In the words of the poet Robert Frost, Home is where, when you go there, they have to take you in. It is a powerful statement, especially in times like these when many of us seek a spiritual home that welcomes us without judgment. This liberal religious community accepts us just as we are. Unitarian Universalist Society: East provides a spiritual home that loves us unconditionally. This home doesn’t prescribe answers to theological questions or require particular beliefs. We focus on these qualities in the theme of our 2017/18 Annual Appeal: “A Place We Call Home.”
We nurture this place with our time, talent, and treasure. The UUS:E community has always been generous in the financial support of our spiritual home. Please consider what you find here and make your pledge in support of UUS:E – your spiritual home.
Words from Our Parish Minister, Joshua Pawelek
It happens a lot these days. I’m at the grocery store or a restaurant, the kids’ music or karate lessons, a memorial service at a local funeral home, a rally or protest – and I encounter someone from Unitarian Universalist Society: East. There’s an instant connection, a feeling of warmth, a sense of mutual understanding. We’re part of that wonderful Unitarian Universalist congregational family, attached to that beautiful, green, accessible building on Elm Hill in Manchester’s northeast corner.
That sense of connection is no accident. We share seven profound principles. We share a commitment to justice-making and peace-building. We share a faith-based loyalty to the earth. We share a common experience of Sunday morning worship that draws on many sources of religious wisdom, comforts us in difficult times, and sends us forth into the world with love in our hearts. We share a spiritual home! In a world where fear, anger, and injustice seem to be gaining ground, it matters that we have a place like UUS:E that we can call home – a place that knows us, holds us, challenges us, loves us. What a precious and valuable thing to have in our lives!
Thank you for making the most generous pledge possible so that UUS:E can continue to be “a place we call home.”
Our Goals for the 2017/18 Annual Appeal
In keeping with our annual appeal theme, UUS:E continually has the goal of nurturing our beloved community – keeping it a safe place, a family of kindred souls, and “a place we call home.” In addition, our Policy Board develops goals for each fiscal year. Here are the primary goals for the upcoming year:
- Continuing to treat our professional staff equitably through fair compensation under UUA guidelines for salary, retirement and health insurance benefits. A 1% COLA is planned;
- Providing stimulating, inspiring guest ministers and speakers during Rev. Josh’s sabbatical months;
- Developing and revitalizing our youth ministry for grades 9-12 by exploring new programming alternatives;
- Developing a congregational growth strategy encompassing increased marketing, enhancement of community visibility, member engagement, and encouragement of new leaders.
Our Accomplishments During 2016/17
Our 210 pledging units made it possible for us to sustain and enhance congregation life in 2016/17. We are thankful for your generosity and proud of our accomplishments. In the past year we were able to:
- Begin the year with a balanced budget (due to increased and fully-paid pledges and efficient expense management) without dipping into general or mortgage reserves during that year;
- Sustain efforts in the areas of social justice, including visible support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and offering services of reflection and community after such events as the Orlando shootings and November election;
- Provide high-quality Sunday Services and music, Religious Education for children, and many opportunities for Adult Religious Education;
- Ensure staff members are compensated according to all aspects of UUA Fair Compensation Guidelines;
- Adopt a new, more efficient web-based office management system.
Words from Gina Campellone,
Director of Religious Education
I love this quote because it speaks to me, as I suspect it does to many. The ache for a place to call home is universal. In order to thrive, to strive, to work for peace and justice, to be our best selves we need connection and community. Unitarian Universalist Society: East is not just my place of employment, it is also my spiritual home. And I feel blessed and privileged to help foster that sense of connection, community, and belonging in the children and youth of this congregation. Your pledge will help UUS:E continue to be a place we can all call home – from our tiniest babies to our wisest elders. Thank you for pledging as generously as possible.
Words from our Members
“UUS:E feels like home to me because of its non-judgmental atmosphere. I feel like I can be myself.”
– Anya, youth
“My UU friends are smart and thoughtful. They are fun to be with. They help me when I need help and comfort me when that is my need. UUS:E is my home and my family.”
– Lynn, long-time member