Scott Shulick, UUCW Board of Trustees President
COVID-19 has significantly disrupted businesses across the country. The same can be said with congregations and UUCW is no exception. The building is closed, the staff is working from home, and while many regular activities and programming have moved online, some have been postponed or cancelled. It should come as no surprise that church income has decreased as well. Rental income has been reduced and we’re sensing that pledge slippage is higher than normal.
To that end, UUCW applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. A part of the CARES Act passed by Congress, this program provides congregations with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits, along with paying interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. If used for those purposes, the loan is fully forgivable. Since the vast majority of the church’s annual operating budget is devoted to staff salaries and benefits, the PPP loan is providing funds that ensure we can keep our staff employed and operations and programs running well.
As we transition into a new budget cycle, we ask that you please send in the balance on your 2019-2020 pledge. And we are very grateful to everyone who has pledged for 2020-2021. The new fiscal year and budget began on May 1.
The Safety Task Force, supported by Kathy Herrewig, submitted a grant to the federal and state Departments of Homeland Security. The grant is for houses of worship to improve campus safety. UUCW’s grant is seeking funding to add additional exterior lighting, a camera system, and other safety and security measures recommended by the task force. Fingers crossed the grant comes through!
We continue to market and explore opportunities with interested parties regarding the East property. We have engaged a commercial real estate broker, and we are fortunate and grateful to have Jennifer Vallier, UUCW member and real estate attorney, providing expert legal counsel.
Each member should have received their mailing for the Annual Meeting. This year we will host the meeting virtually using Zoom. Mark your calendars for June 7 at 11:30 am. Check your mailing for more details.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention how lovely it has been “seeing” many of so many members, friends, and guests participate in our Facebook Live Sunday services. The transition to online service has been nothing short of amazing and so many of you have shared your gifts to make each service meaningful and refreshing. We continue to foster community despite being apart. That said, I look forward to the day when we can return to worship in person.
Thank you and as always, please reach out with any questions or suggestions you may have to the Board of Trustees.