Emerson has made significant changes in 2014 and they are all for the better. Our Adult Religious Education, led by Mike Condit is bringing many new connections to Emerson and many of those have become new members. New and long-term members alike are bringing new ideas and opportunities like UUNO spearheaded by Beth Ortuno, Deborah Landis and Alisha Loftin. We began the TXUU4JM led by the Gelbs. The UUV4Justice network was launched and has had its first success. We celebrated our 50th Rebuilding Together Houston house, led by Jane Zachritz. Our Share the Plate gives 100% outside our church with New Hope Housing as our October recipient. The Groppe Scholarship program enabled three (3) young people to become the first in their family to attend college. These are but a few examples.

On Sunday, October 19, we hit another milestone. Emerson has become a Pay-As-You-Go congregation inspired by Mike Durall’s work with us. Our Endowment has been constitutionally restricted to important and new projects and will no longer be accessible for operations. We are the owners of this inherited gift and it is our responsibility to steward this gift for ourselves and for the many generations that will follow. Therefore, we have to rely on ourselves to invest in the programs we want as a congregation. In this respect a three (3)-year pledge will enable us to better plan for our future.

Each family at Emerson requires an average investment of $4000 to deliver our programs and steward our heritage. One donor family invests enough to support its own share and as well as the equivalent of seven (7) other families. Only approximately 40 of the 200 families at Emerson are in the financial position to invest for their own family plus others and it is critical that those who are able continue to do so in order that those families cannot are also enabled to make a difference in our community.

It takes a village, and financial stewardship cannot succeed without the leadership of our Ministers who, as members of this congregation, have committed 15% of their gross income to Emerson by contributing $17,000 thereby investing for themselves and in excess of three (3) other families. The Board is committed to Emerson’s success and 100% of the Board has pledged.

As Stewardship chairman, my family is following the Minister’s lead and investing for ourselves and more than three (3) other families with a three (3)-year pledge commitment. We are but one example and there are numerous families at Emerson who are more generous than we. I’m asking that you consider your responsibility to invest within the range of 5% to 10% of your gross income to ensure the value Emerson delivers in the greater Houston area with your three (3)-year pledge. You have the power to define your generosity and have Faith for the Future.

You can make your three (3)-year pledge online, by picking up a pledge form in The Gathering place, print-at-home, and turning in to the bookstore, or by emailing Karen Van Horn, Emerson’s business administrator.

Faithfully yours,