Give to First Parish of Watertown

We work together to make First Parish of Watertown a vibrant and empowering place for all who enter our doors. We serve in our church with time, talent, and generosity of spirit. We strive to live our values in the broader community as well, taking part in community service with groups and as individuals, and bringing our whole selves to the world outside. We commit to provide our financial support to First Parish.

Our generous financial contributions to First Parish are essential to the ongoing success and growth of all our programs and all we do together as a faith community. Ways to give:

Online Giving

Select a donation type – collection plate, pledge payment, or special fund – and frequency on the linked form.

Pledges

A pledge is your promise to make a contribution in support of the annual operating budget of the church.

Planned Gifts

Make a lasting gift for future generations by including the First Parish of Watertown in your estate plan.

Annual Pledge Drive

Forward Together 2021

We live our values as individuals and as a church community, seeking love, peace, and justice in the world.

%

Participation (85 Pledge Units)

%

Financial Goal ($185,000)

What is a pledge?

A pledge is your promise to make a contribution in support of the operating budget of the church. You can pay in installments throughout the church fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).

Why Pledge?

“We continue to increase our pledge in support of the role the church plays in the congregation, the community and in the larger issues facing the world today.”

2020 Congregational Survey

Your pledge is essential to supporting the many experiences First Parish offers you and your family:

  • Weekly worship: thought‐provoking sermons and extraordinary music helping us along our spiritual journey.
  • Our sanctuary: an historic, beautiful building that we are preserving and enhancing for ourselves and future generations.
  • Religious education: programs engaging children and youth that support their faith and social development.
  • Adult education: programs on multiculturalism and inclusion, book groups, UU classes, and spiritual autobiographies.
  • Fellowship: social activities including choir, game nights, family playgroups, potluck suppers, talent shows, sing‐alongs, and an art show.
  • Community involvement: Social action advocacy, World in Watertown, Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, Giving Boxes, benefit concerts, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Staff: support for our minister and staff and the many programs and activities they bring to First Parish.

Pledges from our members and friends are the major source of income for the church’s operating budget each year.

2020-2021 Expenses

Total: $350,416

  • Facilities ($112,896) 32% 32%
  • Worship ($49,618) 14% 14%
  • Administration ($51,012) 12% 12%
  • Religious Education ($25,095) 7% 7%
  • Fellowship ($35,609) 10% 10%
  • Music ($28,874) 8% 8%
  • Community Outreach ($12,823) 4% 4%

2020-2021 Current Income

Total: $339,909

  • Pledges ($171,833) 51% 51%
  • Bank ($62,423) 18% 18%
  • Endowment Funds ($45,000) 13% 13%
  • Preschool ($25,558) 8% 8%
  • Misc. Rental ($25,095) 7% 7%
  • Other Collections ($10,000) 3% 3%

How to Pledge

Make your pledge for 2021-2022 using the form linked below. You are encouraged to make your pledge by March 20.

Alternatively, you can email pledge information to John Portz.

All pledge information is confidential.

2021 Pledge Calendar

February 7-21: Circle Suppers begin our discussions about what First Parish means in our lives.
February 28: Stewardship Sunday
March 1-29: Personal Contacts, when members of First Parish visit other members and friends to talk about the importance of the annual pledge. Also, information is available to explain how essential your financial contribution is to the life of the church.
March 14: Lay Service
March 20: Preferred deadline for pledges
March 29: End of pledge period
April 1: New church fiscal year begins

How much should I pledge?

We are a growing congregation and we all need to be as generous as we can. A guideline is to pledge between 3% and 5% of your annual income (see Suggested Pledges table), but every pledge is welcomed. All pledge information is confidential. If your financial situation changes during the year, you can modify your pledge by contacting the Treasurer.

Please consider making a generous donation to our Annual Fund. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Thank you! Your generous contribution will ensure that future generations enjoy the spiritual community of First Parish.

Suggested Pledges

$25,000-$50,000$1,200$100
$50,000-$75,000$2,400$200
$75,000-$100,000$3,600$300
$100,000-$150,000$6,000$500
$150,000 and higher$12,000$1,000
Income RangeAnnual PledgeMonthly Pledge

Planned Giving

How can you help ensure that First Parish will continue for many generations to come? Make a Lasting Gift by including The First Parish of Watertown in your Estate Plan.The First Parish of Watertown gratefully accepts bequests from donors who wish to include THE FIRST PARISH OF WATERTOWN in their estate plans. Bequests may be unrestricted or restricted to a particular purpose, and they may be in the form of specific property or amounts of funds, percentage of a total estate, or balance (residue) of an estate after other bequests are made. Sample language for these bequests is set forth here, along with a sample bequest intention letter that can be sent to the Minister. If you have any questions, please contact THE FIRST PARISH OF WATERTOWN’s Minister or have your attorney or estate planning professional contact her.

See our Planned Giving Brochure for more information.

To Make a General Unrestricted Bequest

I give __________ Dollars ($_______) to The First Parish of Watertown, for its general charitable purposes.

To Make a Restricted Bequest

I give __________ Dollars ($_______) to The First Parish of Watertown, to be used for ________________ [describe gift purpose, e.g. “to be added to Perpetuity Fund or its Helen Robinson Wright Fund ”; “to be used to support the building fund”].

To Make a Specific Bequest

I give __________ [property description, e.g. “my residence located at 123 Main Street, Boston, Massachusetts”; “___ shares of XYZ Corporation common stock”] to The First Parish of Watertown, for its general charitable purposes.

To Make a Residuary Bequest

I give the residue of my estate to The First Parish of Watertown, for its general charitable purposes.

To Make a Percentage Bequest

I give ____ Percent (___%) of the residue of my estate to The First Parish of Watertown, for its general charitable purposes.

Planned Giving Sample Bequest Letter

TODAY’S DATE

Dear Reverend __________,

It is my/our pleasure to inform you that I/we have named The First Parish Of Watertown (FPW) of Watertown, Massachusetts, as a beneficiary of my/our estate plan. This letter signifies my/our intention to make a bequest through my/our estate plan of approximately $_________ to be used [STATE YOUR DESIRED USE FOR THE GIFT: e.g., added to FPW’s Perpetuity OR Helen Robinson Wright Fund; or to be used for general charitable purposes; etc].

This gift will take the form of being [STATE THE TYPE OF GIFT THIS IS, e.g., the sole beneficiary of my/our Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or life insurance policy, or bequest in a will/trust, bank or investment account, etc].

Understanding that this gift intention may be changed at any time I/we will inform you should I/we change my/our intent toward FPW or should the dollar value of my/our potential donation significantly increase or decrease.

I/we am/are gratified to be able to support First Parish and the wonderful work it does, both in Watertown and in the world.

Sincerely,

 

YOUR NAME(S)

ADDRESS

 

BE SURE TO KEEP A COPY OF THIS LETTER WITH YOUR ESTATE PLAN DOCUMENTS.

Opening Doors Capital Campaign – Complete!

The Opening Doors Capital Campaign was seeded in 2014 with gifts left by members and a vision for “Comfort, Community, and Commemoration.” From 2015 to 2019 First Parish members and friends contributed more than $500,000 to realize this vision.

The comfort of the building was ensured by the replacement of an aging heating system with a new, efficient system in the summer of 2014.

Our friendly and vibrant community needed interior social and classroom spaces to match. Custom furniture allows flexible classrooms that reflect our UU identity and display our church school curriculum on Sundays, yet easily “flip” back to accommodate our preschool tenant after RE classes are done. Renovations to the social hall – completed with capital funding and volunteer labor – resulted in a bright, welcoming room, connected by double doors to a beautiful outdoor garden and terrace with a focal outdoor chalice.

FPW Memorial Garden designed by Karen SebastianThe Memorial Garden provides a space for both community celebration and commemoration of those who have gone before. A curvilinear granite wall provides space to engrave names of members and friends who have passed, reminding us of their legacies in our worship services, in building our church community, and in speaking out for environmental awareness. We want to remember their strong voices for social service and action, so that together we can always offer spiritual growth and community action to all who will enter what we hope will always be the open doors of our church community. The Memorial Garden was dedicated by Reverend Mark Harris and the community in May 2019.