Weaving a Tapestry

Stewardship Blog

Stewardship is about wisely identifying and using our resources to build and sustain our church, while caring for each other and ourselves. Being present, donating money, volunteering our time, sharing our talents. We offer these treasured resources to help us fulfill our vision of putting our Unitarian Universalist principles into practice, while promoting balanced giving.

Some people have more money than time; others have more time than money; others have minimal time and money to share. All are welcome and valued.  By being a Tapestry member, you are pledging to help sustain and grow the church, through your contributions of time, talent and/or monetary support. All contributions are valued.

If you would like to contribute an article to this blog, please email stewardship@uutapestry.org.


Life Energy

by Dana Ashrawi on 5/7/2024

What topics have we been taught are off limits or uncomfortable? Money is one of them for many of us. One UU workshop on money asked participants to think about money, and then think of what color the idea of money is for them. One person thought it was orange, and it was for negative associations. What color is money for you, and why? It might be good to journal about that.

I want to share about a great book on the topic of money that was published decades ago and still holds great value: Your Money or Your Life. The authors offered a fascinating concept: the money we spend represents a certain amount of our life energy! For example, if a person is earning $20/hour, and a pair of shoes costs $40, the shoes represent two hours of life energy expended by working. The authors also provided a tool for calculating how much of your life energy is spent on various things. You can find the calculator at https://yourmoneyoryourlife.com/life-energy-calculator/. You might try it and figure out if you seem to be spending more life energy than you want on some items. Of course, there are some items where the costs are beyond our control, and part of the justice-seeking that UUs are engaged in, like the unreal cost of having decent healthcare or dentistry. However, where there is a choice, you could think about ways to reduce those expenditures.

Another calculator is needed - a spiritual energy input calculator. I wonder how much good spiritual energy we receive from good things in our lives. Tapestry UU Church is a special haven, a home for open-minded and compassionate justice-seeking people from many religious streams. Being part of this community is life-giving, for sure! Our pledge represents life energy. And our community provides some kind of spiritual energy to renew us after what we expend on the daily. What would our pledge amounts look like if we tried to match, in our giving, the amount of good energy we receive here? As others have said, give until it feels good. And if you are not in a financial position to give as much as you would like, we understand, and we hope for your fortunes to increase.

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Keeping Alisha

by James Moore on 4/6/2024

I had already been to the congregation many years earlier while I was in Huntsville when it was in a different location with a different name, but even back then, I had felt very welcome and at home with the community there. As a new member, my biggest concern for the future is whether Tapestry will be able to keep our wonderful minister, Rev. Alisha, due to budget concerns. With pledges for next fiscal year below the necessary level to continue employing Rev. Alisha, I fear that our congregation may lose her without additional financial support. Because of that concern, I have decided to increase my pledge this year by over 30%.

While I realize that small increase may not make a big difference, if we all give a little more, then in the end we can continue to have Rev. Alisha at our pulpit twice a month, and hopefully we can expand her work with the church if all of our members can give enough support. Not everyone can give equally, but everyone can do their part to make sure we can continue to offer a spiritual safe space that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

Warmest regards,
James Moore
Worship Committee Member

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Stewardship UU

by Jasmine Pantuso on 3/16/2024

Have you ever felt at home? I mean, relaxed and free to be yourself? This could be in a job, church, town, neighborhood, etc.

Tapestry is the place I feel “AT HOME!” I really can’t believe it. I have been on a quest my whole life to find groups of folks that were warm and welcoming.

I’m living in the Houston area at this time because of a few relatives that I can’t bear to part with. Now, after being a part of Tapestry, I have another reason to BE here.

I knew that I had found “my people” when I joined up with the camping group for the weekend. I was amazed to discover that a cooking group was serving us and there were vegetarian and vegan options!

When I attend a service I come away feeling good about life, our country, and the future of our children. I realize that supporting Tapestry with my time, talents or treasure will bring us closer to love and light in our lives.

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Howdy, Friends and Neighbors!

by Tracy Cook on 2/26/2024

My name is Tracy Cook, and I have been a member at Tapestry Unitarian Universalist Church for 17-ish years.

I started my journey looking for a community for myself several years ago. I wasn’t out of the broom closet yet, but I wanted somewhere I could go to grow spiritually. I know, that sounds weird right?! Why would I go to a Christian organization to grow my pagan self?! Well, my work friends all attended church together. And I thought I could use my internal translator for the messages. 

Nope. It was super frustrating and stressful. At one point, all of this hit me hard. I came home nearly in tears and told George I NEEDED something different, and he sighed and said he thought he knew just the place we all could go as a family. 

He was raised UU, for like 5 generations back. He took us all to NWCUUC (former name) and we met the then-President and her kids after a scheduled Play Group. My kids loved it, I liked what she had to say, and we showed up the next Sunday.

George jokes that he saved me, but he really did.

The kids liked that they weren’t harassed on the bus any longer, no more scary stories about going to hell since they could answer that they attended church. They enjoyed learning from the other adults in the community, especially Andy!

I embraced my pagan side and found kindred spirits to honor the natural rhythms of our world. 

So what do I see for our future? What is next?! I see so much opportunity for us to be a beacon to those who feel lost and overwhelmed. I love the home I found here, and I want others to feel they are welcome here, too. Rev Alisha has laid out an excellent plan and timetable for involvement, both here at Tapestry and in the larger community. She put a lot of thought and work into aligning everything we shared, and came up with a wonderful document.

I’m going to increase my Pledge in order to help us make these dreams a reality! Who’s with me?!

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by Eric Huckabay on 2/14/2024

Spider-Man. That's why I invest in Tapestry. Well, him and the Scoobie gang.

Wait... what??!

OK, perhaps I've gotten ahead of myself. I should back up.

Any of you who have heard me speak on spiritual topics will know that I'm a little obsessed with Challenge and Solace. Those are my spiritual touchstones. To afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, if you want to get Biblical about it.

Which brings us to Spider-man. What was his primary motivation, throughout his career, no matter who was writing him? With power comes responsibility. I have great enough power to inherit some of that responsibility, but little enough that it would be irresponsible to try to be a super hero. I won't change the world in my lifetime. But maybe I can change the little things, the local things.

The Scoobie gang, whether you mean Daphne and Velma or Xander and Willow, have something in common. No world changing power, but a willingness to be there, and to help. And a second thing -- a discovery that being the hero is hard, but that it gets easier when you have the support of friends around you. People you can count on.

Maybe I'll never be a "big damn hero". Tapestry is the sort of place where I feel like I can be somebody's little hero, today, this week, and where I'm in good company doing it.

Thank you for being a part of that. You are, in many senses, my super group and my Solace. Blessed be.

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