by Michele Cousens,
As you read this, UU Danbury will have just ended a successful Stewardship Campaign. Thanks to Captain Peter Horton, and to all of you who pledged for our 2022-2023 congregational year – we will all benefit from your generosity!
Now, what to do with the money? Well, for starters, we will compensate our four paid staff, whom we could not do without; staff expenses are our biggest investment each year (57%), and they are worth every penny! The next largest expense (32%) is for Buildings and Grounds, which includes our mortgage and insurance for the buildings and property at 24 Clapboard Ridge Road, as well as maintenance and utilities. And the rest goes to everything else that makes our congregation run smoothly. Our expenses during COVID did not decrease, and in fact, there are some line items in the budget that have increased
this year, or will for the next.
If you would like to express your opinion or voice your concern about item(s) in next year’s proposed budget, we’d like to have your feedback BEFORE the Annual Meeting. And so, we are trying something new this year – you will have an opportunity to ask members of the Board of Trustees and Finance Team how we made our financial decisions, both in-person and by Zoom. One budget meeting will take place on Sunday, May 22nd directly after our service, and one will be held on the evening of Wednesday, June 1st – watch for a special email to be sent out with all the details. The intention of these meetings is to provide a forum for folks to get some answers to their budget questions BEFORE the Annual Meeting (which will be held Sunday, June 5th, directly after our service), so that Members can vote and pass the budget in a more efficient way. During these meetings, changes to the Bylaws will also be discussed.
As we come to the end of this congregational year, I would like to say that it has been an honor and a privilege to serve, along with Margaret Henderson, as your Board of Trustees Co-President. I am excited to see what can be accomplished in this next year without the constraints of pandemic protocols. Our congregation is made better by your presence and participation – I’m so glad you are here, and together, we can make this world a better place. Personally, I look forward to another year of service to my UU Danbury family.