Sure, that’s the theme of this year’s Annual Budget Drive. But it’s so much more than that. It’s really my mantra for living right now. (Which is why I start the worship services with it.) Who knew back in September that this would be such a timely phrase? When the Annual Budget Drive team (Gina Phairas, Will Jernigan, and Wes Miller) came up with it, we were thinking more about ministerial transitions and the general political climate. Little did we know….
For me, Living Bravely means a lot of things, but first and foremost it means lowering anxiety WITHOUT doing crazy things: wash those hands, try to remember that 6-foot rule, walk the dog, reduce trips to the grocery store, stock a few items in case we get sick but mostly buy what we need without hoarding, wipe down doorknobs and copy machine interfaces at work a lot, breathe deeply, listen to music. It also means learning vast amounts of new things: Ta-da! I’m now a video editor. Who knew? And Zoom? Never hosted a meeting before. Never actually ate a take-out meal at home before because why would we? Just go to the restaurant, silly.
And Giving Generously? It’s way too easy to “hunker down” and protect and connect our nuclear families and close friends. Looking outward is just not natural. Yet as the Annual Budget Drive team wrote, “We are called to live bravely across the wide spectrum of life.” We are called to be generous. Learning technology to connect with others is a generous act. Baking bread and leaving it at a neighbor’s doorstep is a generous act. Giving money to help local small businesses is a generous act. Giving to local nonprofits that are providing services right now is a generous act.
Here’s a request we have received from AHOPE/Homeward Bound (sponsors of Room in the Inn) who also work with Haywood Street Church and Rescue Mission:
There is one thing you could consider – and it doesn’t put you in danger. We really need good adult socks, gloves, blankets, and such. We also could use easy-to-hand-out food like peanut butter crackers, bananas. easy-to-open cans of veggies or fruit or canned tuna or spaghetti.
Drop supplies off at our AHOPE Day Center on 19 N. Ann Street downtown. Just pull up in front and start unloading. People will quickly be there to help when staff is onsite (8am-12n, 7 days a week). Or I can come to wherever and pick them up if you don’t want to be in that setting. Contact Joe Hoffman for more information.
Here’s another example of generosity. I know a lot of you are trying to connect through video–but it can be intimidating. So, we have 5 congregants who are willing to host a meeting for you. Whether you want to connect with fellow UUCAers or family members or friends, contact one of these people who will either help you figure out how to host a meeting or actually host it for you, so all you have to do is click in to join.
Many thanks to these volunteers. Look up their contact info on REALM or email Tish for that info.
PS I would be totally remiss in not mentioning that references to the Annual Budget Drive might be very good cues for you to make sure that you’ve sent in a commitment for the fiscal year starting on July 1. I know it’s clearly impossible to know your financial status for next year right now, but we’re operating on the assumption that “normal” is the only way to plan. We’ll flex and accommodate and adjust when we need to. Thanks!
Linda Topp, Director of Administration