Marc & Lynn are longtime UUCW members who moved to the Twin Cities in Minnesota in 2017. They have remained connected, and in honor of our 2020-21 Pledge Drive theme they have a special challenge for us!

Greetings from across the Mississippi! We wish we could be with you in person. We have so many fond memories of Pledge Drive events at UUCW – planning, setting up, making homebrew, sharing a fun evening in community with friends, and of course, being inspired to pledge our strong support to the church.

Three years ago this week we got ready to leave our Wauwatosa home of nearly 17 years for our new adventure in the Twin Cities. It also meant leaving our beloved UUCW, at least physically. UUCW has been an important part of our lives: the people, the programs, the sense of loving community, a foundation for action and purpose. For us, church isn’t just a place. As we say sometimes at the offering dedication, “There is no church without its people – we ARE this church!”

It’s so true. All of us are UUCW. We live far away now, but when we come back to UUCW, we’re back home. Even as we are growing into a new UU church and community here in Minneapolis, UUCW is still family.

We also know that UUCW is important for the community at large. It is a beacon of hope, of reason, of justice in a world in desperate need of all that. We remember UUCW members staffing the gate at Pride Fest almost 20 years ago. We remember hosting a marriage equality town hall with conservative state Sen. Tom Reynolds, where we could explore and challenge his world view that was so different from ours. We remember lining North Avenue with Black Lives Matter signs to honks of both disapproval and support. We remember the profound impact the RE program had on our kids and their peers. And now, even though our kids are grown, and we are no longer worshipping and witnessing with you all, we want so much for all of that to continue to be available for you and for others.

This is why we continue to pledge and support UUCW. And it’s why we’ve always aimed to stretch in our support of the church. In our earliest days as UUs, someone who stretched in their giving inspired us to stretch, too. At the time our kids were little, we were still paying student loans, and we lived in a house that was a stretch to afford. But we challenged ourselves to give more each year, to push a bit further. Sometimes it was a little scary, but in the end it always felt great!

Each year we ask ourselves, can we do more? Even if the answer isn’t an easy yes, we try, because we – the collective WE – are the church, and our pledge to UUCW is a pledge to community, to each other.

So this year, inspired by the pledge theme of LEAP, we wondered what we could do to motivate others who might be a bit unsure about LEAPing up in their giving. So we worked with Rev. Suzelle and President Scott Shulick to come up with a challenge that goes above and beyond our pledge.

Here’s our offer: For each person who pledges to give a thousand dollars MORE to UUCW’s Operating Budget than they pledged last year, we will give a $1000 gift to the UUCW Capital Fund – up to a total of $10,000. We hope that that extra $10,000 will allow UUCW to add back into the Build 2020 renovations some of the things the budget didn’t quite stretch to cover.

We are doing this because we believe in UUCW, and we believe in you. So please – make a LEAP with us!

Lynn & Marc