The Match- 5/3/19

06 May 2019

     RE Funding

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by new families is, “is there a registration fee for RE?” Usually, this happens at the beginning of the year, but this year, I’ve had this question throughout. My answer is simple and complicated all at the same time.

No, we do not have a registration fee for Religous Education at First Church. Religious Education is paid for through First Church’s General Fund. This fund is funded by the members and friends of the First Church community. During the spring, we have our annual pledge drive, where people pledge an amount, like NPR, to contribute through the year. You can, however, make a pledge at any time! We do not take any money from the larger Unitarian Universalist Association, in fact, we pay thousands of dollars in dues to them yearly. The suggested amount to give is 3% of your income. As an example, for a family making $60,000, that's a pledge of $1,800.  For some, this 3% giving is a goal to reach, and that’s ok! Each family and their circumstance is different, and we as a community understand that. Part of our commitment to economic equity is assuming that families will give as much as they can give when they can give it. While we encourage each family to give as generously as they can to support our community and our goals as a liberal faith community in an illiberal theocracy, we gratefully accept each generous gift with so much love.

As you may have heard on Sunday, our pledge drive for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is not where it should be. We are at about 84% of our goal, or $500,000. This sounds like a crazy amount of money, but it is $89,000 under what we need to maintain our current church budget. With that amount of shortfall, drastic budget cuts will need to be made. Per our bylaws, we are not allowed to vote on an imbalanced budget (we’re not the federal government.) When I say drastic budget cuts, this is what I mean: hourly staff will have hours reduced, program budgets  (music and RE) will be cut no less than 10%, staff salaries will be cut around 10%, committees will lose funding, etc., etc. This is not a pretty budget, and it is a budget that our entire community will feel the effects of.

About 50% of families enrolled in RE pledge. If you are a family that has not pledged yet this church year, I encourage you to do so. If you’re a family that has pledged, but you realize now that you may be able to give more, thank you. There are two ways you can pledge. One is Sunday mornings in Eliot Hall or the main office. The other is by emailing our church administrator, Carol Foster, at . If you have questions about the budget, I encourage you to attend a budget information session on May 12th at 10:15 in the main Sanctuary. Church Board leadership, as well as our Church administrator,  will be there to answer any questions. You can also email Rev. Tom Goldsmith, or our Board President, Peter Esko at . Finally, I encourage everyone to attend our annual congregational meeting on May 19th at 12:30. While only members can vote, all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Childcare is also available during the meeting.

This is not a fun topic. It's not parties or social justice organizing, or youth singing. We need to talk about funding though, in order for all of the good works that First Church does in our community to continue. Continuing this conversation is important, and I encourage everyone to reach out to any of the community leaders mentioned above, attend meetings and become involved in the leadership of this community.  

In Peace,
Amanda Esko
Director of Religious Education

Thank you to everyone who signed up to bring supplies for Sandwich Sunday! Our signup is full! Thank you!
It's Our First Ever Survey!

Want to share your experiences in RE this year? Have really great ideas for the future? Fill out our survey! It's only 10 questions and will take about 3 minutes to complete. I'd love to hear from everyone in RE! 
Super Informative RE Survey
8th/9th- Schedule updates! Our final regular session is this Sunday, May 5th. Next week, please attend service with your families (if you would like to volunteer in Lower School that day let Amanda know!) May 19th, we will have a party, and will also have a contraception mini-session available to those that missed those class sessions around spring break. Thank you for a wonderful year, we'll see you in the fall in High School!
Come one come all to our Lower School Talent Show! Have you been dying to show off your super cool card trick? Do you have a song you would love to belt out? Baton twirling, instrument playing, or cool yoga move? Join us in Little Chapel on May 19th during the 11 am service
Family Fun Night

Please join us for a very important Family Fun Night this month. While this month's topic, suicide prevention is not easy, it has directly affected our community at First Church. This training is not meant to just address youth suicide prevention, but adult as well. I encourage everyone to consider attending.

We've invited trainers from the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to join us and lead us in their QPR training. From their website, "QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help."

As always, we will start with dinner. This month, however, we are going to start dinner early at 6:00 pm. Unlike most months where we can be a little more flexible with dinner, dinner is going to be cleaned up and put away by 6:40, so the training can begin at 6:45. Thank you all for respecting our trainers time by arriving on time and eating promptly! Older, mature youth attending with a parent(7th grade and above) are welcome and encouraged to join.

Please reach out with any dietary restrictions or concerns, this will hopefully be an important learning opportunity for our community.

We're still looking for supplies for the Congregational Meeting Sandwich Fundraiser. If you're able to contribute, sign up below!
Congregational Meeting Fundraiser Signup
RE Calendar
May 5- Sandwich Sunday
May 6- Family Fun Night- 6 pm
May 12- Sanctuary Sunday
              Jr Choir Sings
              6-9th Grade in Worship
              High School End of Year Party
              Congregational Budget Info Session- 10:15 am Sanctuary
May 19- High School Bridging- 11 am
              RE Talent Show- 11 am
              Congregational Meeting- 12:30 pm Sanctuary
              Children's Congregational Meeting- 12:30 Little Chapel
May 26- One Service- 10 am, Childcare only