President’s Message – March 2014

This year’s pledge campaign is well underway.  Mark and Nancy Felix are serving as pledge campaign chairs, and as always, it is a thankless job that very few people are willing to take on. We are deeply indebted to them for their service.

I had hypothesized in past articles that people have an odd relationship with money.  We don’t want to deal with it but we have to. We hate it, but we need it.  Or, we love it, but we’re ashamed of loving it so we pretend we hate it – but we need it. There are many variations to this theme, but you see where I’m going. The bottom line is that we all need it.  And, like a relationship, if we treat it well and respect it, it can give us security, comfort, and it also frees us up to make good choices.

The theme of this year’s pledge campaign is “Spreading Our Wings.”  It feels good to be able to talk about growth, after the last few budget-challenged years. The Board experienced a welcome change during last year’s budget process.  We did not have to make decisions to make cuts to the budget.  Instead we found ourselves in a joyful place, where we could make commitments to budget areas, and people, that were long overdue, most significantly staff raises.  I hope to be able to continue that trend this year.

Making a pledge is one of the many but more difficult forms of service we perform for this congregation.  Deciding how much to pledge is a very personal choice based on each individual’s circumstances, needs and priorities.  I have struggled with my pledge this year, which is new for me.  Although I believe my financial future is bright, for the short term it is uncertain.  It is a unique dilemma for me, but I have gotten a lot of support over the years from the congregation concerning my financial situation, which has gone from one extreme to the other and back again.  Several times.  I know many of you have experienced the same roller coaster ride.

So I thank each of you for your contribution, and if you are also struggling, please know that we support you.  Feel free to reach out to me, one of the ministers or one of the pledge chairs if you have any questions or concerns about your pledge.

Teresa DeSousa
President, Board of Trustees