March 6, 2020

Dear CVUU Members and Friends:

Spring has come early this year – don’t forget to spring ahead this Sunday; set your clocks forward one hour.  I always love getting that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day. Life is getting very busy here at CVUU, and I’d like to update you on some things going on in the coming weeks.

If it’s March, it must be time for financial stewardship!  This is the time of year when we ask folks to look into their hearts and their pocketbooks and make their pledge for what they intend to give to CVUU over the course of the next fiscal year (which begins in July, 2020).  Many of us are uncomfortable talking about money. I can remember when I was chair of the stewardship committee in my hometown congregation, I was certain that people were avoiding eye contact with me at coffee hour for fear that I would ask them about their pledge!  But I also learned in taking on that role as a layperson and now being involved as a minister that it’s not really (or at least not entirely) about money. It’s about inviting us to remember why we first came to this congregation in the first place and what it means to our lives to be part of this community of faith.  We give joyfully and as generously as we can to ensure that this congregation continues to thrive and grow and be here for the next person who might walk through our doors looking for comfort, for hope, for connection. So my goal is for everyone to participate by giving a gift that makes your heart glad. If we all do that, we will have all the money we need to support the ministries and programs of this church.

Fundraising consultants tell us that the best way to raise money is to start the campaign having already raised a significant sum.  So we start out by asking the folks who have made large contributions in the past, folks who tend to give early, and many of those same people also serve as leaders in our congregation.  Now perhaps because we humans do tend to shy away from talking directly about money, we have named this pre-campaign event a “leadership dinner,” and that may have caused some confusion. An invitation did go out to the folks I described above, early and large donors, and that group will gather this Saturday at CVUU for some food and to hear about this year’s stewardship drive.  It is in no way intended to exclude folks; it’s really just a way to prime the pump, as it were, and in general, if you want folks to show up for something, you need to feed them. I will suggest we rename it going forward – maybe “Show me the money dinner” or “Early Money Mayhem” or “Big Dough Rising?” As you can see, it is a work in progress. The official kickoff will be Sunday, March 14.  You will be receiving a packet in the mail with information about this year’s stewardship campaign. I am dreaming of 100% participation. Hope you’ll help make my dream (and more importantly, your dreams for CVUU) come true.

In faith and gratitude,

Rev. Justine Sullivan
Interim Minister, CVUU
T 757-627-5371
C 508-662-0279