Pledge Drive Update . Incentive Announcement(!) and Learn About FUUSN: Spotlight Building and Grounds

Pledge Drive Update, Incentive Announcement(!) and Learn About FUUSN:  Spotlight Building and Grounds

Pledge Status:   40 Pledgers have pledged a total of $190,597 – A massive thank you to these first pledgers.  

We are already 31% to our (minimum) goal of $615K!

Make your Pledge Count for More- Incentive Program starts now!

Help FUUSN get another $8,000 by pledging now!  Eight anonymous donors will donate up to a total of $8,000 for an incentive program to get pledges in on time.  The donors are doing this because:

  • This is a really important year for FUUSN to meet the pledge goal to help attract a new minister, and they hoped it would inspire others to give promptly and generously. 
  • To show their commitment to the permanence of this community amidst the challenges returning from COVID and changes in key leadership positions.
  • This is a symbolic gesture of thanks for those who respond promptly when contacted by an annual pledge drive steward.

The way it works:

For every pledge of $100 or more returned by the dates shown below (or increase an existing pledge more than $100), the donors will unlock the following incentive to FUUSN:

  • $75 if pledged from now through midnight on Sunday, April 2*
  • $50 if pledged between Monday, April 3 and Sunday, April 18*

*While funds last.

NOTE:  If the full $8000 is not claimed by the date pledge cards are officially due, it will be forfeited!

Make your pledge count for more!  Pledge today at 2023 Annual Pledge Drive – First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton (

Please reach out to if you have any difficulty with the online forms.

Upcoming Budget Drive Events

Friday, March 17: 

  • Pledge Party:  6 – 8p      St Patrick’s day dinner @ Rohan (FULL)

Saturday, March 18

  • Pledge Party:  12 – 1p    Lunch @ Bottar/Buonagurio (FULL)
  • Pledge Party:  5 – 6p      Virtual cocktail/mocktail hour via zoom with Gill/Lerner

Saturday, March 25

  • Building Tour: 3 – 4p      @ FUUSN hosted by Smalley/Farnsworth
  • Pledge Party:  4 – 6p       @ FUUSN drinks (beer/wine) and plant based apps with Huston/Dundon

Link to fill out Community Engagement survey, Pledge, or sign up for Pledge Parties: Contact if you have any questions.

Learn about FUUSN!  Today’s spotlight:  Building and Grounds! 

It has always been OUR building.  Some say FUUSN’s  building reminds them of an Episcopal church (!), but actually it was built by our congregation.  Dedicated in 1906, the congregation’s choice of design is far from that of a traditional New England Unitarian meetinghouse, but it reflects the architectural style then in vogue.  Today as Chair of Buildings and Grounds, Laurel Farnsworth works to care for the building to serve our purposes now, and to ensure that the building will be around for many more years.


Our building from Washington Street                 Our grounds crew in action!

Do you know the exterior building materials? “Weymouth seam-face granite with trimmings of Indiana limestone” according to an article in the Neton Graphic.  The sections housing the Parish Hall, office wing, original kitchen and Banquet hall (now we call the Banquet Hall “Headstart Room”) were built of brick and half-timbering, distinguishing them from the Sanctuary and six-story bell tower. 

Parish Hall                                                           Overhead light in Sanctuary

 Highland Street side of the building                                                 New side garden

Do you know why the layout so often requires people to walk through the kitchen? The original building included an interior courtyard.  In 1954 the Society built a substantial addition that filled in the courtyard with classrooms, a children’s chapel, and a new kitchen.

Whether you consider our building beautiful,  spiritually uplifting with great sound for music, or too full of religious artifacts and icons for your liking, it is the building we own.  The building and grounds account for 29% of our total expenditures, although building rental brings in 12% of our income.  As pledges account for 66% of our annual budget, 26¢ of each dollar you pledge supports the building and grounds.  

Roof leaks and broken windows… Maintenance is never-ending!

The Building and Grounds committee plans to get back to pre-pandemic level of routine maintenance and improve the safety of the building in the near term, and has a vision for improvements that would enable the building to make a much larger contribution to income through building rental.  The proposed parking lot expansion would make a major difference in accessibility for our congregants and make our space more rentable.

Come take a building tour and learn more about FUUSN’s building, history, and the vision for the future. Stay and join a pledge party at FUUSN immediately following!  

Date: Saturday March 25

Building Tour:  3pm at FUUSN with Laurel Farnsworth, Chair of Building & Grounds and

   Gayle Smalley, Chair of Preservation Committee

Pledge Party:    4pm at FUUSN hosted by Julia Huston and John Dundon

Reserve your spot at both by signing up for the Pledge Party here: 

Sign Up Results (

None of this great work by the Building and Grounds committee happens without your time, talent and treasure!   Fill out the Community Engagement Survey, Pledge and sign up for Pledge Parties here:   2023 Annual Pledge Drive – First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton (