget, seeing and analyzing financial records for the church drove that home. Initially, when I joined the Board, I thought seeing its “other side” might bother me, as my first thoughts centered around seeing the church as a corporation. My spiritual home was a corporation? This did not sit well with me. As we entered the fall of the year, I started seeing it differently again. I started seeing the love and energy given by members of the financial committees (and the non-financial committees for that matter), in addition to the contribution income, institution spending, and other financial records to which my mind had initially gone. I could once again see my religious home as a place where one can individually follow their own spiritual path. And at that point, I was able to recognize my own spiritual home AND see it as a place that has finances that need to be run. Further, I could see that I was someone that the congregation had entrusted to help.
As to that financial part, I would like to let the congregation know that last Spring, on the advice of the Finance Committee and the Treasurer, the board approved the budget for the new church fiscal year. UUCW always spends money carefully, and budgets well, but this year’s budget is on the lean side. As we move into the build phase of the Build 2020 project, it is our belief that being on a bit of a tighter budget is in order. Please rest assured that the Finance Committee, Treasurer, and the Board do not believe there is an existing financial crisis. We all do recognize, however, that there are generational trends in church attendance and giving that indicate we want to be working to avoid a crisis prior to there being one.
As a member of the congregation, you might wonder ‘what you can do to help’? We know that every member of the congregation puts a significant amount of consideration into their annual pledge. And I am not asking you to increase your pledge (but we won’t stop you if you wish to do so). I am, however, going to point to one thing that can help us with recognizing patterns and trends. Having stable monthly income is beneficial to UUCW. And thus, the more members we have using automatic withdrawal to pay their monthly pledge, the more stable our monthly income is. If you are not currently having you pledge automatically deducted from your checking or savings account and are willing to do so, please contact Vicki Banville, Church Administrator, via the church office — email@example.com.
The Board takes its fiscal management role very seriously — if you have questions, please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.