Giving in a Time of Scarcity / Ways to Help

Giving in a Time of Scarcity
David Schowalter and the Stewardship Team

When we started the “Paving the Way” 2020 -2021 Stewardship Drive, certainly none of us on the team were predicting the conditions under which we would be wrapping it up.  On Stewardship Sunday, I was in Stockholm, Sweden on a business trip, sorry to be missing the fun, but enjoying a day off exploring a new city.  China was on lockdown, and all hell was breaking loose in Italy, but that still seemed a long distance away.  When I flew home a few days later on a three-quarters empty 747, I knew things were going to get tough.  With 20/20 hindsight, I should have been able to guess how tough, but I didn’t.

If I had foretold the financial calamity ahead, I certainly would not have predicted how well the drive would go!  We now have commitments for the 2020-2021 church year of $196,000 in pledges.  That may only be 78% of our “over the rainbow” goal in which we would have been able to pay staff fair wages, but it is over 99% of what last year’s pledge drive was able to deliver during much better times.  It is a testament to how much this community means to all of us that we were able to get this far.  We know many in our community have been badly impacted by the pandemic, with loss of life, as well as loss of livelihood.  And it is in times like these that UUCW’s support can hold us all up.

We are closing the drive by delivering our final numbers to the Board of Management for the budgeting process.  Nonetheless, there are still a handful of people who have not responded.  If you can do so soon, it can still help, as there are always a few weeks of wrangling over the numbers.  I want to emphasize that, most importantly, we want everyone to participate.  Please, even if you can’t afford to pledge anything close to what you have in the past, enter a pledge of any amount so that we have a record of your commitment.  To do so, please go to this link.

Moving forward, the Stewardship Team will be trying to remain visible throughout the church year, providing information about church finances and tips for making giving easier.  Please reach out to us with questions or feedback at any time.  And thank you for your generosity in these difficult times!

Ways to Help
Rev. Aaron Payson

People are wondering what they can do in these times. I know I do. How can I help? What can I do that is in line with my values, my financial situation, my desire to stay home yet still help? Here are some places to start:

Start Here at Home – at UUCW
Don’t forget to make your pledge if possible. Or make a gift that can be credited to this fiscal year. We will be dealing with lost rental and fundraising income due to the current gathering restrictions. We need to keep our staff, programs and building running even if we are not together. Go to to make a gift for this year or pledge for next year.

If you are interested in helping members of our Community who are struggling, consider contributing an additional amount to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund. These funds are used to help people with rent, prescription expense and other vital necessities.

Contribute to the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry
There are two ways you can contribute to the Pantry at this time. If you are interested in contributing financially, go to the Loaves & Fishes online donation form.

We are also looking for hygiene supplies that our folks cannot purchase with SNAP. Last month we were able to give a bar of soap to all our clients. If you are able to drop off hygiene supplies, specifically wipes, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and/or deodorant that would be great. The drop-off location is Dianne Mann’s house: 21 Ridgewood Rd. Worcester, MA 01606. There will be a tub at the side porch for any donations. Any questions, contact: Dianne Mann at

Contribute to the Interfaith Hospitality Network Homeless Shelter
IHN is the Shelter that we partner with several times a year. They have many needs right now. This morning they were asking for the hygiene supplies we all need. They, too, have asked for additional money since they are in a position of needing staff to help cover the evening and night shifts that church people were supposed to cover. If you are interested in helping with the IHN Shelter, would like to know what they need, etc. Contact: Robin Mitzcavitch at .

Worcester Mutual Aid
If you are a Facebook user and want to help in specific ways, you may want to get on the Worcester Mutual Aid Facebook Group. There are specific postings here for people who need help. There are a wide variety of questions. Perhaps you will know the answer to a question about unemployment, rental questions, etc. We will all get through this together.

Worcester Mutual Aid Facemask Working Group
We’ve all heard how the people on the front lines do not have enough PPE. There is a large network of sewers out there making masks like crazy. Our own Robin Mitzcavitch is one of them! Perhaps you have fabric, elastic, t-shirts, etc. laying around that you never had time to sew, check into this group or ask Robin how you can help.

It’s tough times folks! Never before have we seen anything like it. I have faith that we will all get through this together. Take care of yourself those around you. If you have any needs, please reach out to me. And, if you have the time and/or money to help others, I encourage you to do that as well.

Rev. Aaron Payson
/ 508-963-5959