Recently, we kicked off the annual pledge drive. The pledge drive is a time for each of us to consider what we are receiving from the South Valley community, and what is appropriate for each of us to give back.

The call to action that I want you to take out of this is fill out your 3-T card ASAP. Hard copies are in front of the office at church. You can also fill it out online at 3-T card has three parts to it; those are “Time”, “Talents” and “Treasure”. The first two parts encourage you to think about ways that you can be active in the community. We have a vibrant community at South Valley, and there is a lot of need for your help, whether that’s in communicating with members, outreach to the broader community, direct service to others, or anything else that you could think of.

The last part “Treasure” has you consider what your financial contribution to the South Valley community is. We have a lot of great programs. We have a fabulous minister (you’re awesome Rev. Bob!). We have an excellent DRE program that enriches our kids. We have a caretaker of the facility that spends his time keeping up with the grounds. We have an excellent music program that enriches our Sundays. For a full accounting of our budget, you can see

We want everyone to submit a form, even if the pledge amount is $0 or you have no additional time to contribute. Submitting the form is a time of personal reflection for deciding what you get out of the community and what to give back. The theme for this year is “Dreams and Deeds.” The idea is that we all have dreams for what we want out of this congregation in the future. We have a dream of a settled minister, of outreaching to the community around us in a variety of ways, and also of enriching each other. In order to make that come to pass, we need to commit to it with “deeds”. Everyone should consider what deeds are appropriate for themselves to commit to. What can you do for South Valley?

There are some changes in particular for this year. Rev. Bob is awesome, but will only be with us a short year or two. We need to start the process of searching for a settled minister now. That process can be very expensive–about $10,000. So, we need to make that up in our budget this year. It’s a great opportunity–we get the chance to find someone that will be great for us long-term. But, it’s also a great challenge for each of us to rise up to. Please consider this additional expense as you’re considering what you will give back to South Valley this year.

Another change this year is the in-home meetings that the board is putting together. These are meetings that will usually be held in homes of another member. A handful of people are invited to that member’s home for an activity and a chat with the board, and Rev. Bob if he can make it. It’s a great opportunity to learn and grow from each other. We want everyone to participate, whether you are brand new, or a grizzled veteran at South Valley. So, if someone asks you to participate in one of these meetings, please participate if possible.

Another change this year is the suggested giving guide. We have decided to adopt a graduated increasing guide that suggests what might be appropriate for a pledge amount. This suggested giving guide is just that (suggested). Everyone’s individual contribution is personal to them. Some may go higher, and some may go lower.If you’ve pledged before and would like to not pledge this year, you can go to the pledge link above and choose to opt out.We have some goals for the pledge drive this year. We have a goal funding amount of $192,000. This is increased from what we received last year of $164,000. So, it’s a lofty goal, and we all need to work a bit to achieve the goal, but I think it’s a realistic goal if we all work toward it.

I also wanted to set a couple of other goals around number of pledgers. Over the past few years, the number of total pledgers has decreased from 98 three years ago to 89 two years ago to 80 last year. I think that it takes the entire community to reach our budget goals, and I want to have a big focus this year on getting everyone to submit a 3T card, even if you don’t have particularly much to give at the moment. I would like to shoot for net 10 more total pledgers, taking us to 90.

Lastly, I’d like to shoot for 20 new pledgers this year that have never pledged before.If you have never pledged before and have some concerns about it, feel free to reach out to me, Scott or Laura Renshaw (on the membership committee), any member of the board or Rev. Bob. We’d love to talk through any concerns you have.

If you are a regularly pledging member, please make sure to pledge sooner rather than later. It makes it possible for us to know where we are with respect to our goals and reduces anxiety for everyone involved.