As I’m drinking a cup of tangerine tea, relaxing for a moment during a day of raking dirt, digging in edging and helping a large area of our yard recover from “the big dig” of a full septic system replacement, I realize that I am stewarding myself. I am “practicing the ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources” – in this case, my energy. (Thanks, Wikipedia.) And this got me thinking about all the many ways we practice stewardship in our lives, especially as it relates to what is outside of ourselves. We steward our families, our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, our natural resources, our world. We also steward organizations that allow us to define, express and extend our values. I practice stewardship by engaging, advocating, volunteering, and donating.
No organization can do their work without the stewardship of their supporters. And no organization can hope for the stewardship of their supporters unless that organization, in turn, stewards its members and friends. Including the Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
So what does this mean for each of us who values and feels nourished by this beloved community? For me, it means giving my time, energy and skills. It also means that I attend Sunday services, participate in adult religious exploration activities, help with projects and events. It means I communicate my appreciation and concerns. It means I make a commitment to connect with others in our community. And it means that Dave and I take a thoughtful look at our financial resources and agree to commit a portion of those to TUUC.
We know that when we support TUUC with a financial commitment that those dollars will support our community and the larger community in which we live. And this matters to both of us. Being financial stewards of TUUC means that we are also being stewards of the values that we work to share with each other and our widening circle. Those that speak clearly to me include: the respect for all existence in this amazing living web of which we are a small part; inherent dignity and worth of every person; justice, equity and compassion in our relationships; the commitment to democratic process within our community and the larger world; acceptance of each other and encouragement to seek spiritual growth.
We did not do our usual financial stewardship drive in May. We honor the tremendous stress and discombobulation that COVID has created: some have lost income; some are working and teaching at home while trying to find a tiny corner in which to recharge; some have lost family and/or friends; some are suffering from the grief of isolation and trying to adjust to this current reality that seems to go on and on. Please believe me when I say that we understand: the TUUC ministers, staff, and Board of Trustees often feel like we are hanging on with very short fingernails, trying to bring a nourishing spiritual experience on Sundays; provide ways for people to meet in virtual space to chat, laugh, care, discuss, support; support our amazing youth; keep the building safe and secure; keep the bills paid and keep our electronics up to date and able to support electronic church.
Doing the work of the church requires your financial support. We are a congregationally funded organization. Until our formal financial Stewardship Campaign we are asking each of you to:
- Join in on Sunday mornings. The zoom connection is in the ENews. You can also watch the recordings once they are posted on our webpage. I find every Sunday buoys me and brings me joy.
- Participate in other zoom “gatherings” as you are able. Check out the listings in the ENews.
- Let us know if you need help or if you know someone who needs help. You can contact Rev. Linda, Libby, or the Board of Trustees. Or call 253-474-4646 and leave a voice mail.
- Maintain your Fiscal Year 2020 financial commitment. Or, if you can, increase it.
- If you are having financial challenges and need to change your commitment, we understand. It helps us be good stewards if we know the amount you can give, and you can email Libby with that information.
- Know that even $5.00 a month, regularly received, is incredibly helpful. Every commitment matters, regardless of the amount.
- Use the Donate tab or link on the homepage.
Not being together physically is hard. I miss in-person church. And I also love being able to watch the recording of Sunday Service when I need my heart filled a bit. It always affirms my choice to be a member of the Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation, to be a UU. These are not easy times. Please help us steward you as you help steward the church. It matters.
With great respect and love,