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Stewardship Letter, 2015

"Let there be an offering to sustain and strengthen this place which is sacred to so many of us, a community of memory and hope, for we are now keepers of the dream." Brandoch L. Lovely

In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, it is you, our members and friends, who own the building and everything in it. You are the ones responsible for providing financial support for all the operations and ministries of this congregation. Your time, talent and treasure are what make our ‘home base’ on Lakehaven Court a vital provider of service to the community. Here, we learn to be our best selves, offer pastoral care for one another, and deepen our personal spiritual journeys.

So how do we use our resources in a way that honors our 35th anniversary while also securing our future vitality and sustainability?

Our 35th Anniversary budget is not a stretch like some of the budgets we have proposed in recent times (all of which, however, you generously funded! Thanks!). We are seeking a modest increase in pledges (less than 4%) because we are at a good place. Accotink’s 2015 Budget is roughly $335,000, of which we need to raise about $250,000 in pledges.

How Much Do People Pledge per Year?

Pledges range from $200 to nearly $10,000 a year per pledge. Our median pledge is nearly $2650 per year. Some do not have that much, and some have much more. We cannot all pledge the same amount, but ALL can pledge SOMETHING. Pledging is a sacred act and a religious duty for those who are able to give. For instance, Rev Anya and I ‘tithe’ – we give 10% of our income back to our churches. How much might you be able to pledge?

We are the recipients of generous gifts of many who bought this land, built our building, and funded our staff. Now we step up to honor the gifts of those who founded our church over 35 years ago by discerning what we can give to assure Accotink’s long-term financial and institutional viability. There are many good causes competing for all our generosity. But church is the one place we can wrestle with the world of ideas, explore our own relation to the holy, teach our children to be the best religious thinkers of their age, serve the needs of the homeless and hungry, worship what deserves our ultimate allegiance, listen to great music, and be held by our award-winning Pastoral Care Team in times of trial. And we can do this all while having the embodied experience of serving ourselves and one another in person, face-to-face, building the world we dream of starting with our own slice of Beloved Community here in Burke. How much can you give to preserve this temple of truth, AUUC, our Spiritual Home Beyond Belief?

Happy 35th Anniversary, Accotink!

In faith and freedom,

Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael

Reverend Scott Sammler-Michael