As Love Shows Us How
Stewardship Campaign for Fiscal Year 2023-2024
Wake, now, my senses, and hear the earth call;
feel the deep power of being in all;
keep, with the web of creation your vow,
giving, receiving as love shows us how.
“Giving, receiving as love shows us how.” The familiar hymn makes the case. The Spirit of Life, however we know and name it, calls us to wake, calls us to feel the power in our individual lives but also the possibility when we come together as we do in this church called All Souls.
The Spirit of Life calls us to keep our covenant: To receive inspiration and energy, solace and support. But also, to give of our time, talent and treasure.
The giving and the receiving are parts of the same movement of spirit. This is not a transaction, not a paying for some package of spiritual services. Generosity is not so much an obligation as an opportunity, because giving and receiving are both parts of a spiritual journey that promises that love can be real in our lives.
Giving, receiving as love shows us how…in this church called All Souls.
The Financial Challenge
Energy continues to build as All Souls regathers. The financial challenges, however, continue to be real.
Last fall we raised over $400,000 in the Funding Our Future effort, enough to cover the $400,000 deficit for one year. We avoided the need for dramatic reductions in staff or spending.
About half the money were one-time gifts. Those gifts will not repeat.
The other half, just over $200,000 were increased pledges that will continue. We begin this Generosity Campaign, with a head start.
BUT that still leaves a $200,000 gap in our income that is necessary just to catch up to where we needed to be last year.
Costs are up significantly. That is not news. What you may not know is that we held costs down this year by not providing Cost-Of-Living increases for any of our staff. We also continued to trim back virtually all discretionary spending.
This year, we are not going to finalize the church budget until the results of this campaign are complete. What we will be able to provide for our staff, our Fair Share contribution to the UUA, and support of the programs where the spirit moves for us…will depend on beginning to embrace a culture of generosity at All Souls
A New Culture of Generosity
Can you imagine a church named All Souls that is not supported by all the souls? All Souls needs a culture of generosity not only to meet the budget but to live into our mission and our name.
How much should you give? There is no single answer. This is not like a membership in National Public Radio, or dues in other membership organizations.
There are some benchmarks that can be helpful. The average family pledge to the church is about $1500 a year. Operating the church costs far more. Endowments, rental income and fundraising help. Our individual pledges provide 2/3 of our income.
The UUA guide to Fair Share giving urges each of us to reflect on both our capacity and our commitment. Think about your support for All Souls as a percentage of your income. Perhaps the 10% tithe some of us remember seems beyond our capacity, or even beyond our level of commitment. Perhaps 2% is the place you that might be right for you… this year.
We ask that individuals and families give generously within their means. We ask you to match your financial support to the importance of All Souls for you and your family. We all want All Souls to be here for us, for the community and for the future.
To do all that love is calling All Souls to do, and to do it sustainably, our generosity will need to grow by over 25%, this year. That is easy enough for some of us to imagine. But not all. Families for whom finances are tight are welcome, perhaps especially welcome in a church named All Souls.
That means those of us who can, will need to do more. To give more and to receive more, as love shows us how.
Make Your Pledge for the 2023-24 Fiscal Year:
We invite you to make a financial commitment to support All Souls Church in the 2023-24 church year.
Simply choose one of the options above. If you’re not sure of your current commitment, feel free to contact Gary Penn (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.517.1465).
When you choose one of the above options, we will record your commitment and send you a confirmation and thank you. If the church currently draws your gift through automatic debit or credit payments, we’ll update your gift effective July 1, 2023.
You can fulfill your commitment in several ways:
- Drop a check/cash in the plate on Sundays or mail them to the church.
- Ask your bank to automatically send monthly checks to the church. (The church incurs no fees in this case.)
- Set up online gifts through our system. (The church incurs fees, which you may elect to cover.)
Thank you again for your generosity to All Souls Church!