Paving the Way

2020-21 Pledge Drive Stats (Our “over the rainbow” goal was $250,000)

Current Status: $206,417  or 82.6%

Pledges remaining the same as last year:  46 ($97,000)
Pledges increased from last year:  42 ($96,000)
Pledges decreased from last year:  20 ($14,000)

Pledge logo


Some Reasons to pledge

  • 69 children benefited from 7 Religious Exploration programs designed to nurture their (and their family’s) spiritual development and empower them to act on their beliefs to meet the challenges of a changing world.
  • 29 youth benefited weekly from our Youth Group.
  • On average 65 households a month in the area did not go hungry because of our support for the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.
  • 21 families were not lost to homelessness through our work with the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Worcester.
  • 215 people were served by Hotel Grace, Worcester’s Winter Overflow Shelter thanks to ongoing efforts by members of this congregation and a host of community partners
  • 16 community groups called our church home.
  • $2,700 was raised to assist families in need in our community through our Emergency Fund (Minister’s Discretionary Fund). And our monthly 50/50 collections supported 6 non-profit agencies and 4 church ministries.

 Stewardship Drive Q & As

What is a pledge? A pledge is a promise to make a contribution to the church. The total amount pledged by everyone is used by the Church leaders to plan the programs and set a budget for the next fiscal year.

Who should pledge? Our goal is to obtain a pledge from 100% of the members and active nonmembers of the congregation. This goal is based on fundamental fairness. We are a community of people with a vision. We understand we cannot achieve our vision alone. We rely on each other.

How much should I pledge? We understand everyone’s financial means are different. In order to successfully pursue our vision, we would like first-time pledgers to consider pledging 2% of their adjusted gross income.

Why do we need the money? Our staff salary levels continue to be below Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Guidelines. We did not make our fair contribution to the UUA and the District last year and we continue to struggle to fund our basic programs. We hope to prevent this from happening again by making people aware that we need pledges from everyone

Is there a deadline? We would like to receive your pledge no later than March 18.

How do I made a pledge? Click on the PLEDGE NOW link at the top of this page, fill out the form.

Our Revenue Sources

As the graph to the left shows, the most sizable portion of our annual budget is dependent on the generosity and consideration of our active members and friends. The total budgeted pledge amount represents 97% of the total amount pledged last Spring. Budgeting this way allows us to account for pledge short-falls and changing circumstances in the lives of those in our community.

Thanks to the incredible stewardship of our Investment Committee, we are able to rely on $61,341 of income from our portfolio toward operating expenses this year. Our building and grounds continue to be a center of activity for the neighborhood and community at large. Because of this we were able to rely on $9,200 of income from rentals and parking lot use in FY2017.

  • Living Loving Church

    by Cristina Heffernan


    It is time to decide how much you are going to give financially to the UUCW. We, the stewardship team, have written an email, made a pledge link and form, come up with a theme, planned an announcement, and much more. All of this is necessary because we need to get the congregation’s attention, get everyone to start thinking about how much they can give, and allow the congregation to tell us how much they are willing to give to the church in order to help it stay on its feet and grow.

    Your job now is to figure out how much to give.  It is an interesting calculation. Much of course depends on how much you have to give, so start there.  Now think about what you get from the UUCW. Think about how nice it was to come here and have someone greet you and listen to you and forgive you and… well you fill in the blank, this is about you and your decision to give.  Think about all the things that this church provides for others, our charities, our children’s religious exploration, the services that occur in this building, … fill in your favorite thing.

    This is a living church, it needs care and feeding. It is with love for this church that you decide to pledge. How much are you able and excited to give to support the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester? We look forward to hearing your answer. Pledge here.

    The Stewardship Committee
    Cristina Heffernan
    John Odell
    Dave Schowalter

  • A Place to Gather

     by Cristina Heffernan, Stewardship Committee

     I was married in a Unitarian Fellowship in Bellingham Washington 20 years ago. My new husband Neil was in graduate school and I was teaching, we did not have a lot of money.  The church rented us the space for $100 and we were there from 4:00 until midnight.  We used their tables and chairs for dinner, their pews for the service and the altar served as a backdrop to the service and later as a place for the band. We moved the pews out of the way for dancing.  The place was great. Our friends and family came from all over and we benefited so much from having a really nice place to gather. I had been a child in that congregation but my parents had not gone for years. The building was not the one of my childhood. This was not a church or even a part of town I knew well. Nevertheless they opened up their doors for me.

    The UUCW is a place like this. Each and every one of you should be proud of how you support this church so it is here when it is needed. Needed by you or anyone driving through who needs a roof over their head, some tables and chairs and a hall for togetherness. Your pledge and other giving allow for this sort of gathering. Giving to the UUCW is in the spirit of sharing and being together.

    Thank You.

  • What Does Stewardship Mean to Me?  

    by Cristina Heffernan


    When I decided to join the Stewardship Committee I was mostly thinking about the pledge drive.  I thought I could help bring some of my skills with technology to the committee and basically let the team who had been working on the pledge drive take a break. I had been listening to a lot of podcasts about fundraising and the idea of sprucing up the pledge drive appealed to me.

    What I had not really thought about was the meaning of “stewardship”. Stewardship is the job of taking care of something. When we participate in stewardship at UUCW what is it that we are taking care of?  First is a community space, the building where we can meet on Sunday, attend book club, perform weddings and funerals. I feel that more than ever our technology allows us to be social without being present in the same room. I can talk to and see my sister who lives thousands of miles away whenever I want, & I keep up with college friends on Facebook. However, I need more than that. I find that the UUCW provides me with a place where I can see people, shake hands, listen and feel the presence of others. Our building is a big part of that experience. Imagine Sunday morning without it! By pledging and helping others pledge I help keep the lights, the heat on and the foundation solid so we can gather.

    Second is the people who keep the mission moving forward. There are the volunteers of course but the staff is vital to the workings of our congregation. By sharing the financial responsibility of paying a staff at the UUCW I am making it possible for our Minister and staff to take care of the people in our community, including myself and my family.

    I have only lived in Massachusetts for 15 years. I feel very much a part of the UUCW and that is not just because of all the welcoming people. It is because I chose to take care of this community. It is through my stewardship of this place that I truly feel like I belong. For that I am truly grateful.

    Finally, the images here are my way of projecting how I feel about stewardship and our community.


    Cristina Heffernan


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