With Winter seeming unable to make up its mind whether to stay or go, it is heartening to see all the signs of new life around ERUUF’s campus. With all that is new comes preparation for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. Our Pledge Campaign team has done an incredible job, haven’t they? Kudos to Clint McSherry and Rose Auman, and THANK YOU to everyone who has pledged their support of ERUUF. Now it is time to create a budget from the results of this campaign.
In the words of former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, “The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.”
Until just recently, my family and I have never had cable TV. The only reason we have it now is that (thanks to healthy competition) it turns out that we can get internet and phone and cable for less than what we were paying for internet and phone. It’s a strange model, but I’ll take it (but only because it’s “free”!). Why didn’t we have cable before? It wasn’t that we couldn’t have afforded it if we wanted to, it was just that other areas of discretionary spending were far more important.
Ideally, ERUUF’s annual budget would be sufficient to provide excellent worship, programs and support for our members, pay our staff fairly, care for our campus, contribute our Fair Share to the UUA, work towards our strategic initiatives, and be able to help others in the community.
Research shows that for a congregation of our size, our budget should be upwards of $1M, and we should have significantly more staff support. We’re getting closer, but we’re aren’t there yet (especially in terms of staffing). That means difficult choices must be made between competing needs. While we may have strong feelings about one particular area, it is important to remember that there are trade-offs associated with every budget line item.
On April 15, the Board held Listening Sessions after both services to talk about our campus needs funding. We received thoughtful feedback, and hopefully we were able to shine some light on a prime example of how these choices play out. We will repeat these sessions after services on April 29th. Then, on May 6, Daniel Trollinger will lead a Finance Forum between services to answer general budget questions and concerns.
We invite all members to participate in these sessions. Leaders are listening, and this is your chance to share your unique perspective. Thanks to our members' generosity, we're in a time of exciting new options. Come and share your ideas about the directions we're heading and the priorities that will help us get there. Alternatively, you can contact the Board at .
With gratitude for your generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure,
Kristi Chilton, Board Chair