Lifting Hearts, Broadening Minds, Doing Justice…Together
This has been quite a year. We were in the middle of last year’s stewardship campaign when the pandemic hit. We were in the middle of doing so many things when the pandemic hit…and it has lasted so long. But news from the pandemic is good. Our congregation is strong. Attendance is up for our virtual service, which bodes well for when we can be together again. And we want to resume our ministry together – to embark on our vision together – from a place of financial strength.
“Albany Unitarian Universalist will be an inclusive and welcoming congregation.
Our sacred work is to lift hearts, broaden minds and do justice in the world,
in service of building beloved community.”
This poses a challenge because we don’t know when our rental income, a substantial contributor to our budget, will return to pre-pandemic levels. And when we have the joy of returning to our building, we will also assume the increased costs of doing so. In order to meet these challenges, we are asking for a 3% increase in your pledge to strengthen the following areas:
Our Building – We have begun sprucing up our building, making ready for the return of both our Unitarian Universalist community and wider Albany community for services, classes, meetings and more! We anticipate some pent-up demand for the celebration of milestone events that may have been delayed, and we also want to explore ways to meet diverse community needs for a welcoming space.
Hybrid Congregation – While we’ll be delighted to join together again in Community Hall, we plan to conduct services and other events both in-person and virtually. This will enable us to provide connection and meaning to members and friends for whom in-person attendance is a hardship. We’ll need to leverage technology to preserve the best parts of being a virtual community in order to meet the most needs.
Unitarian Universalist Outreach – Many new people have attended our services during the pandemic, curious about us, who have never been in our building. Clearly, an untapped need has been met. We have a unique message for a troubled world, and offer a unique community. We want to explore ways to increase our outreach, burnish our beacon to meet those needs.
Religious Education – We want to explore ways to meet this central part of our ministry in light of longstanding trends of changing demographics and the recent news of the retirement of our director of religious education. While there will be unique challenges in meeting religious education needs in this ever-evolving landscape, we remain committed to providing high quality UU religious education.
Our congregational life is defined by the pooling of our collective resources: time, talent and treasure. We care for each other, together. We nurture our children and youth, together. We make a difference in the lives of those in need, together. We take a side against injustice, together. And, together, we must ensure our dynamic congregation continues to flourish and emerges strong from the constraints of the pandemic.
We ask you to consider a 3% increase this year.
Our campaign goal is $457,000.
Yours in service,
Geoff Abbas, Stewardship Co-chair
Patti Jo Newell, President & Stewardship Co-chair