President’s Message – April 2012

Most people have a love-hate relationship with money; they can’t stand to deal with it but they can’t stay away from it. At no time is this dichotomy more evident than when asked to give it away. Welcome to this year’s pledge drive!

In a bit of a departure from previous years, we are more focused this year on the timeliness of the pledges that come in. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting your pledge in as early as possible. Over the last few years, we have been dealing with an austere budget, with no room allowed for anything aspirational. At the last few Annual Meetings, the Board has struggled to present a responsible budget, usually because we have not heard from a substantial amount of pledge units. Our budgets for the last several years have allowed us to retain our staff and keep the lights on — but that’s all. From what we are seeing so far, this year will be no different, and may be a little more dire. We are currently at the same pledge rate we were at this time last year. Given that we are currently running at a $20,000 deficit, that statistic does not bode well for the coming year.

We are a self-sustaining organization, not subsidized by any other entity. Members of the congregation have been speaking about what UUCM means to them, and this is the time of the year where we ask you to consider that in the context of your financial support as well. Our ability to define ourselves as the aspirational congregation we want to be is directly related to your commitment as an active member of this congregation to financially support the work we do, in a responsible, thoughtful way.

But you have to make that commitment. If you have already pledged, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you have not already done so, please make your commitment now, so that the Board can do its job and provide the most responsible, complete and transparent budget that we can.

Teresa DeSousa
President, Board of Trustees