2021 Stewardship Campaign

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was time for UUMAN’s annual Stewardship Campaign.” I have it on good authority that this was how Dickens wished to begin “A Tale of Two Cities” yet at the last minute he chickened-out and changed his mind. (A missed opportunity I think!)

Yes….it’s that time of year again – UUMAN’s 2021 Stewardship Campaign has arrived!

I’ve never been prouder of UUMAN.

The 2020 Stewardship Campaign was just getting under way this time last year when we all became all-too-well acquainted with a new virus that mutated into a global pandemic. We all had to re-calibrate our lives….and the re-calibration is still ongoing.

I’ve never been prouder of UUMAN because despite the tragic disruption it has brought to so many, and to us, we’ve found ways to tay connected and stay the course in our ministries.

  • Our Worship Team (and let’s not forget our Worship Editors) have had to, and continue to, re-invent new ways of bringing meaningful Sunday services each and every week.
  • Our Care Circles could never have imagined that they’d be caring for so many of our members beset upon by COVID.
  • Our newly formed Strategic PlanTing team is moving forward to build upon our Mission and Vision work from 2018-2019.
  • We’ve hired a wonderful new Membership Coordinator to transform those who first came to UUMAN as interested visitors into fully engaged members.
  • We’ve developed new ways to connect with virtual Coffee & Conversation, Happy Hours & team meetings.

The list could go on and on.

Yet the pandemic has brought unforeseen challenges that have affected us financially.

  • We’ve lost close to $15K in rental income.
  • We’ve lost close to $5K in fundraising potential. (Mostly due to Coffee House closure.)
  • We’ve lost close to $5K in Premo Rentals due to the pandemic.
  • We may lose Premo as a renter as they continue to seek to own their own building and property. (They have requested a month-to-month lease.)

And the pandemic has forced us to address issues we never thought we’d have to face.

  • Realizing that it is a justice issue to open back up with in-person services WITHOUT having a virtual option to those most vulnerable to the pandemic. This also applies to ANYONE who is homebound for ANY reason. We simply cannot leave people behind due to inaccessibility.
  • UUMAN is essentially out of compliance as an employer. We mean well and we mean no harm but when it comes to personnel issues, we are behind many other congregations on matters of healthcare benefits, disability insurance, retirement funding, etc. Again, this is a matter of justice.
  • The pandemic has shown us how PRECIOUS visitors have become. We cannot let visitors and new members simply drift away. (Take one look at our membership book and you’ll see that our membership retention rate is very, very low. We can’t afford (literally!) to let this happen.

Again, I’ve never been prouder of UUMAN. We’ve flourished…gained members DESPITE this pandemic…and that is nothing short of AMAZING!!!

To continue flourishing in a challenging time, I will encourage you all to think carefully about your financial pledge to UUMAN. Please, familiarize yourself with the financial issues we face…and come to know that some of these are matters of justice.

Nurture our spirit. Strive for Justice. Transform the world.