“Expect the unexpected.” ~ Bear Bryant
This is the column that I was hoping I would not have to write. This is the column where I need to explain to the members and friends of the UUFP that expenses are starting to put a significant strain on our fellowship’s finances. The strain is due to numerous reasons.
First – Income is significantly down due to decreased pledges and donations. This is to be expected as many people’s financial situations have changed due to the pandemic. Please know that this statement is not meant to be a judgment on people who have not been able to financially support the fellowship. The statement is simply meant to point out the reality of our budget.
Second – A portion of the roof of the fellowship is leaking and needs to be replaced. Multiple bids were obtained, with Jon Price’s oversight. The best bid has a price tag of over $12,000 to do the necessary repairs. The contractor has stated that the work could be done in two phases, with the first phase focusing on the immediate leak and surrounding area. That would reduce the initial outlay to $6,000. However, the second phase will still need to be completed (and paid for).
Third – The pandemic has forced us to reconsider how to deliver Sunday services in an inclusive manner to all the members and friends of the UUFP. Even after we open our doors again to those who want to attend in person, we will still offer virtual services via technology for those who cannot or may not feel safe to attend in person. Enabling this capability will require upgrades to our current systems. Rick Duske has done an outstanding job in determining the minimum requirements necessary to ensure a positive service attendee experience. These upgrades and additional equipment will cost approximately $5,000.
An initial outlay of $11,000 will be required to move forward with these two expenses. The good news is that we do have enough money in our savings to pay for this, although these expenses will deplete our savings significantly. Many of you might be asking that while you understand the urgency in fixing the roof, why the urgency in upgrading technology? Actually, the urgency for both is the same. Both expenses fix an immediate need (no puddles inside the building and the ability to deliver Sunday Services now) and both expenses are an investment in the future of the UUFP.
At some point in the near future, phase two of the roof repair will need to be completed. To that end, the board has decided to initiate a “Raise the Roof” fund to pay for it. If anyone reading this is in a financial situation where you can make a donation to this fund, please consider doing so. You can donate with a check (make the check out to “UUFP” and put “Raise the Roof Fund” in the note section of the check) or donate online (go to the UUFP website, click Donate, and make sure that you designate the money for the “Raise the Roof” fund). If you have any further questions regarding how to donate, please reach out to a board member.
In closing, with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I want to give thanks to all of you who have donated including donating your time and energy (Fall clean-up was a success!!)
In Gratitude, Linda