What is the Pledge Campaign About? 

This is not time for a decision. You already have decided. You decided to seek a place where you could think about what is important to you. You decided what thumb 2017 StewardshipLogo1kind of community you wish to live in, and you decided how you can help shape it. That is ERUUF.

If you value the special quality of ERUUF that allows us to seek, question, learn, challenge, meditate, explore, appreciate, and hug, then the simple act of giving money to support the campaign doesn’t need explanation.

We’re not asking you to decide. You already have. The stewardship campaign is a good time to think of what is fundamental in your life. Whether you think of it as your spiritual development, social action, intellectual growth, or a haven where you can think clearly and feel safe, it’s your ERUUF.

 A pledge of financial support to ERUUF is a tangible expression of what this special place means to you.

Thank you for sharing that with us.

 

Stewardship Journey

What is the Pledge Campaign About? 

This is not time for a decision. You already have decided. You decided to seek a place where you could think about what is important to you. You decided what thumb 2017 StewardshipLogo1kind of community you wish to live in, and you decided how you can help shape it. That is ERUUF.

If you value the special quality of ERUUF that allows us to seek, question, learn, challenge, meditate, explore, appreciate, and hug, then the simple act of giving money to support the campaign doesn’t need explanation.

We’re not asking you to decide. You already have. The stewardship campaign is a good time to think of what is fundamental in your life. Whether you think of it as your spiritual development, social action, intellectual growth, or a haven where you can think clearly and feel safe, it’s your ERUUF.

 A pledge of financial support to ERUUF is a tangible expression of what this special place means to you.

Thank you for sharing that with us.

 

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Overview FAQ

What’s this campaign about?

To support our ERUUF mission to transform lives by building a free and inclusive covenantal religious community of spirit, service, justice, and love.

The short answer: It’s about raising money.

We are a self-governing, self-sustaining community. We decide what kind of congregation we want to be, and we govern ourselves correspondingly. Members promise to pledge financial support to ERUUF so that we can carry out the congregation’s goals. Non-members, of course, are encouraged to make donations, too.

We build our budget based on pledges, so your response to the pledge drive is essential to ERUUF’s fiscal health in the upcoming year (July, 2017 through June, 2018). Plegdes account for over 80% of the annual budget.

A pledge is your promise to give a certain amount of money to the congregation within the upcoming fiscal year. Many people choose to pay their pledge monthly, either by placing a check in the collection plate or by having an automatic payment transferred directly to ERUUF (See Becoming a Sustainerbelow). That steady stream of income eases financial concerns for us. Others pay during the year, as they can. 

How much should you pledge?  First, you might consider how ERUUF has supported, changed and challenged you, and how it helps you put your values into action. That might be a guiding measure. Second, there is a Giving Chart that offers some suggestions from UUA. Between those two processes, you will find a pledge that feels good and that fits within your financial means. Like ERUUF, your pledge should make a difference in your life.

For persons aged 70½ and older, a popular option is to donate from IRA account assets to nonprofit organizations such as ERUUF. Please consult your financial advisor for details of the tax benefits of a charitable IRA rollover, which was recently passed into permanent law.

Please keep in mind that this is everyone’s ERUUF, and we encourage 100% participation no matter the size the pledge. Every gift counts. We hope you will consider increasing your pledge substantially this year. If this is a difficult time for you to pledge, please speak to one of our ministers to learn how the Fellowship might be of support.

 Whom should I talk to if I have questions? Contact to ask questions about the campaign.

Are you ready?

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Narrative Budget

Sustaining a Welcoming Community

Worship, Music and the Arts

thumb beloved community choir Our Sunday worship services are at the heart of our spiritual community. Excellent readings, inspiring sermons, and glorious music combine to make a wide variety of meaningful experiences. With additional resources we could video and share our services with small pockets of fellow UUs in less liberal areas of our state. Think about all the wonderful insights and feelings you’ve had at ERUUF Worship services. Then, help build on this firm foundation with your increased pledge of financial support!

32% of our budget supports worship, music and the arts.

Pastoral Care

Deb.worshipWe all count on ERUUF to be here for us in supportive ways. Our ministers counsel and support us through important milestones, from child birth to marriage, through illness and death and other personal tragedies. They work with an entire Care Team of ERUUF members who support members and friends who are hospitalized or ill and provide practical support in times of stress and challenging transitions. They support leaders of many Covenant, Sources, and Affinity groups, as well as the Adult Programs Team at ERUUF. Now, more than ever, we need much greater financial support for our Care and Program ministries.

12% of our budget supports pastoral care.

Justice and Outreach

thumb Jan 17 marchAt ERUUF we link our social justice words with actions. As a Fellowship we show up to endorse and support civil, moral and social actions that guard the rights of all. We advocate for marriage equality, raise awareness of death penalty issues and resist threats to the rights of poor individuals and the earth itself. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim, LGBTQ, African American, and immigrant friends and neighbors. In addition, we’ve been approached by groups of UUs outside the Triangle who would like our support as they care for each other and take public stands for justice. With increased financial support we could continue to walk the walk, together and with fellow UUs. In the process, we, ourselves, are transformed. Our Justice Action Groups are working because of the financial support from pledges.

10% of our budget supports justice and outreach.

Facilities and Infrastructure

eruuf sanctuary 250Our campus is a special place for meetings, classes, rehearsals and other Fellowship activities. We share our facilities with community groups working to help individuals and families grow and heal, and to enrich the cultural life of our community. Like your home, our buildings require regular attention – utilities, insurance, physical repairs and so forth – as well as safety features and upgrades to support continued growth of the Fellowship. With a big increase in pledge income, ERUUF could properly care for our buildings and possibly even make needed improvements! Now, more than ever, we need more financial support for our campus.

25% of our budget supports facilities.

Religious Education

thumb RE in worshipContinuous spiritual growth and learning are central to Unitarian Universalists. Our children begin their own lifelong search for truth and meaning through an outstanding religious education curriculum that eschews doctrine and encourages individual growth. The Coming of Age program helps teens navigate the transition from child to adult, and a variety of small- and large-group adult religious education classes cover topics ranging from personal spirituality to the history of religion. Our Whole Lives (OWL) ensures that our children receive high quality, values based sexuality education that includes and respects all identities. Our unique RE programs attract more youth than we can adequately handle with current staff alone. Now, more than ever, our RE program needs more financial support.

21% of our budget supports religious education.

Let Our Light Shine

thumb worship.DC.JB 2016Now, more than ever, we need to “Let our Light Shine.” ERUUF is a special fellowship, in a strategic geographic position, at a critical time in our country’s history. While we all enjoy our oasis of justice, love, and compassion, many more people in nearby areas are searching for what ERUUF offers. We must seize this opportunity to “spread the light” throughout North Carolina and beyond. To do this we need your increased financial support through your 2017-2018 pledge. Please consider stretching your generosity as far as possible when you make a commitment to share ERUUF with more people in need of our cherished values, programs, and actions.

Thank you!

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2017-18 Budget Priorities

Stewardship Priorities 2017-18

chalice.art2

•    Support staffing (for new outreach, RE and Membership growth; Cost of Living increases as specified by our existing policies, and staff raises as might be merited).      

•    Maintain our spiritual home for our own programs and groups as well as outside non-profit groups.

•    Continue to live into the promise of racial equity and inclusion as specified on our Strategic Plan.

•    Work towards funding a million dollar budget through (a) continuing to grow membership, (b) increasing rentals, (c) increasing pledges.

We’ve got tremendous gratitude for past success and all the ways in which this dynamic congregation has grown and served.  We have confidence as we consider how to carry our liberal UU values as we move “beyond our walls” in meaningful ways.  
    •    120 members have completed Dismantling Racism/Race Equity workshop. We’ll continue to offer this important experience in the future in support of our multicultural goals.      
    •    We’ve re-envisioned and reorganized how we engage our Justice ministry.  
    •    We’ve begun to learn about our Interfaith and refugee neighbors, as well as our neighbors on the earth, and we’re poised for new partnerships.
    •    As civil rights have come under attack, we’ve worked with the NAACP, Democracy NC, and others on voting rights through witness, advocacy and voter registration and support.  This year we’re proud that ERUUF was an Early Voting site for Durham County.  This fits with our history as well as how much we value every citizen’s right to vote.  

We value our ministers and staff, and the ways in which they partner with lay leaders to create meaningful Sunday worship, learning opportunities; the ways in which they support small groups, and generally make it possible for our members to get involved in service and social change efforts that truly matter.  We are committed to being a Fair Compensation Employer.  This means that we provide equitable compensation and benefits for all employees as a matter of justice.  It’s also just smart; transitions are costly, and when you have terrific employees you do what you can to support and keep them.   

We are committed to moving the Fellowship toward a million dollar budget in order to expand our programs and outreach. Increased visitors and particiaption point to a greater need for the financial support to sustain this growth. This year the Board’s priorities are to cover staffing needs (support staff and support for Justice, RE and Membership; Cost of Living increases as specified by our existing policies, and staff raises as might be merited). 

We value our campus, our spiritual home, and are committed to maintaining it and becoming greener whenever possible. This is beautiful space is home for worship, programs, and many small group meetings, as well as the many non-UU groups: Girls Scouts, Transgender Teen Support Group, Al-Anon and Narc-anon, Refugee Health and Wellness group, a new ESL class, Durham CAN office, and more.  

We are excited that in an era when church growth is flat or negative, ERUUF has managed a modest but steady growth for the past several years.  Growth in membership means growth in new pledges, and this is an important part of our Stewardship strategy.   

And this year we’re asking members and pledging friends to increase their pledge (as you are able).  This is what it will take to keep this momentum going and support ERUUF’s programs and priorities.  Everyone’s generous financial support is an important way that we Let Our Light Shine together.

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True or False: Can You Guess?

Our amazing ministers haven’t had a raise since 2010.

TRUE. Isn’t that shocking?! Our funding for our ministers isn’t up to the level recommended by the UUA for a church of our size. Let’s show them how much we value them with a pay increase!

The excellent music program at ERUUF doesn’t incur any large costs in the annual budget.

FALSE. This past year $94,000 was devoted to supporting our music program.

We have all the ministers and support staff we need.

FALSE. We’ve grown enough that we need another minister and an additional support staff person.

We have $100,000 in needed building maintenance work (e.g., roof repair, walkway/deck, heating and air conditioning, painting, driveway, and more) needed in the near future.

TRUE. Unfortunately, delaying this work can potentially lead to larger problems with bigger repair costs later.

The biggest portion of last year’s budget (personnel) went to pay for all the programs, services, events, and shared ministries of the Fellowship.

TRUE. And we are currently understaffed for the size of the congregation.

This year, the children’s RE program has 125 children enrolled or participating regularly.

FALSE: We actually have over 200 children and 70 teachers in the RE program managed by our wonderful Julia Tyler and Melissa Gjestvang-Lucky.

In the past year, our Adult RE program had over 30 different offerings/courses/events.

TRUE. Many of us enjoy learning and growing.

We spent $27,000 last year on our beautiful “buildings and grounds.”

FALSE. We actually spent $48,000 last year on our buildings and grounds!

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Minister's Letter

   It’s the time of year when we make pledges of financial support for next year’s programs. And Now More Than Ever we are called to Let Our UU Light Shine. Carmine Gallo says, “Passion fuels the rocket, but vision—a big dream—points the rocket to its ultimate destination.” Money is one type of fuel, and it can take us a great distance to very good places if we have a bold vision. So, where is ERUUF’s big dream of love and justice, freedom and courage, compassion and truth taking us?

   We recently reported 647 members and 335 active friends to the UUA, and that we serve just over 180 children. This year we created new ways to help new members get connected and it’s worked. In the coming year we’re going to keep doing these good things, and we’re going to shift our focus to member engagement. We want everyone here to be able to connect with others in small groups and meaningful activities, and we want to help people find opportunities to serve. This is already in motion.
 
   But what about the people who can’t get to ERUUF? What about religious liberals who live out in the counties around Durham? If we’re feeling insecure here in our little liberal bubble in the Triangle, imagine how others are feeling in the red areas of North Carolina! How might we offer them some of our light to add to their own? And what might we learn from them, receive from them if we do? One group to the south has asked us for support for worship and program materials. And there is no UU presence between us and Richmond, VA. Imagine who might be just north of us, and how much they might benefit from a covenant group type gathering, and some friendly support from some of our strong small group leaders? If we have significant increases in pledges we could take this on without adjusting what we’re already doing.
  
This past year we were an Early Voting site for 18,281 Durham citizens, and we worked on voting rights in parts of the city where people’s rights haven’t been respected. This year we’re going to continue to work on issues that affect People of Color, and we’ve begun forming relationships with partners in organizations that are led by People of Color. Right now we offer meeting space to groups that serve refugees and immigrants, and we’ve begun asking them and groups like Durham CAN to help us figure out what our neighbors need most, and what’s needed in our community around sanctuary. How can we help? How might we support our neighbors in this new era that’s so hostile to so many? And the earth…we hear it calling us. What are good ways we can put our love into action for the earth? Our Earth Justice folks are eager to bring us opportunities, and we’re in the process of rearranging staff portfolios to be able to support lay leaders who are already engaged in this ministry.
 
   Here’s some more good news. While she will no longer be our student minister, Jacqueline Brett will be able to work full time on the ministry team at ERUUF in 2017-18 while she prepares to see the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee! Her vision and partnership in ministry have been a large part of our growth and vitality these past two years, and it’s truly a blessing that she can serve with us in the coming year. However, this year we had two ministers plus a student minister, and that level of ministerial staffing is exactly what we need. It also would definitely help us succeed if we could afford administrative assistance in the main office and in RE, and if we could give our excellent staff a raise. Significant increases would enable us to have this level of support.
 
   If this sounds ambitious, it is. And it isn’t. Much of this is what we already do; we’ve just started planning ways to do it differently and better. But the outreach pieces would be new for us. Again, these increases would enable us to support this outreach without having to cut parts of what we do now.
 
Here’s some information to help you think about how your giving could help ERUUF’s light shine more brightly.
 
If you are currently
pledging per year:
ERUUF can meet its needs and grow towards its vision if you increase your pledge by an additional:
$20-2,500 $60-1,000
$2,600-9,900 $500-3,000
$10,000+ 10%

 

We have a vision, a big dream of love and justice for all. Now more than ever it’s time to let the light of our liberal UU faith shine brightly, and bring hope and encouragement to hurting people and desperate places.  

In faith,

Deborah

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Generosity

Practicing Generosity

Generosity is a spiritual practice that is encouraged by every world religion. img 0199When we give generously we open our hearts as well as our wallets, and this helps create a feeling of kinship with fellow human beings; it helps us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. Practicing generosity also helps us remember that the gifts of creation are not exclusively for our own private use.

When we give generously we open our hearts as well as our wallets, and this helps create a feeling of kinship with fellow human beings; it helps us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. Practicing generosity also helps us remember that the gifts of creation are not exclusively for our own private use.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. — Winston Churchill

 

The Joy of Giving

fall.IMG 0475.wWe are part of a web. The image of stewardship draws together the many threads of this web: the earth upon which we live, the elements of community we value, and the institutions that forward our values and provide services we think are important. Stewards are caretakers with a forward vision. They hold something in trust. They ensure that it will be there in the future for the benefit of others.  

Successful stewards not only protect, but help something to improve and grow. Their actions are empowering. This is true regardless of whether we are stewards of the earth, institutions, people, or our Unitarian Universalist faith.    

from Stewardship: The Joy of Giving (UUA resource)

Research conducted by the University of Notre Dame, has confirmed that it is the giver of generosity that benefits the most.  Its research found that generous people, on the whole, were happier and healthier and had a greater sense of purpose than others, even after controlling for a number of factors, including income.  Sustained, practiced, generous behavior causes better life outcomes.

Learning & Giving

Giving is learned behavior. Training teaches how to carry out a specific task more efficiently imagesCAOITFO0and reliably. Education, on the other hand, opens and enriches a person's mind. To train a person, you need know nothing about who they really are, or what they love, or why. Education reaches out to embrace the whole person. Historically, we have treated money as a matter of training, rather than education in its wider and more dignified sense." --John Armstrong, How to Worry Less About Money

Links

Learning to Give (all ages) www.learningtogive.org   Note: This website is chock full of resources for religious organization, educators, parents, children and youth, younger and older adults. Included are a variety of interactive activities and numerous links to relevant sites and organizations.

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Becoming a Sustainer

If becoming a sustainer appeals to you,

take a look at the pdfauto draft directions

Your draft can be modified at any time.

It’s easy. Thanks.

Much of ERUUF’s financial support comes from sustainers. That means that people pay their pledge through automatic drafts on a regular basis. Drafts come from checking accounts, debit or credit cards. Sustainers find monthly drafts a helpful way to pay a pledge over a period of time, and an easy way to keep their records. Also, monthly pledge payments create a revenue stream that is a big help to ERUUF.

Please consider a pledge increase for fiscal year 2017-18, even if you are already enrolled in autodraft.

THIS YEAR we are hoping to shift the year to year uncertainty around pledges to avoid the extensive process of gathering pledges during the campaign. Going forward we will count all pledges as ongoing commitments to ERUUF that will extend beyond this fiscal year. Please let us know of your intentions around monthly and annual giving so we can keep our records up to date.

Quesstions:

 

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UUA Giving Chart

How Do I Decide What to Give?

The table shows the suggested giving levels per pledging household.

Note that a “Fair Share” gift may range from$100 to $20,000 or more.

Review the table and determine the level that is appropriate for you.

This guide was developed by the UUA and is used by many UUA congregations.

 

UUA Fair Share Giving Guide

 uua giving chart

 

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