This is a time of great anxiety about the well-being of all our families, friends, and communities. Certainly, it is a time for Springfield Unitarian Universalists to work together to support one another and to relieve whatever suffering and distress we can. How blessed we are to have our congregation and our covenant to one another at this very worrisome time!
Financial worries are at the top of the list for many people. Within the next few weeks we will all receive federal COVID-19 financial relief checks to help ease the economic strain this virus is causing.
This document is meant to simply stimulate some thought about ways that Unitarian Universalists can use the relief checks. We know that each individual and family faces different circumstances. We also know that this is a perfect time for us to maximize our joint response to this crisis. The proposed formulas are suggestions from which you can guide your own decisions.
Some are already directly impacted financially, having lost jobs, or facing health costs without adequate insurance, or without sufficient savings to see them through this time. Others anticipate that, though currently okay, they may face these dilemmas somewhere down the road. For people in these situations, this money is a necessity. If this is you, your number is 100.
If your number is 100, use 100% of your relief check to make things easier during these anxious times.
If you need extra help, please reach out to the Pastoral Care Committee who might be able to help with funds from the Congregational Relief Fund. This is one of First UU’s most meaningful ways of being in covenant with one another.
Others will welcome this money, but don’t need it to survive. They haven’t lost jobs, have good insurance, and have back-up resources. While they might be stressed financially, they will do okay. If this is you, your formula is 50/25/25.
If your formula is 50/25/25, here’s an invitation for you to consider a way to live out your principles with your relief money. Follow this simple formula:
Keep 50% for yourself and your family
Give 25% to First UU
Give 25% to someone more deeply impacted than yourself
The 25% you give to First UU, supplemental to your regular pledge, can be designated for General Operations to help pay for staff salaries and other operating expenses that continue even though we cannot meet together and the building must remain closed. Our staff are continuing their service by working at home and performing modified tasks. In the midst of all this, we most probably will need more time from Reverend Michelle, so additional General Operations money would help accommodate that. You could designate your donation for a specific program or to the Ministerial Reserve Fund to help us reach our goal of having a full-time minister. Our Pastoral Care team is hearing from those who need financial assistance, so a contribution to the Congregational Relief Fund would be very helpful. You can see that there are multiple ways that First UU can use the 25% you might donate.
The 25% you pass on to someone more deeply impacted by the pandemic could go to any number of sources. Choose one that best represents your commitment to our mission of achieving peace, compassion, and justice in the world. Here are some ideas:
- Connecting Grounds (They are helping the homeless with housing for the most vulnerable, meals, washing stations, and portable toilets.) 1109 E. Commercial, Springfield, MO 65803, (417)986-2552
- Crosslines 615 N. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65802, (417)864-4614
- Share the Plate recipients (Make additional gifts during the upcoming months)
- Congregational Relief Fund (Perhaps you want to give the first 25% to the church’s General Operations or other designated purpose and your additional 25% to this specific fund.)
One of our congregation’s goals is to do a better job of documenting our members’ charitable generosity. A way to achieve that is to keep track of donations made from these COVID-19 relief payments or other donations you make to help mitigate this crisis. The record of our gifts would be individually anonymous but would help show that, just as Unitarian Universalists are called to be charitable individually, we as a congregation are also committed to communal charity. If you are willing to have your donations added, please email Sherry Buchanan with the information about the amount and the charity of your choice. She will compile a report on our COVID-19 charitable giving. Again, the compilation will be entirely anonymous. firstname.lastname@example.org