October is the month of our pledge drive at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln. Our pledge drive chair, Dorothy Ramsey, puts it this way in a recent letter to the congregation: “It’s the time of year when we look at our financial support for the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, our chosen spiritual community. Like last year, this year has given us many challenges. We had the short time of being back together this summer and we are all looking forward to being back together again soon. Now we are again challenged to stay connected. Like bagels and cream cheese, puppies and children, and best friends, some things are just better together. I believe that includes our spiritual community. I know we want to continue to be better together when the pandemic is behind us, but in the meantime, we must stay committed to the community and our support of it.”
Congregations depend on pledging. It is as simple as that. At the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, financial pledges and gifts from members and friends make up well over 90% of our budget each year. Over the past two years, this giving has been supplemented by our participation in the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but we cannot count on that program continuing into 2022.
Churches are generational projects: they are not ours to own, but institutions that we are stewards of while it is our time, leaving them for the next generation as a sanctuary and lighthouse. They are sustained from generation to generation by the generosity and grace of hundreds, if not thousands of members and families.” In the next few weeks, you will get a phone call from a member of the congregation’s board, asking to talk about your hopes for this community. I hope you will join us in that conversation, and in giving to sustain this community of sanctuary and transformation.
Rev. Oscar Sinclair serves as the Settled Minister for The Unitarian Church of Lincoln, Nebraska.