Dear UUCJ Family,
I’m hoping this letter finds you doing OK during this weird time for all of us. I particularly am thinking about the members of our community who are first responders and healthcare workers and want to thank you for putting yourself out there for the rest of the Jacksonville community. And to the moms and dads doing home schooling – I am so impressed! What a different world this is! I think, for me, the hardest part is not knowing when life will return to something like “normal”. But I’m also hoping our new normal will be somehow different – with enhanced appreciation for the people who work so hard to bring us our food and mail, pick up the garbage, deliver packages, and, of course, teach our children. And enhanced awareness of our interconnectedness and our dependence on one another, throughout the world.
Please take time to read the letter regarding the UUCJ budget and expenses from Tom Larson, Liz Dion and myself. And ask yourself if there are ways you can increase your financial support of UUCJ. At the budget meeting, over half of the attendees said they could increase their annual pledge. I have increased mine (a little bit – wish it could be more!), and intend to donate my stimulus check, if I get one, to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund so money is available to assist members of the congregation when needed. Of course, we know there are worthwhile organizations who are providing much-needed services to the great Jacksonville community who could use financial support as well.
As we go forward, I ask you to also consider how you might contribute your time to UUCJ. (And give thanks to all our current committee members who do so much to support our ministry.) The Worship Committee will need additional volunteers as they continue to provide us with exceptional Sunday morning services. And we will need a robust Mission Funding effort this year, one which starts earlier than usual as we start to plan for 2021. Think of your contribution of time as an opportunity to explore your gifts, and to serve the mission of UUCJ. Participation is how we stay strong in these uncertain times.
My heartfelt thanks to Rev. Marti and Rev. Roberta who have worked so hard to create our virtual church services and maintain connection with the congregation in so many ways. Thank you to Tina Ramey, Communications Director, for providing so much technical support and creativity! Thank you to Jess for her work on social networks and emails to keep families connected and informed, and her work to support and participate in the Sunday services. And thanks to Virginia, Administrator, and Judy, our bookkeeper, who have worked so hard to continue “normal” office operations during this time. We have a fabulous staff, and they have all gone above and beyond to make sure “church” continues!
All of you – take care and stay well.