Dear Members and Friends,
ERUUF has the potential to transform lives. This year especially, many have told us that they were driving down Garrett Road and were stopped by the messages on our sign…a Rainbow Flag? Black Lives Matter? Refugees Welcome? Truth Matters? “I saw what I had been thinking,” one man told us, “so I came in.
And then you didn’t say all the things I had my deflector shields primed and ready for.” That may not seem like a very high bar, but it sure is if you’re trying to figure out if it’s safe to put down your defenses. For many of our 693 members and 300 active friends, ERUUF has become a trusted oasis. Two of our newest members expressed it for many when they shared with a group why they brought their five day old newborn to a Sunday service last August. Charlottesville had hit them hard they said, and they just needed to be here. They have demanding jobs, but still, “We come here for our dose of sanity every week.” Those gathered were deeply moved, and we understood quite well.
ERUUF has the potential to transform lives when we turn toward each other and what our hearts tell us is most real and true. If you come onto campus almost any time you’ll find rooms filled with people who are singing, learning, listening, planning, caring, and organizing. And amid all the action there are small, quiet moments when questions are asked and truths shared, hopes expressed, brokenness held, and ultimate, sacred choices affirmed. We share our love in these simple, practical ways with the hope of finding wholeness together.
As a community we invest our time and talent in each other in these meaningful ways. We also give some of our treasure. Long ago my family began to give annually, at first only because we were asked. But then we began to experience how our intentional giving is an act of power. As we’ve intentionally given in alignment with our values, our lives have become clearer, saner, and happier. We’ve increased our giving gradually, and we now give 10% of our income to groups that share our values. Two thirds of that goes to ERUUF. This is the choice that’s right for us at this stage of our lives, though it wasn’t always in the past, and it might not be in the future. We do this now, however, because our lives have been changed by Unitarian Universalism and this Fellowship. Our current giving is an investment in our values and it provides us with an astonishing supply of confidence and a great sense of peace. Giving our time, talent and treasure also leaves us feeling profoundly, lovingly connected to the people of this community.
This is the time of year that our Stewardship team asks each of us to consider our pledge of financial support for the coming year (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019). I hope you’ll consider making a meaningful pledge, an amount that’s right for you; one that causes you to consider your values, that leaves you confident that you’ve invested in your principles. No one will judge you or the amount you give. We’ll trust that you’re doing what’s right for your household at this time in your life. And we’ll be glad for your good company as our lives are transformed on this shared journey toward wholeness.
Rev. Deborah Cayer