|Dear UCCI Family –
Growing up, Sunday church was an expected ritual in the Svetnicka household. An organist-playing Mother, Lay-preaching Father, youth-groupie big Sister, and choir-singing younger Sister ensured our presence. My niche was acolyte! I got to don the vestments, light some fire, and occasionally ride the ropes as the ushers rang the church bells. When we missed, we were at Moon Beach for Family Camp.
Moon Beach was a safe place to practice being the kind of Christian they taught me to be in Sunday School. My faith was formed during Family Camp week in the water, in the woods, in the community, and around the glorious fire circle. We worshiped, sang songs, laughed, cried, celebrated communion, and found a oneness with the Creator that I have cherished, lived, and dedicated my very life to preserving.
It is in that context that I reach out to you, my friends. The very future of Pilgrim Center, Moon Beach, and Cedar Valley is at stake! UCCI needs substantial financial support until a vaccine is widely available and it is safe to resume outdoor ministry operations. We have drastically cut expenses, furloughed many staff, refinanced debt, and focused on fundraising, yet we need to do more. Up to, and including, selling some of our assets if we are to have a prayer of resuming operations.
By the grace of God, a dear couple, who wish to remain anonymous, have committed to generously match all donations in support of UCCI up to $200,000, thus allowing UCCI to raise more than $400,000 from now until December 31st! This donation match will make a significant impact towards allowing UCCI to remain operational in the months ahead AND your generous gift would be matched dollar for dollar. This appeal, called “Keep the Fires Burning,” signals a concerted effort to ask for support to literally keep our fires burning.
$400,000 is a significant amount and will help us get to 2021. However, we need to do more. UCCI needs to get out of debt. We owe money on a mortgage, some “Disaster Relief” loans, and on our line of credit. To carry this debt load during this uncertain time of COVID feels daunting. We need to reemerge from the pandemic stronger, wiser, debt free … with our sanctuaries intact … ready to welcome and serve!
Please consider making a tax-deductible gift before the end of December so we can take advantage of this generous matching gift opportunity. If you’ve already made a gift this year, thank you! If you are able, please consider giving an additional gift that will be doubled. If you know of anyone with love in their heart for outdoor ministry and the means to contribute, please invite them to do so or refer them to me.
It’s an honor to serve UCCI during these crazy times. I am humbled by the generosity of the UCCI family and I look forward to seeing what we will do together with this matching gift opportunity. Like recessing down the church aisle as an acolyte, I hope to “Keep the Fires Burning” at Cedar Valley, Moon Beach, and Pilgrim Center for generations to come.
Glenn Svetnicka – Executive Director UCCI
P.S. Please continue loving all others… Wash your hands, stay lovingly distanced, wear your masks. We will get through this, stay safe!