Dear Members and Friends of First Parish in Concord,
A new church year has started and there is excitement in the air. It is so gratifying to see new and old friends in church on Sunday. And there’s lots of activity at church, whether in Small Group Ministry, Religious Education, Music, or Social Justice.
But there’s a cloud on the horizon and we need your help.
Last June at our Annual Meeting, we approved a budget for this fiscal year (August 2022 – July 2023) that included pledge income of $941,000. Pledges are our most significant source of income. That income, of course, is what allows us to support our building and campus, our staff, and all the programming that makes First Parish in Concord so vital.
We have a pledge gap
Here’s the tough news. Our pledge campaign fell short of our budgeted goal by $45,000. Perhaps that is not surprising. With two years of a pandemic, some people have drifted away and some have remained but are uncertain about their on-going connection to First Parish. And with Howard Dana’s departure, we had a loss of leadership and the personal loss of his relationship with many members and friends. Whatever the reason, we need to address this gap.
Unless we can make that shortfall up very soon, we will have to make difficult spending decisions as we can’t end the fiscal year with this large a funding gap.
Please help Close the Gap
Given all this, we are asking for your help. We are kicking off a short, focused campaign during the month of October to Close the Gap. If you have already pledged this year, would you consider raising your pledge? If you have not pledged, please consider pledging now. Joining together, we can close our budget gap and support the good work of First Parish.
To lead by example, every member of the Standing Committee has increased his or her pledge and, as a group, the Standing Committee has increased its overall pledge by more than 20 percent. We are not suggesting that members and friends need match that percentage increase (though we’d be delighted if you did). But if households that have not yet pledged this year make new pledges; and those currently pledging stretch a bit to increase their pledges, we can close the $45,000 pledge gap in short order. Not everyone can stretch more right now. We know that. If your circumstances do not permit you to pledge or increase your pledge, please don’t feel pressured to respond. There are enough of us who can respond that we can easily close this gap.
Here’s how to help
You may make a new pledge or increase your existing pledge simply by emailing Fifi Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider doing so today. Together we can Close the Gap and support the terrific programs that make First Parish in Concord such a meaningful part of all our lives. If you have questions about the budget or pledging, feel free to reach out to any of us below. Also please check out this FAQ document for more information.
For the Standing Committee Financial Sustainability Group
Jim Hawks (email@example.com)
Gib Metcalf (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Heather Packard (email@example.com)
Jim Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org)