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An Old Covenant in a New Way
An Old Covenant in a New Way

You should have recently received information about the new formula the Unitarian Universalist Association will be using for congregational giving in the Central East Region beginning in July – a formula that uses your operating expense budget as a guide, rather than the number of members you have in your community. (Lots of information about this - including webinar/online discussion dates - can be found in your purple packet about the New Amplify.

I want to talk about our continued covenant of faith.  Faith, in bold with a capital F!

Unitarian Universalism is a faith of relationship and mutual support. You can feel that in your congregations. In church, you aren’t individuals who happen to be occupying the same space. You are a community, where each can bring their gifts for the good of the whole, and each can be honest about their needs, in hope that the community will support them.

Same with the Unitarian Universalist Association, as an organization. Congregations have —​needs resources, consultation, a listening ear, even a shoulder to cry on sometimes and certainly a voice to help celebrate. The UUA works to support those needs with the skill set that comes from being a national organization with a view that is long, in terms of history, and wide, in terms of seeing the whole landscape of Unitarian Universalism. In order to do that work well, the UUA as an organization needs to be supported through congregational giving. We who work for the Central East Region of the UUA are supported every day by the energy, enthusiasm, creativity and love of our member congregations. And we are supported every day by the financial gifts of our congregations.

This new Annual Program Fund (APF) model has been decades in the making and represents our efforts to streamline and remain responsive to congregational needs in a changing religious landscape. It’s a model that strengthens our shared covenant - the one where each brings their gifts, so we can support each other in our shared work. This covenant is not new; it has bound us for centuries. With this change, we are stronger… so we will be able to share in the work together for centuries more.

I ask you to recommit and to re-prioritize your support for one another and this collective faith through your contributions to the Annual Program Fund, which make the work of the UUA possible. Your congregation’s full contribution is needed so that all of our congregations can receive the support that they are depending on, and so that our Association can meet the challenges of our time.” ~ UUA President, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

  By the Rev. Megan Foley, CER Regional Lead

About the Author

  • Rev. Megan Foley serves as Regional Lead for the Central East Region staff. Before joining regional staff she served for six years as the minister of the Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists in Germantown, Maryland. Megan is working on a Doctor of Ministry in Public Theology degree...

Comments (5) (Open)

Sally G (not verified) 1 year 7 months ago
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How do those of us who do not fit into the categories listed—not formally on the financial team, not a minister, don’t know what a “purple packet” is—get more information? For a denomination that claims to use democratic principles and be transparent, finding information can be very difficult if one does not have a formal hierarchical position, particularly if those who do in one’s own group are not communicative.

Sally G (not verified) 1 year 7 months ago
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O.K., I found it, and I am steaming—DOUBLE what was previously asked? Sorry, we don’t have a mortgage on building or parsonage, why are we being punished for being fiscally responsible? I have a MAJOR problem with this—but as a member, as stated, with no official position, I guess it does not matter. Was this voted on by GA, or other representatives of congregations/fellowships/societies?

Megan Foley (not verified) 1 year 7 months ago
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Sally, not sure what formula you're looking at, but of course, we celebrate your fiscal responsibility! Find out more in general here: https://www.uua.org/finance/apf/southern-central-newengland/formula and if you have questions about your own congregation's formula, check in with apf@uua.org. Your particular congregation's estimate will be sent to the congregation in mid January.

bethc (not verified) 1 year 7 months ago
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Sally, also I was in a meeting with the program fund folks on this topic just yesterday and we were assured no congregation would be asked to give more than 10% over what they are asked to give now.

Norrie Gall (not verified) 1 year 7 months ago
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Hi Sally: The New APF formula encompasses both contributions to the UUA via the Annual Program Fund, and what was district or regional contributions.
As mentioned, the formula limits the maximum amount of increase a congregation can experience over a prior fiscal year at 10% (similarly the decrease is limited by 10%).Information about this shift has been communicated broadly in UU World coverage of board meetings, and specifically in multiple meetings with the Regional Leaders Group, and in the Central East Region to the participants of the monthly meeting hosted by the region for congregational leaders (twice in the past year).
The purple packet is part of the roll out of this program, but it is certainly not the first expression of the shift, nor, will it be the last communication.I am sorry to hear that you are steaming, but I hope that you will give us time to share this information, and share your feedback directly so that we can continue to improve as we continue to roll this out.
The decision to move to this program is informed by decades of recommendations, as well as the GIFT Program in the Southern Region, and was authorized by the Board of Trustees.

For more information contact cer@uua.org.

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