SOURCE: Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church (MDUUC)

Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church (MDUUC)

April 26, 2016 13:32 ET

MDUUC Launches 'Matched Pledge' Challenge to Members & Friends

Progressive Church Bucking Trends With Fast Growth, Seeks Funds to Support Programs, Expanded Staffing and Fair Wages in Costly SF East Bay

WALNUT CREEK, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 26, 2016) - Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church (MDUUC) has defied national trends of declining church membership in recent years, with robust growth from about 350 members in 2010 to more than 500 today.

This is a time of 'shift' in how people think about religion. Nearly 20% of people indicate no religious affiliation -- the famous 'nones,' which comprise the fastest growing religious choice. 48% of Millennials do not see themselves as part of traditional religious institutions at all. At the same time, people are searching for purpose and meaning in their lives. 

MDUUC responds to that quest by 'doing church' differently, reaching many through less traditional methods from podcasts to streaming sermons. Many attend spiritual seminars, personal growth workshops, (200 came for coaching on how to better communicate with transgender people), programs from Vespers to yoga, concerts and other events on the beautiful campus. 

Recognized as 'the ones who show up,' MDUUC members respond when Black Lives Matter organizers call for numbers to bear witness, when Winter Nights' East Bay rotation needs space to host and feed homeless guest families, when neighboring churches need food donations or advocates for caring proposals to local City Councils. Celebrating its 65th year in 2016, MDUUC is a respected 'learning church,' much sought after by Unitarian Universalist intern ministers. At the beautiful campus on Eckley Lane in Walnut Creek, the church offers world-class music programs, events and a thriving community serves in more than fifty committees focused on causes from social and economic justice to compassionate care for members in difficulty to the Elder Journey conversation group. 

The Board of Trustees set goals it considers modest this year, for funding to support staffing levels appropriate for a church of this size: adding a part-time Associate Minister, and simultaneously bringing wage levels up to what they'd consider 'fair' for hard-working staff that has absorbed additional work to support fast growth in membership and accompanying programs. 

Annual member financial pledges provide about 80% of the church's operating budget. But changes in giving patterns, and a large proportion of congregants facing a difficult financial year find this congregation reaching out for other sources of funding including outreach to friends and supporters in the community.

April 17th, the enterprising church, which has demonstrated resilience and optimism throughout its rich 65-year history, announced a Matching Pledge Campaign to fill the gap. A devoted group of MDUUC members -- including Reverend Leslie Takahashi -- have stepped up to donate additional funds and create a sizable 'Angel Pool.' Effective immediately, any member, friend or community supporter (individual or business) that contributes a new or increased pledge for MDUUC's July 2016-July 2017 church year will achieve DOUBLE the impact for the church, as each new pledge or pledge increase will be matched from the Angel Pool dollar for dollar until the pool runs dry, or May 8th -- whichever happens sooner. On May 8th MDUUC's Board of Trustees needs final numbers to confirm a budget supportive of goals, or begins deliberations on what to cut. 

MDUUC is so grateful to the Angels stepping forward to make this Pledge Match possible, putting their money where their values are. And now we're hoping to see Members & Friends step up with increases that draw the entire match into pledges for the coming year. 

If you would like to pledge financial support to MDUUC, and DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT supporting its high-energy work for justice and transforming our world, please go to www.mduuc.org/pledge

About MDUUC
Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church is a welcoming religious community. We bring to life our Unitarian Universalist values as we:

  • seek truth and work for justice 
  • nurture compassion and courage 
  • reach out to each other and to our larger community of faith 
  • bridge divisions that wound the human family 
  • transform ourselves and our world

For more about Unitarian Universalism and the work of MDUUC, or to get involved, please go to www.mduuc.org

Contact Information

  • PR Contact:
    Michele Carroll
    VP, Board of Trustees
    Email Contact
    (925) 980-1767