From Our Board President                      Wednesday, March 27, 2019

"Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present." - Albert Camus

Dear Members and Friends of the UU Church of Bloomington,

On Saturday, April 20th, our congregation will host its annual Pledge Day--Community Day. In the days and weeks leading up to this event, it is an important time to recognize and reflect on all that you and our church accomplish in community with one another. It is also important that each of us acknowledge all that we have gained from our church, especially in these challenging times.

This year, we celebrate 70 years of commitment to our Unitarian Universalist values at UUCB by honoring the seeds of love, truth, and justice that our founders planted, and that we carry forward with great care and gratitude. Together, we are responsible for the good things that grow within our congregation. Your support through your pledges enables our Liberal Religious Voice to bloom in Bloomington and beyond.

Particularly within this past year, it has been inspiring to pick up a newspaper or copy of Bloom Magazine and see our UU values reflected in the words of our members and friends. Our worship services, religious education programs, and the spiritual guidance from our ministers continue to sustain us as a community of liberal religious seekers. The work of our Social Justice Taskforces has positively impacted causes that are critical to nourishing our earth and humanity.

How have you been inspired to contribute your gifts, passions, and energies to our congregation? What activities or interactions with our church enable you to carry on in love and gratitude for one another, our community, and world?

Whatever your inspiration, it is made possible through the financial gift of your pledges. Our annual budget, largely funded by your pledge dollars, is the way that the church is able to cover all the costs associated with operating the church, including minister and staff salaries, building and grounds upkeep and maintenance, programming, and social justice work beyond our walls.

Stewardship includes all the ways we care for our congregation. Financial gifts, gifts of time, and gifts of talent are our love and commitment made visible. All aspects of stewardship can be as much about continually nurturing a spirit of generosity as they are about obligation and responsibility. Today, we ask you to reflect on the impact of UUCB in your life and in in the lives of others and invest in these values through pledging your financial support to operating budget of our congregation.

This year, our goal is to reach $670,000 in pledges, allowing us to continue our vibrant and welcoming spiritual ministry in Bloomington, the surrounding counties, the state of Indiana, and beyond. By reaching this goal of $670,000, our budget will enable us to continue to incrementally increase support for our ministers and staff (towards our goal of providing fair compensation), support and expand our ministry through live-streaming and multimedia capabilities, and maintain our building and grounds in accordance with our commitment to the Paris Pledge.
To reach our goal, we need generous increases at all levels of pledging. If you made a pledge or donation to the Stewardship Drive last year, would you consider increasing your pledge by 10% or another increased amount? If you are new to pledging at UUCB, would you consider making a generous pledge to the 2019 Stewardship Drive? We know that some people in our community cannot afford to pledge or increase their pledge. So, we are asking you, that if you are able to pledge, and/or are able to increase your pledge, please do so as generously as possible so that our community and congregation can thrive.

Pledging is easy! Beginning Sunday, March 31st, there will be several opportunities for you to make a financial pledge for the coming 2019-20 year (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020). On March 31, April 7, April 14, and April 21, there will be friendly, helpful people at a table in Fellowship Hall after each service, with pledge cards already labeled with y our name if you made a pledge last year. There will also be pledge cards in the orders of service for your convenience. You can also attend activities on Pledge Day, April 20th, and sign your pledge card then!

Seventy years ago, our founders might not have imagined the dire need for social change and progress that our UU principles demand we address in this post-truth era. Just as those who have come before us have done, we honor those who are currently giving and who will give their time, talents, and energies to the work of this congregation. We ask you to honor those former members and friends of our congregation with the gift of your pledges that will continue to allow this UU community to thrive both now and as we carry our vision - Seeking the Spirit. Building Community.  Changing the World. - into the future.

Thanks to your generosity and commitment, our church will continue to bloom as the cherished and consistent foundation we depend on.


Michelle E. Cook
President, UUCB Board of Directors
Unitarian Universalist Church