A message from Lisa & Harvey:

Dear Members and Friends of Berrien UU Fellowship,

Our 2019-2020 pledging period is wrapping up. It’s been a quiet pledge season, very much over shadowed (in a good way) by Anniversary celebrations. By May 19 the Board hopes that everyone will affirm their commitment to BUUF and make a pledge of financial support for 2019-2020.  Click 2019-2020 Pledge and Affirmation Form to print a pledge form.  Click here to submit pledge online.  Click here to read a few pledging scenarios Click here to set up your pledge by Paypal.

What do we spend your pledge dollars on?

Much of the activity and promotion of our fellowship is due to our paid staff. With an Operating budget of less than $40,000 per year we are blessed to nonetheless afford the services of Rev. Jim McConnell (Religious Leader), Katharine Lion (Director of RE and Adult Faith Development), Joanne Krettek (Office Adminstrator), Candace Onweller (Pianist), Daphne Martz & Keely Small (Childcare). These paid staff members support the fellowship by serving in their roles, and also by relieving members of the jobs of providing ministerial care, organizing RE teachers, leading adult RE, writing and publishing the newsletter, writing web site posts, updating the calendar, providing childcare and providing piano music on Sundays.

We could not offer all of these amenities and experiences without this paid staff. We simply don’t have the volunteers to do it.

In-kind services are an option.

In addition to these paid staff members, we also have dedicated people who are providing other services on an in-kind basis. Dorothy Long provides bookkeeping and cleaning services, Beth LaFleur also provides cleaning services, and a multitude of others, special shout out to Brian Kemp, you do a fabulous job of keeping the lawn mowed. These in-kind services are donated services that would otherwise need to be paid for.

Beyond these paid and in-kind services, there are members who arrive early to make coffee or unload the dishwasher, stay late to clean the kitchen, climb into the attic to check the furnaces, keep an eye on the septic system, monitor our endowment account, prepare for and lead meetings, and countless other exalted and mundane tasks.

Your life in this Fellowship.

We know this fellowship is a community of ourselves. We support it with our presence, by showing up. We support it by pitching in. We support it by pledging and contributing financially.

There are no rules about showing up. We love it when the sanctuary is full on Sundays, but we all know that sometimes it’s nice to sleep in. We love it when evening programs are attended, but we all know that sometimes there are competing priorities.

There are no rules about pitching in. (Well, not yet. I do have an idea to assign hospitality teams to help with coffee, clean up, etc.) Everyone has different skills, interests, abilities, and availability. We each need to figure out where we can pitch in to keep this community thriving.

The only rule about pledging is that it turns a visitor into a treasured Friend, and a Member into a Voting Member. You can pledge any financial amount. It is not a signed contract so you can give more or less as circumstances dictate. But every person who values this liberal religious congregation is encouraged to pledge. Visitors become Friends. Members attain Voting Member status. Affirm your place within the Fellowship by making your pledge of financial support.

How do I know how much to pledge?

There are lots of different ways to think about how you pledge. There is no one right way. Only a way that is right for you, right now. That way might change in the future. The way you pledge, the amount you pledge, will depend on lots of things. Sometimes things get worse, sometime things get better. When things get worse, maybe you’ll pledge less. When things get better, maybe you’ll pledge more. The important thing is that your pledge provides members with a voting voice in the Fellowship, helps us maintain our extraordinary (and extremely underpaid) staff, plus helps pay all the usual expenses associated with operating any building or household.

Wrapping up the 2019-2020 pledge campaign.

Sunday May 19 marks the end of this year’s pledge drive. By that date we want to know how much money we can count on next year to provide services, pay staff and cover bills. Please take a few (more) minutes to read this treatise on Ways to Consider Your Pledge. Then fill out this pledge form, either in hard copy, or online.

Over the next year, fulfill your pledge by putting a marked envelope in the offering basket, sending a check, scheduling a check to be issued from your bank, or making a credit card payment via Paypal.

This community needs Berrien UU Fellowship, and BUUF needs you. It needs your presence, your help, and your financial commitment.

Lisa Marie Fuller, President
Harvey Johnson, Treasurer