Stewardship and Giving
First Parish in Concord practices congregational polity, a form of governance for communities of faith. Each congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association self-governs and is a separate religious community joined together in a formal association or relationship through our covenant to affirm and promote the seven principles.
Congregational polity gives the members of the congregation the right to govern and support the congregation, independent of a hierarchical structure. With this opportunity comes deep responsibility and accountability to this chosen religious community.
First Parish relies upon the relational and financial stewardship of its individual members and friends to fulfill its programs, ministries, and mission to be a welcoming Unitarian Universalist congregation that seeks to deepen spiritually, build community, and make a positive difference in the world.
As members and friends of a religious community we are learning how to become more generous in spirit and in action, which is essential to our spiritual well-being. Giving is a joyous process, and it has the potential to help us grow spiritually.
Regular financial contributions from members and friends account for over 75% of First Parish’s income. The other 25% of our income comes from annual fundraising events, a contribution from the Trustees of Parish Donations, and other sources such as Wright Tavern classes and the Sunday offering.
Spiritual Growth Exercise
Writing a money autobiography is a challenging and crucial step in understanding our behavior and powerful feelings evoked by money. Even for those of us who find it difficult to write, reflection on money and our life’s journey yields insights and deepened awareness.
We benefit from examining our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors which relate to money. This process involves discerning the ways we earn, inherit, invest, spend, give, and waste money, so that we can become more conscious and intentional about our choices.
A money autobiography is useful not only in personal growth, but also in the growth of the congregation. What affects individuals affects the organizations to which they belong. As we address our entanglement with materialism, status and power, and as we open ourselves to compassion, new vision and hope will flow through us and our faith community into the world.
You are encouraged to set aside some quiet time, take up your pen or keyboard, and discover for yourself the gifts of healing, insight, and freedom which often come when in vulnerability and trust we acknowledge feelings, attitudes and experiences evoked by money.
For questions to consider while writing your money autobiography click here.
Looking for ways to engage children and youth in stewardship and generosity?
Check out this curriculum produced by the UUA with simple exercises easily adapted to conversations over dinner or during the offertory music during worship.