2022-23 ANNUAL OPERATING FUND CAMPAIGN
Co-Chairs: Sam King & "Wonder Dave" Crady
Pledge Drive FAQ
These last years have been a complicated time for all of us. It's like we've been wandering through a forest together, and we've found some bright spots and clearings along the way, but we aren't out of the woods yet. As we come out the other side of another wave of the virus we know too well, our city looks to the future, making hopeful plans for the coming months with tender fingers crossed. Our ministry looks ahead as well – gratefully using the resources given to us to work together “courageously and publicly for human rights, economic justice, and environmental salvation” as our mission statement calls us to. But we also see the reality that the system we built to do so still struggles to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic.
We are struck with both a sense of pride and extreme gratitude reflecting on the strengths that got us through the last two years. With PPP loans received and forgiven in 2020 and 2021, the generosity of our congregation’s members, and the especially generous giving this last year, we have been able to make it this far protecting the jobs of our staff and able to honor our program commitments to the people inside and outside the church who rely on us.
Meanwhile, thanks also to your generosity, we expanded both our programming and our outreach. We were able to extend the stay of our unhoused guests last month when the San Francisco Interfaith Council asked for our help. Recognizing it as a need that was perhaps not so temporary, we grew our Sunday Livestream services, trained additional volunteers and invested in additional cameras and production equipment. This allows us to produce a virtual service that more closely emulates the experience we know in person while being able to follow COVID safety and harm reduction protocols. Our YouTube subscriber count reached 722 just this week, and a new friend in New York has reached out about becoming a member of our church, adding to the growing number of members that have joined our community through our virtual programming!
What’s ahead? Some of it is a mystery or like this journey through the forest we’ve been on, one step at a time, full of surprises, encountering unexpected beauty along the trail, and finding our best way forward, despite any obstacles that we deftly overcome. We do know a few things: our space rentals program – a significant portion of our revenue – will take some time to return to full capacity, despite the best efforts of Suzy Bernahola, our Reservations Manager. She has been working tooth and nail to fill out space. Our Lay Leaders remain connected, engaged in each other’s lives in pastoral care and our small group ministries, united in service to our neighbors, our city, and our nation.
In the next few months we will continue our search for someone to be our Minister or Director of Religious Education and Congregational Life after Alyson Jacks retires this June. Our role in civic leadership in the city grows as Rev. Vanessa continues to serve as Co-Chair of the San Francisco Interfaith Council. And we are looking for how to use the technology we all mastered in the pandemic and the abilities we developed for virtual ministry to complement the best of what we know and will begin to do again together in person, as we serve our mission and connect with one another.
Last year we asked everyone to dig deep and our community came through. So many of you doubled your pledges, and many, many more raised your pledges 50% or greater. We are so very, very proud of our community and know everyone did what they could, as we always do. That spirit is what kept us strong and enabled us to overcome obstacles.
We ask this year that to the extent possible, everyone maintain the pledges they made last year, and to raise them as circumstances allow. We trust that the bond of our community will keep us on the right path as we pull through this pandemic and our transitions this year. If last year was a one-time increase in giving, then this year we ask you to be as generous as you can, but not more. Included in this letter is the amount you gave last year.
We’d love to have pledges as soon as we can to both build momentum and to start getting insight on our financial roadmap as early as possible. If you get your pledges in by March 13, you'll be included in a raffle for the prize of a three-night stay at Marty Vanderlaan's Lake Tahoe vacation home! But regardless, please get your pledges in by the end of March so that we can announce the results and plan in earnest for this next year’s operations and ministries. Together, we will hike through this forest and find a picnic table in a meadow clearing where we may gather and celebrate the return of spring after this long rambling “pandemic winter”
All Best Regards,
Sam King and Wonder Dave Crady, Annual Giving Co-Chairs