Being Generous to Ourselves

"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage —pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good.'" -Steven Covey

We are a very generous congregation - we give in many ways to many needy organizations.

We typically give half of our collection basket every Sunday to worthy organizations in our area. We are giving a portion of our increased pledges over those of last year to help those who are homeless.

President Emeritus Tom Loughrey recently sent us a photo of the plaque at UUA headquarters showing we are recognized as a Generous Congregation for our many years of contributing our fair share to support the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Unlike other denominations, Unitarian Universalists do not receive support from a national organization - just the opposite we support ourselves and we support the UUA through those fair share contributions based on the number of members we have.

You are probably not aware of what a difficult task it was for me, as last year's VP Finance, to come up with a balanced budget for this fiscal year. You may recall that in the previous year the budget was balanced by cutting back on staff pay and hours. We avoided continuing that lamentable practice beginning in January of this calendar year.

What I could not avoid, though, was the fact that our pledge income was not sufficient to cover all the other expenses as they had been. Because we recently had a very successful funding campaign for building maintenance costs, I felt justified in cutting the Buildings and Grounds portion of the operating budget for this year.

This cannot be continued into future years and we already have had needs to use some of those reserved building funds to make necessary repairs of our facility. We are at a "good" place but not by any means at a "best" place. We are not yet generous enough to ourselves to be comfortably self-sustaining, we will have to face hard facts again in making next year's budget.

I would not suggest in any way that we should cut back on outward generosity - those needs continue and are not diminishing.

What if we thought of helping these and other causes as well by being a larger, more visible, more present part of the greater community in Orange County and even beyond? Wouldn't this be a strong reason to look inward and find more generosity toward OCUUC, knowing that we would be providing solace and aid for many more needy souls than we can even now?

I vow to be even more generous to OCUUC in this and following years by continuing to increase my pledge and my involvement in this much-needed organization. This is my "burning yes."

Will you please make it yours?

Don Martin
president@ocuuc.org