The Stewardship Drive is the time when we re-affirm our Membership and renew our support for the Mission of Countryside Church UU for the coming fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). As a free church, our Operating Budget is funded primarily from the contributions of our Members and Friends. Our combined pledges allow us to do the work of CCUU — the worship, music, programs, and resources that allow us to become the growing voice of liberal religion in this area. The formal annual drive is usually held in February and March, however pledges are accepted year round. Thank you for supporting Countryside Church!
Beacon in the Present, Blessing for the Future
This is a series of articles from the Focus newsletter:
- April 27, 2017: 2017-18 Stewardship Update & Second Ask
- April 5, 2017: Sometimes It IS About Money
- March 8, 2017: From Discretionary Giving to Intentional Giving
- February 8, 2017: Beacon in the Present, Blessing for the Future
- January 11, 2017: Membership Comes with Strings Attached
- December 7, 2016: Determining Fair & Responsible Pledge Amount
- November 3, 2016: Stewardship For Us
- October 5, 2016: Stewardship Is Not Just Giving Money
Every year, we hold a pledge drive during which each member is asked to reaffirm their commitment to Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist and to make a pledge of financial support to sustain this welcoming and loving community. We all know that Countryside Church is a place where we are free to explore and grow our mind and spirit; a community where ethics and compassion are more important than dogma; and, a place where we thrive on spiritual diversity. We find comfort knowing that here we embrace our differences; here we are united in the belief that each person’s unique spiritual path enriches our shared journey; and, here a strong thread of humanity brings us closer to one another.
While recent political events have shocked our sensibilities and left us feeling uncomfortable and uncertain, for all of us, Countryside is the one place we know where we can go to join in community with others that share our common views and attitudes, to calm those feelings of discomfort and uncertainty, and to find meaningful and spiritually grounded action that we can take to address our concern for justice and compassion . Countryside is a beacon of hope for all those who repudiate the voices of hatred and bigotry and who stand more strongly than ever with the marginalized communities most vulnerable to the toxic message those voices spread. With our continued and generous financial support, Countryside Church can be a blessing to the future, ensuring that our core Unitarian Universalist principles live on for future generations.
Now more than ever, we need Countryside Church to continue to be a beacon of hope in the present, and now more than ever, we need Countryside Church to be a blessing to the future. For these things, we need your continued financial support – now more than ever.
We ask you to invest in your faith and your values here at CCUU. Generous pledges come in all sizes and only you know what size fits your means. You may be able to significantly increase your pledge – but it is stunning to consider what a difference we can each make when we join together. If everyone who pledges increased their pledge even by just $8 per month, we would increase our resources by more than $21,000, and if that increase were $21 per month, it would increase our resources by more than $50,000. A small increase can make a big difference.
As you re-commit to your membership for another year, take time to think about Countryside’s Aspirations of Membership:
Participate in Sunday Services and Congregational Meetings. Worship is the heart of what we do as a congregation. It is the time and place where we gather together to celebrate, grieve, share, challenge and be inspired to grow and live our best lives. Unitarian Universalism is congregation-based in its governance model. It is the responsibility and privilege of membership to participate in Congregational meetings, and to stay informed about what is going on in the life of CCUU by attending town hall meetings, voting, participating in special forums and events, and reading theFocus newsletter, emails, and our web-page.
Seek out and share opportunities for spiritual, ethical, and meaningful growth. As a community, we celebrate and accept many diverse sources of spiritual knowledge. Spiritual growth is a lifelong endeavor. At Countryside, we work to encourage and support each person’s spiritual quest.
Engage in congregational projects, programs, or events that reach beyond the church. Part of spiritual growth comes from participating with others to make a difference in the larger community. There are many who do much as individuals, but it is also important to act on our beliefs as a community. We achieve spiritual growth as a congregation when we work together to help those beyond our walls and to stand on the side of love in the wider world.
Engage in congregational projects, programs, or events that support the life of the church.Our congregation is privileged to have a professional staff that supports and guides us and our endeavors, but the richness of our congregational community is deep and varied because of the contributions of everyone. We each have talents and skills that we can contribute. How much time we have to offer will change from year to year, depending on where we are in our work and family cycles, but we all are asked to contribute in some way.
Strive to give 3-5% of my income to support the mission of the church. Generosity is a spiritual practice that allows the individual to become part of a greater good. To be a source of inspiration and spiritual growth for our congregation, to be a voice for the ideals we espouse, and to cover day-to-day expenses of operations requires an enduring financial commitment from each of us. Each member is asked to strive towards the goal of committing 3-5% of their income to help make this possible.
Share with others outside the church the value of my membership at Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist. We believe that the world can benefit from our values of acceptance, inclusiveness, reason, love, and the celebration of diversity. Many people are looking for a faith rich in meaning and purpose. We share our faith to encourage seekers in their quest for fresh insight and to offer seekers the vision of a faith that celebrates the best in the human spirit and embraces a world of wisdom.
During the Stewardship drive, representatives of each of the Ministries of Countryside Church UU (CCUU) will give Aspiration/Testimonial messages about how the ministries contribute to CCUU’s being a beacon and a blessing – for now and for the future. Below are links to the testimonials so you can read and reflect on them.
2017 Stewardship Messages:
Now is the Time for Service Ministry by Maryanne O’Dowd on Jan 15, 2017
Now is the Time for Kinship Ministry by Tom MacTavish on Jan 22, 2017
Now is the Time for Study Ministry on Jan 29, 2017
Now is the Time for Worship Ministry on Feb 5, 2017
Stewardship Sermon by the Rev. Hilary Landau Krivchenia on Feb 5, 2017
Message from the Board President, excerpt from Feb 8 Focus newsletter article:
Our congregation is a vital part of the larger UU community, as well as of the community in which our building is located. Our building and our staff provide a place for us to gather to support each other and to be in community with each other; a space for the many families that walk through our doors, bringing their children, looking for a place and a community to help guide them and enrich their minds. Our staff and our building provide diverse opportunities for each of us to grow, to share, to make a difference, but it can’t be done without us, the congregation. There are many places to give of our time, our talent, and our financial support in the world. Very few of those places can match the immediate and substantial difference each of us makes in the lives of others, within and beyond our walls, when we support our congregation with our time, our talent, and our financial support. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. …Karen Noorani
2016 Stewardship Messages:
“It’s a Wonderful Life” Sermon given by Rev. Hilary Krivchenia on Jan 31, 2016
It’s a Wonderful Worship Ministry on Feb 7, 2016
It’s a Wonderful Kinship Ministry on Feb 14, 2016
It’s a Wonderful Service Ministry on Feb 21, 2016
The pledge form for the 2017-18 church year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) is available here for download. Pledge forms can be submitted at any time, but we need current members to pledge by March 15, 2017.
Update, April 27, 2017: As we consider options for long-term sustainability, in order to increase income for the 2017-18 year and to avoid additional cuts to our budget, we are asking all members either to increase their pledge or to consider a one-time additional pledge. Though this is not ideal, it would allow us to sustain the energy, movement, and new life at CCUU. If you are able and willing to increase your 17-18 pledge or to make a one-time additional pledge, please complete the form below and submit it to the church office.
As we engage in our operating pledge drive, we are living and demonstrating our principles by going solar for 2017. This project has inspired many in the congregation to realize the strength we find when we come together. We ask that you give more generously than you might have imagined to our operating pledge – to support this place that gives birth to not just dreams and visions, but also realities. Once you have submitted your 1718 Operating Pledge Form, you will have a chance to make a solar panel commitment, if you are interested. You may buy a panel with a group or on your own; you can buy one panel or more – dedicate them to people you care about or give in your own name. Solar panel commitment forms are due by March 31; payments for the solar panels are due not later than May 1.
Many congregations in the UUA tradition and other denominations have a culture of stewardship that is sustained by their membership without the efforts of a Herculean stewardship campaign every year. We seek in the same way to build a culture of sustained giving such that our congregation energies are focused on living out our convenent rather than annual fundraising. As such, we encourage our members to take advantage of the Countryside Express sustained giving program. This automatic withdrawal program is an easy way to show your continued generosity to Countryside
- Establish your monthly pledge amount
- Pay your pledge through automatic withdrawal from your bank or credit card account
- Save time and energy, both for you and Countryside!
- Express your commitment to Countryside Church through our Countryside Express Sustained Giving Program!
- Countryside Express Form (PDF)
- Countryside Express Form (Word)