Long ago, I thought one should only give to highly rated non-profit entities. I almost never gave to someone on the street let alone gave money to a loved one. Then I got into leadership in UU land, and I learned how to really take care of people. I learned I could send a cheer package to someone with an illness or tragedy. I learned I could tuck a little cash in an envelope, and it would spread cheer. I never expected how good it would feel when another UU in need would share that they were able to pay for a last semester of seminary or pay for their food at a conference and know that I helped. I started to see that by caring for people I knew, they were held. They became stronger people I wanted to be a part of this faith. Thus, I was spreading my values in gifts.

I never thought giving would be fun, but I learned how filled up with love I felt knowing I helped to pay for a program, or I helped someone get access to healthcare, or I made sure there was someone to listen. We do that kind of work right here at UUCW and we are going to tell you all about it on Sunday. You are generous caring people and sometimes we can forget how much good we do right here in our own congregation.

As Unitarian Universalists, you need to know your contributions make a difference because we are making a difference in the wider world. We are strengthening people here so that they can do good both here and in the larger world.

You might wonder how? It is a fair question. Sunday, I am going to tell you how. Leslie Peterson is going to give you an overview of the budget but if you want to know more, you will have to come to a cottage meeting where we will answer all kinds of questions. Jeanne Baker will invite you to ways to learn about the spiritual practice of giving and talk about the budget and what we do with it. More importantly, what difference does it make? Charlene Carter is going to give you an overview of what kinds of trauma and pain our friends right here have faced in the last year and how we have been witnesses to their stories.

The Stewardship Team, the Board, Cottage Meeting hosts, and myself are prepared individually and collectively to articulate how we live our mission, purposes, and principles in appealing and compelling ways to ask you for support. Like anything I am involved in, there will be love, truth, and probably some humor. Please join us Sunday.

Like I have been doing the last few weeks, there will be a post-service chat this Sunday, February 27 at 11:30 am on Zoom with this LINK. We’ll share joys and concerns and discuss the spiritual practice of giving.

In kindness,