Pledge Drive

 Why me? Why us? Why now?

2017 Annual Stewardship Campaign

WHY NOW?

This is a particularly historic year for First Church. We are celebrating our 175th anniversary in the same year we are welcoming a new Senior Minister, the Reverend Jennifer Nordstrom. Reverend Jennifer’s ministry is based in relationship, meaning, purpose, and interconnection. Her experience working with the United Nations; expertise in racial and environmental justice; and thought-provoking preaching will lead our legacy into the 21st Century. This year, we will begin co-creating our congregational vision for the future with our new Senior Minister. Every member and every contribution is part of shaping the future that begins now.

Our community has the wisdom, power, history, and vision to be that voice. We also have the spiritual tools and practices for resilience that will enable us to weather whatever comes our way this year. Indeed, with your support, we can transform the challenging into the opportunity to build beloved community.

First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee has been a Unitarian beacon in Milwaukee for 175 years. We are a historic flagship congregation in the Midwest, a nexus of freedom, reason, spirituality, community and social justice. Over the years, our deeply held UU principles have led us to serve our members and the larger Milwaukee community in love and justice.

Our worship services are our primary tool for transformation, and they lie at the heart of our congregation…Our music ministry extends and complements the words from the pulpit, using the art of sound and emotion to transform, empower, beautify, and soothe…

We impact the world beyond our walls by leading with our values.  From our early beginnings to present day we have been inspired to act on a variety of social justice issues, including: corporate responsibility; Black Lives Matter; women’s reproductive health; LGBTQ issues; community responsibility; MICAH; and spiritual liberty. Through our strength in numbers, our clarity in vision, and our vibrancy of spirit, we can be a locally and nationally, where others look to us for guidance and inspiration.

We are a large community of one mind, and many hearts, which nourishes many smaller ministries. Over the years, our ministry has grown to include our popular Forum lecture series, our pastoral care program, our religious education program, our UU Parenting Group, our annual Youth Service, numerous member-led ministries, spiritually-oriented groups, and our Circle Suppers program.

We manage our Society as a democracy, which requires energy and participation from all of us: 761 pledging members and friends support our community by providing over $700,000 in pledge income. Many more provide a variety of talent and time to make our dreams a reality. The vast majority of these contributions go directly to fulfill our mission to nurture spirits, engage minds, and inspire action. We have maintained a gorgeous, historically-significant, and debt-free building built by our congregation in 1892, which gives us the freedom to use our resources for our rich and diverse programming and ministry.

WHY YOU?

The entire congregation benefits from the gifts you offer, and you will find our own life enriched in the process. We invite you to participate in our Stewardship Campaign this year in a way that is personally meaningful and inspiring. Studies have shown that cultivating generosity in your life makes you happier and more fulfilled. It is a practice that nourishes you even as it nourishes the people and communities you care about!

When you give to First Church, you are participating in the 175 year legacy of liberal religion in Milwaukee, weaving the thread of your life into the long and growing fabric of this community. Because our congregation’s overall stewardship goal for the year is to increase our pledge income by 5 percent, we are asking our constituent pledging members and friends to consider increasing your pledge by 5 percent this year compared to your pledge last year.

Even small amounts and increases make a difference in reaching our goal: if every pledge unit increased their pledge by $100 for the year (or ~ $8 / month) we would surpass our congregational goal for this year! Regardless of size, your commitment reflects your hands actively working to sustain our community. The congregation is grateful for everyone who participates, at every level.

The pledge drive campaign aims to engage our community on spiritual and practical levels. During the campaign, you will hear stories from other members on what inspires them to give to First Church, and we hope their story inspires you to reflect on your own. There will be a number of opportunities for you to connect with the campaign, in small groups, one-on-one connections, and full-congregation events and worship services.

Check out our 2017 Annual Stewardship Campaign FAQ for more information!

Plan to attend one of our 2017 Annual Stewardship Campaign EVENTS!

Submit your 2017-2018 Annual Pledge here or download a pledge card and return it to Membership Development Coordinator Cheri Taylor.

If you would like your pledge payments automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account each month, please download the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) authorization form.  If you have questions, please email our Membership Development Coordinator or call at 414.273.5257 x205.