Season of Stewardship

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

On February 12, we kicked off our annual holiday season of stewardship. (And you thought the song was only a Christmas carol!) Monies pledged during our stewardship campaign will determine our budget for the next fiscal year which runs from July 2017 through June 2018.

Raising money, collecting rents and fees, doing fundraisers has nothing to do with the actual mission of the congregation. Yet it is undeniable that without money, and an organization of some sort, fulfilling that mission is impossible…it’s fantasy…. You simply can’t get something for nothing.

A. C. Miles writes:

Whine about money at your own peril. If you have some savings and are able to pay your normal living bills each month with money left over for movies and eating out, you are better off than almost every UU church I know. There is no amorphous “they” in a church spending “your” money. If you want to deny your friends’ children new curricula and well-lit, well-heated areas to learn and play at church, then look those little kiddies in the eyes and say so. Otherwise, take part in the process to make your church successful in its mission.

In my ministerial search process last year, while evaluating the churches to which I could potentially apply, I took it upon myself to calculate a rough estimate of each church’s actual pledge level.

At the time, by my rough calculations, UUMAN’s average pledge was $1,977. This was 16% lower than the $2,370 average of the other churches in search. This average represents about $200/month.

Here are the four most convenient ways to inform us of your pledge:

  1. Hand your completed pledge form, sealed in the provided envelope, to your Pledge Coordinator, Mike Chambers, or Bob Popp. They are your sacred trinity of stewardship.
  1. Place the sealed envelope in the UUMAN mailbox of Bob Popp (treasurer) or Mike Chambers (stewardship). Mailboxes are located across Fellowship Hall in the office hall across the hall from my office.
  1. Mail it in. There’s a label with UUMAN’s address on the envelope in your pledge material.
  1. Put your completed pledge form, sealed in the provided envelope in the offering basket as it passes.

Of course, I don’t think anyone here at UUMAN thinks that the annual Stewardship Campaign is “the most wonderful time of the year.” No – not even the brave souls who choose to serve on your Stewardship Committee.

The book of Ecclesiastes says “For everything there is a season…a time to plant, a time to pluck up what is planted (3:1-2).” Theologically, maybe we should view our stewardship campaign as our time of planting.

May we plant our seeds well. May we water these seeds as best we can. And may we, and those who follow us, with hearts filled with gratitude, loving harvest our planting.

Take care and be well,