Budget Updates

Effort is more important than socalled success because effort is a real thing….
Reality is what it is, beyond all concepts of success and failure.

Brad Warner,
Think Not Thinking
Daily Dharma from Tricycle Magazines online service.

I attended the joint Board / Finance Committee meeting on April 14, and learned some real, though disappointing, numbers. Disappointment is also just the manifestation of the minds ability to categorize things, so we could edit out that feeling, but the reality is this:

  • The Stewardship Campaign has come up short of its goal, despite hard work by those bringing in our annual pledges: Jan Phillips, Tom and Elaine Van Doren. BHT (Big Heartfelt Thanks) to you all. Effort is a real thing.
  • Finance Committee prepared a budget that included many of the things the Board wanted to see in it: cost of living raises for staff, a slightly higher pay package for our next minister, money to fund 8th Principle work, funding for a database conversion in the near future.
  • To balance the budget, as set out, we would need to invest approximately $35K from our reserve accounts, OR
  • To balance the budget, as set out, we would need to raise more pledge income from those who either have or have not already pledged, OR
  • To balance the budget, as set out, we would need to cut out or reduce some of the expenditures now listed in the budget.

You say, Gee, we thought that this was easy now that we dont own a building! To be concise, yes, we dont own a building, but we importantly employ a small but mighty staff, and we still have mission supporting programs ( RE, Music, SAC, Worship, 8th Principle, UUA, etc.) that require funding. Now that we dont have a building to rent out, for weddings, a preschool or other functions, we have no
rental income (a loss of approximately $45K per year).

Your current Board is in favor of a fulltime professional minister to skillfully help us better define our core purpose and the set of goals that we need to pursue toward developmental ministry in 2023 and beyond. We are at a bend in our road, a rock in our path, and pulling back now would most likely cause us to falter and spiral downward rather than to rise up.

Our faith community, UUCLV, can and does make a difference in how life is lived here. Believing that we can make a difference is what caused our nine founding members, to establish The Unitarian Fellowship of the Lehigh Valley in 1948. For some 74 years, weve been keeping our chalices lighted and our doors open.

Today, what is our level of support? Is it the best effort we can make? If you havent pledged, can you make your support real? Your pledged donation can help minimize or even eliminate our shortfall. Your Board is committed to funding the budget shortfall if additional pledges dont come forward, or if we cannot find proposed expenditures to whittle or cut altogether. However, reserve funds are best kept where they are, safely compounding toward future goals.

In community,
Karen West and the Board of Trustees