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A message from Rev. Shawn and the Canvass committee

Every person in our congregation plays a unique role in our community, participating in the wonderful interplay of generations, life stories, and passions that enliven our activities together and in the wider world. We are grateful for your ongoing investment of time and talent to our congregation’s present and future. Thank You, sincerely, for these gifts.

Click HERE to pledge now!

While we have many accomplishments to celebrate at VanU, so much of what we all value about our congregation is intangible. It is the uplift we feel when the choir soars in song, the unexpected tears during a sermon, or the moment of clarity in a committee meeting. It’s being reminded of life’s fragility and its resilience as we hear the joys and sorrows of our lives lifted up in worship. It’s the dawning of insight when we understand in another’s thoughts the missing piece we’ve been seeking. It’s ultimately hearing a call into the fullness of life and knowing that we can’t make that journey alone—and that we wouldn’t want to try.

We are very grateful for the many members who attended the in-person or Zoom version of the congregational retreat. The outpouring of ideas, and the great feeling of community present at those gatherings made it clear how much you all value VanU. There are so many good things happening within our community—increased attendance, increasing numbers of volunteers, more children and families, which are all contributing to an increase in optimism about our future.  At the same time, we need to pay attention to our financial health. Each year for several years, we have had large
deficits (last year’s actual deficit: $292,325). If we continue on this path, we will have used up our nest egg by 2032.  

The Finance Committee has issued a challenge to decrease our deficit by $50,000 for 2024/25, by increasing our revenue. At the retreat, there were many ideas floated about fundraising such as the services auction now tentatively scheduled for the fall. The other way to increase revenue is, of course, through our pledges and donations. If you are able, would you be willing to increase your pledge this year, by 7 – 10%? This would help us meet our pledge goal of $315,000. Between increased pledges and fundraising, the Board is confident that we meet this challenge, and start on the path to a more sustainable future. 

We know that not everyone is in a position to be able to increase their pledge. Please know that you are a valued member of our community, just by your presence. 

Our congregation is what we make it. It is created out of our hopes and dreams. It is sustained by the work of our hands and our hearts. It is built by our commitments of time and money. As you consider your commitment for the coming fiscal year, please give thought to the intangibles we create in our coming together—and then give thanks by contributing generously to our future at
VanU. Click HERE to pledge now!


Members of the Canvass Committee

Mairy Beam
Michael Clague
Shawn Gauthier
Leslie Hill
Paul Prescod