Click here to view a short video on how pledging works.
A note about Pledging for July 2015-June 2016:
It is time for our annual Stewardship Campaign- the time each year we invite you to make a year long pledge to the church to sustain our operations. We need your help. We are fortunate to have an Endowment that has kept us going this long. But we cannot continue to rely on it as we have. Carlton Dasent and the Endowment Committee have a done an amazing job of squeezing our endowment for all its worth, but it’s not enough.
We need your support to help us thrive and flourish. Last year we had more than 30 members who made no pledge at all to the church. This year, the Board is asking for 100% pledging. That means we want every one to make some kind of financial contribution- no matter how small or how large. We know that some of our members are experiencing financial stain or stress and yet, a pledge of as little as a dollar a week will contribute to creating and sustaining this beloved community and reduce the financial stress on our endowment. If every member of this church makes a contribution we will establish a solid foundation on which to build in the coming years. This will help us reduce our draw from the endowment, ensure our current staffing levels, and allow us to do more of the good we are doing for each other and for the wider community.
You contribution of both time and talent is what allows us to remain a strong voice for liberal religious values in this city. Our shared vision of a just and compassionate world, where each person is given a voice and vote, where each of us lives in integrity, interdependently, with dignity- this is why we come to church. To make a difference in our own lives, to find new friends, learn new things, and make the world a better place.
We come together to remember to stand on the side of love- because all of our lives, and the lives of the next seven generations depends on it.
What members have to say about First Unitarian Church in New Bedford:
Kerri C. writes: “Chandler had his 10th birthday on Friday….Double Digits! The time goes by so fast. I remember when he was just a baby, and I suddenly felt this strong sense of obligation to go to church. I think what I was looking for most in a church was community. The attempts I made at finding a community that would surround our family in love, only left me feeling hopeless, as I felt disjointed from the dogmatic rituals that were supposed to be requisite to the spiritual growth of our family. I feel so grateful to have discovered Unitarian Universalism and right here in my own city. I found renewed hope and interest in the idea of bringing up children in a community that supported equal rights of all people.
And best of all, my hodge-podge of a life-time of acquired beliefs, that were mostly humanistic but sometimes divinely inspired(( in ways I still can’t explain in words))…were fully accepted and supported as I continued to learn and be more aware of myself and my role in this world. I thought to myself… if Chandler and Leo can grow in the same meaningful way, then we have GOT OURSELVES A CHURCH HERE!
The religious education that they get here at First UU, lends their hearts and minds to an experience that allows them to reflect on their own purpose and worth through beautiful stories rich in culture, thoughtful play, art, and music that enriches their minds and excites their souls. And I know that my child and every other child that walks through the doors of this church is held in love and appreciated for the unique gifts that each of them brings.
Over the past year alone I have watched this community grow and I’m seeing a wealth of opportunity to spread love, through our combined efforts of self-reflection and our dedication to matters of social justice. I find inspiration from Reverend Paul’s words, an amazing music program, and this beautiful building that serves as a reminder of our churches history. It’s a history fueled on people power and love. For that reason, I am proud to be a part of such a great tradition, and to bring up my boys in this great community, and that is why I make a pledge to sustain this church, so that not only will my children have this place to grow into adulthood, but my grandchildren can too!”
A Brief Word About Time and Money
When you become a member of this Church you will be invited to contribute your time and financial resources. Both are important. This Church exists because friends and members do the necessary volunteer work and contribute to the financial well-being of the congregation. If everyone does a little of the work it gets done in good order. Each of us contributes in the way that best suites our skills, interests and talents. It becomes a way to not only help the church, but to get to know others.
Financial support by our members includes a contribution to the Annual Program Fund (APF) that supports our national association, the UUA and the district, BCD. This contribution is made for each member and is approximately eighty dollars a year. If everyone makes a financial contribution to our church that reflects their level of commitment, we can expand and grow. We can engage in new programs, community outreach and social justice programs. So how much is enough? We ask that people consider 5% percent of income, and encourage people to look over the Suggested Giving Guide.
We know that life circumstances vary. Some people are caring for children and/or elderly relatives or have health concerns or medical bills of their own. Others are between jobs. We do not ask that you place undue hardship upon yourself. Neither should your pledge be easy. Rather it should reflect a serious commitment to the place you have chosen as your spiritual home, the place where you may continue your own search for religious meaning, where you may share that path with others, where you can help build the world we dream about.
This commitment works both ways. We have an obligation to help you become connected to your new community and to maintain a safe, welcome environment where your religious questioning and searching is respected and nurtured. We will help you to learn and practice new skills, care for you in times of need and celebrate with you in times of joy.
Pledging in Midyear: Our Church year runs from July 1 to June 30. We hold an every member canvass in the spring when members are asked to make a financial pledge for the year which starts the following July. If you are making your first pledge as a member in midyear, we suggest that you make your pledge for the amount of time remaining until June 30. Most members find it convenient to pledge a monthly amount. In early spring we ask everyone to make a pledge for the coming year.
If you’d like to consider gifts of stock or other types of giving that might be a bit out of the ordinary, please feel free to contact the Chair of our Endowment Committee with any questions you have.