Dear Ones,

Our Annual Pledge Drive enters this week the arm-twisting phase of the campaign in which volunteers contact people who usually pledge and have not yet done so. Please make it easy on these folks who accept one of the most tedious jobs we have! Get your completed form into the box in the foyer; give it to Susan in the office (M-F, 10:30-4:00); mail it to the Fellowship (P.O. Box 602, Stony Brook, NY 11790); or put it in an envelope and slide it through the mail slot to the left of the sanctuary-side office door. If you didn’t get a pledge card or need to know what the “ballpark” for giving is, ask me () or our intrepid APD captain, Lem Coley (). The thing is, the Board of Trustees and the Finance Committee can’t propose a budget for the coming fiscal year (7/1/18-6/30/19) until they know how close to our pledge goal we have come. And really, the same goes for you and your budget. Once you record a number on your pledge card, you too have clarity and plenty of time to adjust your spending to accommodate your gift to this your spiritual home.

We have things we want to do with that money—important, life-saving, world-changing, child-shaping, hope-making things. For example, the DRE search committee and I are about to finalize and distribute our job posting for a part-time DRE and also for a part-time RE Assistant. We’re taking a big gamble that all of us together are going to come through with the money we need to provide our new employees the fair compensation they deserve for their vital work.

Did you notice that the group of new members we celebrated on March 25th included six sets of parents with young children, a total of eight children just entering our program? This past Saturday, I dedicated 3-month-old Elijah Keith Jack as his 4 year-old brother Bentley looked on with the rest of their extended family. Bentley and his parents spent some time with us a few weeks ago. Samantha was impressed that Bentley later remembered and applied that morning’s circle worship lesson about loss and hope. I hope the Jack family will also choose to settle in with us. We probably aspire to nothing more important in our congregational life than helping our children to calibrate their own moral and ethical compass and employ its guidance as they navigate a world that, increasingly, doesn’t seem to have a such a compass at all.

Friends, we need an average pledge of $1900. If you can, please prune your expenditures to help us get there. If you can’t right now, creep on steadily towards that goal. If you can afford more, take a deep breath and cover someone among us who is less financially secure.

Together, we can do this.