Have you noticed it? Have you seen all of the new faces, Sunday after Sunday, filling the sanctuary? “I came because I’d heard about the Circle of Community you all had the night after the election,” one person has said. “I find myself needing a community of people with whom I feel safe,” has said another. “I need to do something, and I’ve heard that this is a congregation that is actively involved doing things,” said a third. People are finding their way to TJMC because of their own, personal, needs, and because of a desire to join with others who are trying to address the needs of the community and the world.
Unitarian Universalism is part of the “free church” tradition – but that doesn’t mean it is free. It costs money, and volunteer time, and compassionate care to be the kind of community we are and do the kind of things we do. TJMC needs support – your support – in order to continue being able to provide space for things like that Circle of Community, free meeting space for SURJ (showing up for racial justice), hosting the monthly Food Pantry, and being a PACEM site for two weeks each winter. TJMC needs your support if we are going to be able to continue providing moving and memorable worship, engaging and transformative opportunities for religious education and faith development for our children and youth, and opportunities for our adults to deepen and develop their faith and to put their faith into action. All of these things, and all the many other things we do, take talented and dedicated staff, a beautiful and functional building, and everything from AA batteries (for our microphones) to Ziploc bags (for our Meal Packets).
There are many ways to support the work of our congregation – you can make a financial pledge, a one-time donation, or use “scrip” when you buy groceries or something from Amazon. You can also give of your time and your talents. In fact, not only can you do these things, you should (to the extent you are able) – this is what it means to be “stewards” of TJMC. Our website has a page devoted to different ways of giving [http://www.uucharlottesville.org/giving/give-now/], and both our professional and lay leaders can offer lots of ideas for getting involved.
“You are a beacon in a very troubling time,” someone recently wrote. And our beacon is doing what beacons do – drawing people in, and lighting a way forward. Let’s all do what we can to keep that beacon alight now, in these troubling times, and for all the years to come.