Notes from the President’s Desk – March, 2019

On January 27th the Board held a Congregational Conversation about our finances. It was the first ever mid-year presentation of a UUCV budget and included a discussion of the beginning baseline for the 2019-2020 budget. There were 94 people in attendance which was fantastic!

We learned some things from the meeting. One is that financial statements are important, and people want to see them, but that they can be difficult and confusing to understand. Going forward we will include a reference sheet as a summary listing the important points of the budget to make it easier for you to understand our financial picture. Here is what you need to know if you missed the meeting. It looks like we will have a surplus this year when we had expected a small deficit. And next year we will have a deficit that will be less than anticipated. The primary reason is because we no longer have a Member­ship Manager with the salary that position required. Even though our financial picture has improved there may still be some difficult choices to make to our budget as we continue our progress toward “right sizing” our church.

We also learned a lot from the discussion of two “white” papers. There were four we wanted to talk about. Unfortunately, there was only time to discuss Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA’s) and Giving Away the Sunday Plate. The other two covered Pledging and Fundraising and were included in the etree announce­ment that everyone received. These were very important conversations. Folks spoke movingly about the importance of being economically fair to our paid staff. They spoke of the pride that they have in belonging to a church that gives away the plate every Sunday. These two topics brought out how strongly we UUs feel about and identify with being a generous people. AMEN!

Generosity – That’s really important to understand as the above topics are examples of how we make a difference in the world. It is through generosity of time, talent, and treasure that we demonstrate our commitment to building a beloved community. That’s part of being a member of the UUCV.

Ever since last year when we became aware of our budget challenge I have spoken and written extensively about what it takes to fund our vision. March 17 is Celebration Sunday. In this appeal to increase your pledge please consider how the UUCV has made a difference in your life and in the lives of people you have met since joining this spiritual community. Think about the places that generosity has taken us and the places yet to be imagined that we can go.

Then there is Gratitude. Everyone, past and present, all of you who support this congregation and the ministry that is the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, deserves recognition and thanks for making our community a Beacon of Light and Hope. On behalf of the Board of Trustee’s we thank you, our members and friends, for all for that you do for the UUCV.

Living in Paradise,

Bryan Buck, UUCV Board President