Life at UUCC is full of connection, inspiration, social justice work, singing, education, and so much more. Until now, we have been able to enjoy these aspects of our community because of the generous investment of our members. Unfortunately, our Board of Trustees has come to the realization that due to the significant decrease in pledges for the 2018-19 year we will have to make some dramatic decisions to remain financially responsible as an organization. This means that our staff members will go without their promised salary for several weeks. It also means that budgets will be downsized for several of our outreach groups. We will no longer offer coffee or tea after service. The Order of Service will now be a single-sheet handout without announcements. There are other aspects of life at UUCC that will be impacted and the details are listed below.
The Board has held several meetings to address this unfortunate shortfall. We have asked ourselves how we got to this point. With a new building and community participation during both Sunday services and public events, it’s hard to imagine that we don’t have the resources to fully fund all of the programs we currently offer. In fact, it’s even surprising that we don’t have enough funds to expand our outreach. It is, therefore, with a heavy heart that we share our proposed 2018-19 budget which includes the following cuts from the current 2017-18 budget, as necessitated by the significant decrease in pledges.
Program Cuts (approx. $22,000):
- Eliminated Guest Speakers
- Eliminated Live-streaming services
- Eliminated Coffee Hour supplies (no coffee or tea at coffee hour; water and snacks will continue to be available)
- Cut Music budget in half
- Cut Religious Education budget in half
- Cut Social Action budget in half
- Eliminated Cradlerock Children’s Center scholarships
- Order of Service will be a one page Order of Worship only; no announcements will be included
Personnel Cuts (approx. $22,000):
- Eliminated Youth Music Director position
- Staff will be furloughed for a total of 3 weeks; UUCC will be completely closed October 13 – 21 and again for 10 days in late winter or early spring. There will be no worship services on those four Sundays, and no meetings, concerts, or other activities during those periods. The UUCC office will be closed.
- Nursery will be open on Sunday mornings only. No childcare will be available during meetings, classes, etc.
In addition to the above-mentioned cuts, we will also need to borrow $20,000 from the Operating Reserve Fund. (The balance of that fund is currently $120,000.)
There is no way to avoid this new reality unless more pledges are made by those members in our community who have not already done so. Even with new pledges, we must face the truth that it still may not be enough to avoid troubling cutbacks. While we, as a congregation, have repeatedly affirmed our commitment to fair wages, we may not be able to honor the wages we have promised our staff members. We may not be able to provide our minister with a much-deserved raise. We may not be able to continue children’s choir or social action activities in the way we have in the past. The lack of childcare outside of Sunday service means that some members will not be able to fully participate in adult events.
These are difficult times that invite us to assess priorities, appreciate blessings, and recognize potential opportunities. UUCC is a powerful community that empowers many, many people in Howard County and beyond to step into their potential. We are strong because of our commitment to our individual and collective spiritual growth. We are called to UUCC, not because this spiritual path is always easy, but because it challenges us to do the right thing even when the right thing pushes us past our comfort zone.
We invite your continued feedback and insights as we move forward during this financially trying time.
UUCC Board of Trustees