Welcome to the next step on our journey to the future. Now that your donation information is being recorded in our Breeze Church Management Software, your quarterly giving statements are being sent electronically to the email address on file in Breeze. The church will continue to mail quarterly giving statements if we do not have your email address or if you request a paper statement via postal mail from me (email@example.com) or the church office.
As part of this change, the quarterly letter from the Treasurer is becoming a blog post on the church web site rather than an insert (or attachment) to your giving statement. No more paper to recycle and also available for later reference, if you wish. To keep this post from getting too long, I will keep my financial news brief to allow more space for explaining the new giving statement.
I welcome your feedback on how these changes are working for you.
Claus D. Makowka
The church finances continue to be healthy. Our budget in this transitional lay-led period is now clear and I appreciate the work by staff and volunteers that makes this possible. Gifts and pledge payments continue to be strong and the church is also benefiting from healthy rental income. Expenses are in line with the budget. Until we are able to finalize a contract with an Interim Minister, there are some budget uncertainties for the fall and winter. The church's strong financial performance in the first quarter makes me comfortable that the church is in a good position to deal with these.
While lay volunteers are contributing significantly with scheduling Sunday speakers, pastoral care, and event planning, I think we all miss the coordination that a minister provides. I appreciate the dedicated work by church program and operations staff in filling that gap and keeping the church running smoothly. I have been especially enjoying the well integrated services with a diversity of viewpoints in the pulpit and the greater visibility of the Pastoral Care Team.
I am also looking forward to the Fantasy auction. David Doorley and his team have lined up a wonderful array of offerings. Be sure to attend and invite your friends. The funds raised here will help cover the extra Interim Minister expenses not normally in the budget, like moving expenses and special training .
While the new giving statements from Breeze will look a little different, they contain the same information and hopefully are a little easier to read.
The first section will report the status of your financial pledges. Typically there will only be the pledge to the operating budget, listed as General Fund 2019. However, Breeze does allow multiple pledges, say for a Capital Campaign, to be active at the same time, and any active pledges, including ones fully paid, would appear here. Next comes the date range over which the pledge is active. Then you will see something like "$250 of $1000," followed by a percentage The first number is the amount that you have paid towards your pledge, the second is the pledge amount, and the percentage is how much of your pledge has been paid. Below this you will see something like "$750 Remaining," which is the balance remaining on your pledge. The amount given may be larger than the amount pledged if you have made contributions in addition to your pledge. If your household pledged as a family rather than as individuals, contributions from any family member are included in the amount paid toward the pledge.
The next section provides the details of each individual contribution that was recorded by the church during the statement period, January 1 to April 15 in this case. This includes the date recorded (may be later than the donation date), donor, method, fund, and amount. The donor is listed to help households that donate as a family. Following the detail section is a summary section giving the totals given to each fund. There are many ways to support the church with charitable contributions beyond the General Fund for the operating budget. These include the Endowments, Marion' Purse, Khasi Hills Sponsorship, Habitat for Humanity, and many more.
The following notes may apply in some cases:
First Sundays: July 7, August 4, Sept. 1: Last names A-F
Second Sundays: June 9, July 14, August 11: Last names G-L
Third Sundays: June 16, July 21, August 18: Last names M-R
Fourth Sundays: June 23, July 28, August 25: Last names S-Z
5th Sunday: June 30: everyone!
Please bring FINGER FOOD
Remember last year, when 6 sparkly eggs were hidden throughout the church, and people found them throughout the entire course of the year? (Well, all except one, maybe two that we still can't account for!) Well, we're doing it again!!! This year, families can participate in our annual Easter Egg Hunt! The Egg Hunt takes place after the service, and the service is multi-generational, so there are no religious education classes. Eggs will be hidden in a variety of developmentally-appropriate places as usual, but we will again add a few special eggs to be found by those who find the challenge irresistible! Special eggs come with special prizes...and this year, there might be a big, golden egg in the mix! Our overall egg hunt will feature some fair trade, environmentally friendly treats and prizes this year. As for the special ones...you'll just have to wait and see!!! Would you like to help out to make this event a success? We could always use help filling eggs, hiding them, and collecting them at the end! If you are interested in helping, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. (The "epic" part of the egg hunt is hosted and designed by Erica's spouse, another half, and serious Easter enthusiastic ALF; feel free to say hi when you see him!)
PIIN (Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network) is a coalition of churches working for equity and social justice across the state. Every May PIIN celebrates its achievements and work with an annual banquet. This year the keynote speaker is Diane Nash who was one of the unsung “Foot Soldiers” of the 1965 Selma March. She is a true Civil Rights leader and her story is worth hearing.
In 1959 at the age of 19, Nash was a student activist in Nashville,Tennessee. She was elected the first Chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She married activist James Bevel in 1961 and they moved to Jackson, Mississippi. There they began organizing voter registration and school desegregation campaigns. Nash and her husband received the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) Rosa Parks award in 1965. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. cited the couple for their contributions to the Selma Right-to-Vote movement. Their leadership eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
First Unitarian Church is a founding member of PIIN with church members actively involved in two of its task forces: Education and Public Safety. Every year First Unitarian supports PIIN’s efforts by purchasing a table and seating for 10.This year we would like to sponsor 10 of our teens and young adults so they can learn firsthand about the Civil Rights Movement from one of the movements “Foot Soldiers”. Please consider attending the banquet or contributing towards seating for one of our youth. Over the next several weeks, you will be able to visit the PIIN table during coffee hour and speak with Sandy Woolley, John Ballance and Kathy Miller about their involvement with PIIN. There you will be able to reserve your ticket. Tickets are $75 each. Tickets are on sale now on the PIIN website [piin.org].
The Khasi Hills Partnership Team is in awe of the generosity of the congregation for the March 24 Share the Plate collection on Khasi Hills Sunday. You graciously opened your hearts to give $2330! This makes the goal of $9600 to fully fund the two teachers at our new school almost reached. With just about $600 to go, please consider contributing if you have not yet done so. Details are on the web site under Social Justice or contact Karen Litzinger at 412-242-7045. Thank You and Khublei!
One of the members of the Interim Minister Search Committee has taken on another role at First Unitarian, which leaves a vacancy on the committee. Anyone interested in possibly joining the committee is invited to contact the chair, John Hooper, at 203-451-9668 to discuss the mission of the committee and the responsibilities of its members.