Stewardship = Celebration + Culture of Abundance

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The Stewardship Council has worked this year to help create a culture of abundance and celebration. We believe that stewardship means connecting with and nurturing our congregation, providing celebration and opportunities to explore what giving and gratitude means to all of us as a community. Throughout the year we created the opportunities described above to help provide

financial and moral support for the growth and sustenance of our faith, our programs, our staff, our children, and our wider community and world.   We believe this because, as part of our vision and mission, we want to “Create meaningful opportunities for spiritual exploration and celebration”; “Lead generous lives that fully align our resources with their values”; “Covenant to lead, sustain and grow their faith”

There are four projects that we have implemented this year to foster that culture of abundance:

  • The Unity Plaza”, is a community marketplace and conversation area where we sell products that provide both a service to the congregation and also support our Fellowship through profits. We began Unity Plaza in September, 2011. We expect by September, 2012 to net almost $1,000.
  • The “Chalice Tree” is a place where we can post Fellowship needs, i.e., a new refrigerator was listed on the tree and donated by a member.
  • The “Meeting of the Minds and Merriment” Potluck Supper and Congregation Meeting was held on January 28th. Almost 90 members and friends attended. We learned how our congregants are “rooted” the Fellowship and they shared their dreams for BVUUF.
  • We conducted a successful Spring Fund Raising Campaign, “Growing Our Possibilities, Rooted in Community, raising $330,000 to  meet a robust budget.

Created  “Unity Plaza”—The Plaza, held after the first Worship Service,  provided service and funds for the congregation—grocery certificates, scrip, book sales, fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate sales, Larry’s eggs, (soon to expand to the summer “Table of Plenty”.) The Plaza also provides a central place for other fund raising and ticket selling. Another benefit is the space for our community to gather over coffee, connect with conversation, and greet and engage visitors and newcomers. 1/2 Plate recipients are at the Plaza and coffee time to visit with the congregation.

Launched The Chalice Tree–Numerous items advertised on the “Tree” were donated to the Fellowship; among the donations were a new refrigerator, office chairs, nursery chairs, office supplies, outside lighting. (The Tree was created by Stephanie and Rachel; monitored and managed by Rachel)

Conducted the “Growing Possibilities, Rooted in Community” Fund Raising for Pledges.-  Raised $330,000 to support a robust budget that increased by 7% and to provide raises for staff that are in-line with our 3 year plan to meet UUA Salary Guidelines in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.  Held the 2nd Annual “Meeting of the Minds and Merriment” Potluck  and Congregational Meeting” —90 members and friends attended. Posted an eye-catching weekly communication on the BVUUF list serv to advertise the Plaza and other Stewardship activities. (Stephanie Co-Chair, did the artistic design work).  Posted weekly testimonials during the Stewardship Fund Raising period on the BVUUF list serv, as well as in an insert in the Sunday Bulletin.  Recruited and trained 25 members as Stewards

“The Story of the Watering Can Fund”

In the beginning of BVUUF’s fundraising, an anonymous donor made a $5,000 Challenge Grant. Other anonymous donors stepped forward to increase the Challenge Grant to a total of $12,000! This became the “Watering Can Fund” that the congregation was challenged to match through increasing an initial pledge, or through the pledge of a new member or friend.  In the ensuing Sundays, many in our community stepped forward to increase their pledge to match the “Watering Can Fund”  In fact, one family raised their pledge two or three times during the pledging period.

We are truly a generous people!!

Stewardship Council Members: Bob, Diana, Sue, Baldy, Gayle, Joan, Rachel, Rosemary,

Sheila and Stephanie, Co-Chairs.  Advisors, Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry, President,Kathy Partridge, and Vice-President, Chris Itano