Notes from the President’s Desk – May, 2018

Budgets are moral documents that reflect our commitment to our values and principles. They are aspirational expressions of our hopes for the UUCV. This year’s Budget is just one of several important issues we will discuss at the June 17 Annual Meeting. “But wait a minute, that’s Father’s Day!” Why did the Board pick that day for a meeting? Well, because that’s the day that was available, sandwiched between our Coming of Age program, the Church Picnic on June 10 and the UUA General Assembly on the 24th. Next year we will schedule the Annual Meeting earlier as part of our first ever Grand Master Calendaring meeting on May 7.

The Budget for 2018-19 is manageable and in keeping with the last 2 years during which we have benefited from a very generous “Bridge Pledge” that enabled the UUCV to maintain our current staffing level. We will have a relatively small deficit, around 2%, for a budget that is about $500,000.00. That deficit is easily covered from our reserves. The creation of “Reserves” comes from prior years when budgets were not fully spent. We saved those monies for a “rainy day” and that day has arrived!

The real angst at the Annual Meeting will come from the “projected” budget presentation for the year 2019-20. That’s when the “Bridge Pledge” Funds will be depleted. That budget makes clear just how much we have been living off the generosity of others, including those who came before such as Tom Berg and Nick Williams whose legacy continues to inspire us all. So, we will be facing a “Cliff” deficit in 2019-20 and Leadership is considering ways to “ease” into that year with a combination of reserves and other funds. It will also require your help!

What we do next will affect us for years to come. The last six years the UUCV has pursued a vision based on the idea of Staffing for Growth. It has involved the generosity of two Capital Campaigns from a few members and Grant money. We are clearly benefitting from having a very strong staff. There is improved adult programming, R.E. has tripled in size, we have women’s and men’s covenant groups, we have amazing music and much more. The result is we are absolutely growing! This dynamic growth affirms that the UUCV is the Prophetic Voice of Liberal Religion in Ventura. We offer the radical message; “You do not need to think alike in order to love alike” that people want to hear. We are an inclusive, loving, faith community.

Capital Campaigns are not the way to sustain our current level of staffing. We must have Pledge Income to support that vision. In the past 6 years we have never asked for a specific commitment from the Congregation. Instead we tried everything else to generate revenue and it is not enough. Ours has always been a “soft” request for the financial support of what you value. So, what comes next is a very big “ask” of everyone. Including new members, we will need an 18% increase in pledging income between now and June 2020. That is two years away. If you believe in the UUCV and what we stand for, then begin now to take your own personal steps to fulfill this request, and please, make our Annual Meeting a priority. We can do this together.

Living in Paradise,
Bryan Buck, President