Campaign Update (as of 2/20/18)
$1,681,713 Dollars Pledged
408 Pledges Made
135 Pledges increased from 2017
A Season for Stewardship
Each year we enter a time of discernment and faithful prayer about what it means to be stewards of God’s gifts. The Stewardship Committee has worked diligently to provide meaningful ways to engage with the process, including gatherings, announcements, brochures, videos, and even this site. As we walk together through this season, may we all be attentive to God’s call.
“More Than We Can Imagine” – click the image to view the brochure
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UPC Stewardship Moment – Brian Vandersea – 12/10/17
For those who may not know me, my name is Brian Vandersea. My wife Karen and I, along with Kelli and Scott Smith, are the co-chairs of the 2018 Stewardship Committee.
Karen and I first started visiting UPC in 2002. Like many of you, we felt drawn to this place because you were welcoming, you had outstanding clergy and staff, you had excellent music, and you had great children’s programs. We joined the church in January of 2004, and our stewardship journey with you began with a pledge to the 2004 campaign. We have been fortunate enough to be able to gradually increase our giving, both financially and of our time over the last 14 years. God’s love and grace, as expressed through so many of you, have given us more than we could imagine during our time together.
We are a very generous congregation. Our financial support makes the scope and power of our programs AND the impact of our local and global Outreach possible. Our family has gained so much from worship, Vacation Bible School, participating in the youth choirs and their musical productions, Sunday school classes, the congregational retreats, PYC, adult bible studies, and more. We are proud of our Campus Ministry program, the Appalachian Service Project, and the teacher training workshops in Haiti. Did you know that your dollars not only help provide food and housing for families here in Orange County through the IFC and Habitat for Humanity, but also provide assistance to refugees in Syria and lepers in Zambia?
This coming year, our Session will need to establish the 2018 budget in early February, a full month earlier than in years past. This budget is set based upon the exact amount of Stewardship pledges we receive for the upcoming program year; thus the scope of our ministry is directly related to our offerings. To date, we have received 347 pledges totaling a little over 1.5 million dollars. And while this is a terrific start, our current trajectory will leave us well short of our projected budget requirements. If we are to maintain the breadth of excellence of our church programs and the quality of the facilities we use daily, we will need to do more. If we are to continue our vital contributions to the local and global organizations who depend upon us, we will need to do more. If we are to provide our staff even basic cost of living raises in the coming year, we will need to do more.
So many of you have already thoughtfully and prayerfully made your pledges; thank you for that! If you have not already submitted your pledge, please know that we would be grateful for your commitment to the church’s work in the coming year. And if you have the capacity or desire to increase your pledge, know that our whole community will benefit from your generosity. Pledge cards are available on the table in the Narthex. They can be placed in the offering plate or returned to the church office at any time. You can also pledge through the UPC website, by selecting the Stewardship tab.
When I think about all of the things in our life that have changed since that January Sunday back in 2004, it is difficult to count all of our blessings. We have three wonderful daughters who test us often and reward us constantly; we have a church family and friends that are kind, loving, and supportive; and we have terrific clergy and staff who teach, challenge, guide and comfort us whenever we need it. I hope you’ll continue to join us in supporting the ministries of this church.
2018 Stewardship Campaign Chairs: Kelli and Scott Smith, Karen and Brian Vandersea
UPC Stewardship Committee: Perry Aycock, Kirsten Barker, Jim Baxley, Don Hunter, Jay Klompmaker, Crowell Little, Daphne Little, Nancy Oates, Scott Singleton, Hank Waters, Ashley Wilson, John Wilson