Excited! Energized! Are you feeling the energy here at UUFA? We certainly are , and are proud to announce that our 2023-2024 budget reflects that energy and the commitment we found through the Flourishing Campaign’s survey and discussions. We’re hoping that you were part of that process; 111 folks answered the survey, and over 50 folks participated in the SGM and congregational-wide discussions.
You said we had a fabulous staff and that you were appreciative of all their efforts for UUFA . There are Cost of Living Adjustments for all, and the more money we raise from pledges, the higher that percentage can be. After an extensive analysis of the UUA recommendations for where their income should be, a couple of staff will receive raises to get them closer to where they should be.
You said that you wanted us to advertise our presence more in the Athens community, through media, through participation in outside events, and by having more events here at the Fellowship. There’s money designated in the budget for more communication through various media to get our name out, to let folks know what a great facility we have for meetings, weddings, and other events. We’re hoping to double our rental income by such advertising.
You said that you wanted more emphasis on RE for children and youth, and for young adults. The budget reflects more money for children’s RE to get to standard per-child spending, a restored line item for the youth program, and the grant-funded Youth and Young Adult Coordinator position. We’ll need to start thinking of how we can fund this position over the next couple of years as the grant phases out, but for this year, we expect to cover this position by the grant. For next year, we’re hoping to increase the number of Sundays that children are in RE classes each month by funding more time for our childcare professionals, so that they are able to help in those classes.
You said you wanted us to focus energy on accessibility; there’s now a line item in the budget for that.
You said that you wanted us to commit more money to the UUA for all its help and resources that we have used, especially in the search for our terrific new minister. We have doubled our commitment in the proposed budget, though we are still far from reaching the Honor Congregation status.
You said that the two things we needed more of were volunteers and money. That’s where the “ask” from the finance and flourishing teams comes in. Our ask in terms of volunteers is that you find something that feeds your spirit here at UUFA and commit to giving it a loving amount of your time and energy. This is a spiritual practice. This is how we truly flourish as a community.
Our ask in terms of money is $395,000 in pledge income for the next program year, which begins in July. That’s only $12,000 more than last year’s ask, or $1,000 more per month. WE CAN DO THIS!
We’ve never been prouder of this community than in the last two years when we met our budget goals, when other congregations were closing, laying off staff, including ministers. We even went a little over last year! Our commitment to this place has been remarkable, and the new energy here is reflective of how our commitment has only grown.
Members and friends will receive a letter in the mail the week of March 20 containing the proposed aspirational budget. We’ll have a discussion of this proposed budget March 26 after the service, and our annual Budget Town Hall on April 30th, after pledges are in, to present a more finalized version of the budget. And please, please, please, make a commitment to pledge to UUFA so that we CAN finalize the budget, knowing how much we can count on to keep this place flourishing.
The Flourishing Team (Melissa Eagling, Enrico Steccanella, Betsy Bean, Vivian Sellers, and Rev. Pippin)
The Finance Committee (Lyndall Tunnell, Iva King, Jane Mayer, Barbara Schell, Vivian Sellers, and Rev. Pippin)