FORGING AHEAD WITH EXCITEMENT AND COMMITMENT
Ever since 2020, which may now finally seem like the distant past for many of us, CUUC has been going through a continual process of evolution. We needed to adjust often in order to navigate the ever-changing landscape created by the pandemic. By being able to quickly implement remote—and then hybrid—services, we successfully continued to be a welcoming and supportive community where newcomers and longtime members could gather together, both in person or online.
As we celebrate our resilience and salute all those who made it possible, we also look ahead to the future. Spring is always the time when we plan for the new CUUC fiscal year, which begins July 1st. As part of this, we are now launching our annual Giving Campaign.
This year’s Annual Giving Campaign theme is: Forging Ahead with Excitement and Commitment
As we know, Rev. Meredith Garmon will begin his well-deserved retirement in July and we are forging ahead with finding a new settled minister. It is vital at this time that we demonstrate we are a fully committed congregation. Financial strength, willingness to pay competitive wages, and an involved, active membership are key to attracting quality ministerial candidates.
To meet our coming financial obligations, we have set the pledge goal at $450,000. To meet this goal we need 100% participation, receiving a pledge from every Member and Friend.
Keep in mind that our programming and services are supported only by us, and our expenses continue to increase annually. Medical premiums for staff are once again set to increase by 12-15%, and utility costs for our building were 40% (!) higher than last winter. We will also incur Ministerial Search expenses this year, estimated at $25,000. Given this, and that inflation rates are currently at 6.5-7%, it is now more important than ever that you consider increasing your pledge by at least the rate of inflation. If you are able, please do more.
Your contribution will power our actions within the congregation and support our efforts in the world. Think of your pledge in terms of what it takes to run the many aspects of CUUC:
- Journey Groups give participants the opportunity for meaningful connection and personal spiritual growth.
- Committees and Social Justice Teams work to have an impact on local and global causes. Whether it is the Democracy Matters team leading get-out-the-vote campaigns, or the Hunger & Homelessness team’s Meals for HOPE project helping feed our neighbors, or the Racial Justice team sponsoring workshops to counteract systemic racism, there are many active groups, volunteers, and activities that do CUUC proud!
- Our vibrant Religious Exploration program, led by our dedicated director of lifespan religious exploration Tracy Breneman, creatively provides age-specific spiritual teaching and moral grounding for our children and youth, and support for families.
- The Music Ministry enriches our Sundays with sublime piano playing, heartfelt choral singing, and guest musicians from a variety of world cultures. Music director Adam Kent, choir director Lisa Meyer, and choir accompanist Georgianna Pappas bring a professional level of musical experience to our worship services and the Music at CUUC program. Lately, the congregation has indicated a strong desire to expand the music program and include more musical genres. Extra funds will help make this happen.
- Worship services are offered year-round, with summer services led by guest ministers and speakers, including some well-respected members of CUUC.
- Our Board of Trustees seeks to expand CUUC’s message and increase membership growth by bringing in support for our communications, social media, and website. If we reach or exceed our pledge goal, we enable the Board to explore these possibilities.
CUUC is an important part of our lives, and our religious faith is a necessary force for good in the world. Both require our support to remain healthy and vital.
We have seen great positive energy, involvement, and dedication from everyone. We are Forging Ahead with Excitement and Commitment toward a strong future through the groundwork we are laying now. Please do all you can to support our congregation and fund our aspirations. Together we can strengthen our community and our mission. Together we can make this happen.
Thank you for your generous support.
The Canvass Team
Carolyn Hanson, Drew Swiss, and Chris Kortlandt
donate online via PayPal
Pledge By Mail or In Person
When you receive your Pledge Form in the mail, please complete and return it as soon as you can.
Or Download a digital version of the 2023 Pledge Form, print, complete, and sign, and do one of the following:
- Drop it off at the CUUC office
- Mail it to: Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, 468 Rosedale Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605
- Scan the completed form into your computer and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org