Dear Beloved friends and members of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier,
First, a big thank you!
As I watch the finances of our shared organization, the generosity of this community continues to buoy my belief in goodness and kindness. For the past several years, it has been a rich learning experience and a true gift to serve as Financial Officer and Stewardship Chair with all of you loving, generous people. Please join the Stewardship Team this Sunday for a special THANK YOU in-person coffee hour celebration with bagels!
I wanted to provide a brief update on our financial status, as our economic environment is changing. Our financial foundations are strong, and we also all need to be keenly aware of our shifting needs, in order to continue to responsibly steward this precious institution. Here is some information that I’ve compiled to help you understand our financial picture:
- As the Board and the Executive Team prepared this year‘s draft budget, we assessed the level of inflation at 7.5% in February 2022 in Vermont. We are hoping to offer our treasured staff AT LEAST a 7% cost of living increase! If each of us could increase our pledge by 10% that would really help us get there!
- Our incredible Ministerial Intern Verdis LeVar Robinson has just received dispensation to remain at UCM for one year to serve our community!!! As our church is growing and also moving into what we call “multi-platform” worship (presenting services both in-person and online), we require additional ministerial support, which means our budget is growing to fund Verdis’ proposed new position!
- Our facilities must continually be updated and maintained to meet our needs, and as we propose to add a new Sunday techie position, and address real growing facilities costs – all of this is helping our budget to grow each year!
- If you’ve been a member for more than a few years you may have noticed that for the last few years we’ve been proposing to access cash on hand and long-term savings to help us meet our growing budget. So – if we can increase our pledge number, we’ll be able to confidently propose a fully funded budget that doesn’t include any of our savings to fund operations!
- There may be many in our community that are feeling crunched – if you have the capacity to grow your pledge please consider these dear community members as well!
It is with great joy that we, as a Board and Stewardship team, aspire to fund this thriving community. What a wonderful problem to have! If you have the ability to grow your pledge, we encourage you to consider these factors affecting our budget, and dig deep with the knowledge that our budget is collectively funded by our contributions! Please reach out for more information if you’d like to see the budget or join a working group.
With great gratitude,
Board Financial Officer & Stewardship Chair