Our move from 25 Beacon to 24 Farnsworth in Boston is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of our Association and our movement. The new offices will allow us to better serve our congregations and to lift our shared moral values in the world.
The move is also an important means by which we can steward our resources. I’ve asked Tim Brennan, UUA Treasurer/CFO, to share some of his thoughts on the importance of stewardship to the future of our UU movement.
As always, thank you for your encouragement and your gifts of time, talent, and treasure.
25 Beacon Street in Boston, Massachusetts, has been the headquarters of the Unitarians and then the Unitarian Universalists since 1927. The building is part of our legacy, bequeathed to us by our ancestors. Our predecessors entrusted us with these resources in the full confidence that we would make wise decisions about their maintenance and their use. Over the past decades, we have maintained 25 Beacon, purchased and refurbished other buildings on Beacon Hill, increased our financial endowment, and used these buildings to serve our congregations and our movement.
But much has changed since 1927. The UUA’s board of trustees and administration have come to realize that keeping these buildings intact, as they are, is no longer the best way to steward our legacy. The sale of the buildings on Beacon Hill will convert a portion of our inheritance from real estate to cash. We are acting now because this is the most advantageous time to do so; as with our other assets, we want to be careful to deal with them wisely, with an eye to the economy and our future.
The fact that we are able to establish a new headquarters for considerably less than the sale of the property means these funds, this addition to our financial endowment, are significant. But the important thing is that the property on Beacon Hill has always been part of endowment in the larger sense of that word, an ancestral legacy just now converted to cash available for investment. Our real estate inheritance can now provide more income for the Association and ensure that our core mission is supported into the future.
This is a once-in-a-generation occasion to look back at the work we have accomplished in 25 Beacon and look forward to the possibilities for the future of our faith, with the support of thousands of our UU donors and friends.
Today we closed on the sale of three of our Beacon Hill properties. Our UUA board has designated a specific portion of those funds be put towards the purchase and improvement of our new space at 24 Farnsworth. The balance of the funds will be put into the Common Endowment with only the earnings used in our operating budget. This will allow us to provide for the future of our Association and our congregations while also moving us into our new faith home.
The prospect of a new building has driven much innovation at your UUA. We will continue to support current programming while creating new initiatives to help Unitarian Universalism grow and thrive. And your support is still critical to this work. With your help, we can provide for our future and our present.
Thank you for all you do for Unitarian Universalism.