I must begin this blog with a huge thank you to Tori Brewster and Eli Grandin-Rood. They brought enthusiasm and a fresh spirit to the pledge drive this year. They were thoughtful and creative and made every effort to involve new people in the pledge process. Also thanks to Libby. All the incoming pledges, updates, etc, flow through her computer. She works with the pledge chairs each year to provide valuable guidance, and her knowledge is invaluable to the entire process. And thanks to the many of you who were able to meet the 9% pledge increase request. We realize that many of you pushed hard to make that happen and really appreciate your commitment. Despite everyone’s best efforts, the Board had to deal with a pledge total of $250,000 last week, which forced us to make some challenging decisions. But more about that in a minute. First some super good news….
We have a treasurer!!! Jeff Ruthford and his wife Amber are brand-new members. After Pathways this month, they approached Linda and said they were interested In forming a young adults group, which got everyone excited. Stay tuned for more on that. Then Jeff told me he would like to be considered for the treasurer’s job. He attended the board meeting when we drafted the final budget and made cogent comments during that very challenging discussion. At the end of the meeting he was still willing to do the job, so we enthusiastically appointed him.
I would be remiss to not say that the entire Pathways group is enthusiastic and eager to become involved. Our congregation is so fortunate that such a vibrant group has come into our midst!
Back to the budget . . . Last year our pledge drive total was $248,000, which covered Linda’s and Libby’s salaries, but really no significant extras. This year we received $2000 more in pledge,s but lost income from the Vashon contract and renters, so we had less than last year to work with. As a reminder, our goal was $279,500. We were forced to make some gut-wrenching decisions. The most major one was to maintain current salaries, so our TUUC employees are being paid below UUA regional guidelines for the first time in several years. We were all very subdued as we left the meeting, but I am proud to say that our discussions were harmonious and collaborative as we worked together to decipher what the best options were for TUUC.
A different ball is now back in your court. It will be necessary to generate more income from the auction and rummage sale and possibly come up with another fundraiser of some kind as we go through the year. I think we can look at this as a new opportunity to work together, have fun, and put a new spin on these events. We will be involving lots more people as we work to make bigger and better events. Already new ideas are coming our way. I’m quite excited! The rummage sale will be in early September and the auction is scheduled for November 3rd. Put your thinking caps on and write the dates when they are published on your calendars. These have to be priority events in church life this coming year! There will be lots more information on the rummage sale in the weeks ahead. Watch for ways to become involved.
Thanks to all of you for your commitment to TUUC. Together, we will make this all work out and be stronger for our time together.
TUUC Board President