Greetings to all my fellow members and friends of UUFBC,

As most of you know, each year we (and all other UU congregations) conduct a “Pledge Drive” or Stewardship Campaign, during which all members and friends have an opportunity to let us know what sort of financial support the fellowship can expect from them for the coming fiscal year.  The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and our own fellowship, operates on a fiscal year that goes from July 1 through June 30.

So, each year we conduct our Pledge Drive, and then we base our budget for the coming fiscal year on the amount of money pledged by our collective membership and friends.  The more dough our supporters “pledge”, the more ambitious our budget can be in terms of programming, music, social concerns initiatives, improvements to our buildings and property, support of our regional and national organizations, etc., etc., etc.

And while every annual pledge drive is important, this one will be by far the most important one we have ever had at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bay County.  Why do I say that?  Because this pledge drive will show us how serious we all really are about the exciting Vision and Growth initiative we have embarked upon during the last year or so.  Without getting into too much detail right now, let me just say that we have high hopes of not just continuing our commitment to very strong, talented, and diverse speakers and guest musicians for our Sunday services, we want to expand on those fronts exponentially!  We want to become a much stronger voice and be even stronger activists in local and regional social concerns, and put not just our time but our money where our hearts lie.  We want to continue to expand our Religious Education programs for children of all ages, and respond to an interest expressed by many of you by creating an RE program for adults as well.  We want to be able to commit significant resources to leadership training, participation in regional and national UU functions, seminars, and conferences.  Ok, I promised not to get into too much detail…..

For now, I’ll end by saying that you will hear a lot about this Pledge Drive—Stewardship Campaign as we get into the month of April.  We won’t ask you to decide on the amount of your pledge until we get to the end of that month and into early May.  What we do want you to be thinking about in the meantime is this:  how much does this fellowship mean to you personally?  How important is it to you that we continue on the exiting, vital path upon which we have embarked?  How important is it that this growing voice of liberal religion, compassion, justice, and acceptance continues to exist and grow in Bay County?  We want and need for this Pledge Drive to far exceed any we have ever had.  Our current yearly budget–the one under which we are operating through June 30–totals just under $44,000.  We really need to leave that number far, far behind, friends. So, please listen with an open mind as we work our way through the Pledge Drive—Stewardship Campaign during the month of April.  And be thinking about what UUFBC means to you and to Bay County, and how much you can and want to help us not just continue to exist but to blossom and grow in the exciting ways we’ve been talking about over the past year.

In fellowship,

Ken Sizemore, Treasurer, UUFBC