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23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

First Parish “Makes a Difference” — And So Can You!

by | Feb 2, 2024

We’re excited to launch the First Parish 2024-2025 Annual Budget Drive as we embark on a year of purposeful growth with the guidance of our 5 Year Strategic Plan Task Force. Your steadfast support has been instrumental in guiding us through dynamic times, and together, we’ve emerged stronger and more connected as a spiritual family. Now, we invite you to partner with us once again as we invest in our future and continue cultivating a thriving sanctuary of faith and fellowship.

In this commitment to one another, we become difference-makers, weaving a tapestry of faith — one thread of generosity at a time — that extends beyond these walls, making a difference not only in our church, but in the wider community around us. In this spirit, we invite you to join, not just in supporting our beloved First Parish, but in Making A Difference that resonates, creating and leaving a legacy of love and action in our world. As difference-makers, we extend “the ripples of giving” far beyond the edges of our own lives in pursuit of our mission “to create a welcoming, diverse, and compassionate religious community that celebrates the sacredness of all living things, nurtures lifelong spiritual and ethical growth, and works for social and environmental justice locally and throughout the world.”

In years past, the resources that you have pledged to our church have helped us Make A Difference:

  • Empowering social justice: Reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, climate action, racial equity, and immigration reform remain central to our mission.
  • Nurturing leadership: Ensuring fair and equitable compensation for our dedicated minister and staff and supporting spiritual growth for First Parishioners of all ages, from toddlers to elders.
  • Inspiring youth: Empowering our Senior Youth Group to participate in service trips (this spring, for environmental justice in Virgin Islands National Park), putting UU values into action.
  • Connecting near and far: Bringing our spirit to life through live-streamed worship and fostering a vibrant online community that transcends physical distance through adult enrichment programs.
  • Open hearts, open doors and growing our membership: Welcoming new voices through meaningful outreach, nurturing faith across all ages, and enriching souls with music.

 

Your pledges make up the backbone of our annual income, about 75%. This year, we’re aiming for a $335,000 Budget Drive goal, and your participation is more crucial than ever as we emerge from the pandemic. You can look at how First Parish budgets income and expenditures by reading through prior Annual Reports on our website. Our national denomination, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Fair Share Giving Guide suggests an annual giving range of 2-10% of household income. As a starting point, we invite each First Parish household to consider giving at a level of 2.5% to 3.0%, or whatever percentage feels right to you. We know and celebrate that many First Parishioners give generously to First Parish and many other worthy non-profits. The average First Parish household gave about $2,400 last year, and pledges ranged from under $100 to over $13,000. As we often say, “give until it feels good!”

It is our goal to collect your pledge plans as quickly and easily as possible with four convenient ways to pledge:

Please pledge as generously as you are able to our 2024-2025 Annual Budget Drive! Thank you for making a difference with your ongoing support of First Parish in Needham!