The Capital Campaign has been a journey for me, a personal journey, one I have thought about quite a while…. Let me tell you about my own process.
It begins with identity.
UU is truly central in my life. If you ask, ‘Who is Bek?’ My answer would be “language person, UU, dog lover, friend” in rotating order. So UU values are central to my identity, to my understanding of goodness in the world.
The Capital Campaign has to do with values, with what we care deeply about. I asked myself, ‘what does it mean to fund my values?’ How do I even begin thinking about this?
I reflected on a particular conversation in our annual pledge drive last spring. I had asked the member how they decide what to pledge. In reply, they explained that having grown up in a conservative religious household, pledging was central in their lives. Then, upon becoming UU, they naturally carried forward giving generously to the fellowship.
That discussion planted a seed for me. I knew that Mormons tithe, committing 10% of their treasure to their church. Could I tithe to the Capital Campaign based upon my gross assets – all my financial holdings?
I realized, “No, not 10%. But how about 5%?”
I talked to my financial advisors, carefully and in detail. Yes, I could commit 5% of my assets to our future church home.
But then I learned that my beloved niece will soon exit her education with considerable student loan debt. And I knew I wanted to help relieve a sizable portion of her burden.
So, by the time I met with Mark Ewert, our Capital Consultant for our Financial Feasibility Study, I felt that I couldn’t both do 5% of my holdings for UUFP and take care of my niece.
I checked again with my financial advisors. Yes, it’s still ok. Green light to help my niece, assure my own solid retirement, and contribute significantly to Unitarian Universalism here in my adopted hometown. Yet I was nervous. That felt like a lot. It seemed like something had to give.
Then came my own Capital Campaign interview. For a range of the first members interviewed, our Consultant Mark had identified an individualized stretch goal.
After much animated and lively sharing, my steward paused, “Mark has asked you to consider this amount for your Capital Commitment.”
There it was -- the 5%, the level I had really wanted to achieve. I looked at my friend and owned it. “Yes, I will.”
I felt joyous.
The next day, I wrote Mark Ewert a thank you letter, closing with, “Thank you for your audacity – you helped me find my heart.”
We can all be audacious inside ourselves, for ourselves. We can challenge ourselves to give as thoughtfully and generously as we can.
Why do I care so much about UU and UUFP? Why would I want to give generously? Because I believe that Unitarian Universalism builds the beloved community. Because UUFP is the life and voice of Unitarian Universalism on the Virginia Peninsula.
Come, join in the journey with us! Each of us, as we are able, as we can! Yes, we are all Super Heroes for the UUFP!