by Ana DelCorazon, Membership Volunteer Coordinator
If you’ve been to church lately, you may have noticed some changes in the lobby. For example, the Greeter/Welcome Desk has been moved from the left to the right-hand side of the doors, angled off the nursery. The Food Ministry basket and announcement sign is also right there next to the Welcome Desk. The name tags are now stored under the screen. We hope that these changes will help with a number of things – opening up the space to allow for better flow, setting up a clear path to welcome and greet newcomers, and creating a safer space that doesn’t clog the entrance of the church. The lobby is a big part of how people experience UUCWC. Becoming more open and welcoming, in our spaces as well as our systems, will involve doing some things differently than we’ve always done them before. I’m hoping this is the start of some welcome changes, not only to the lobby, but throughout the building and within the congregation.
So who am I? If you weren’t at the Annual Meeting in June, or can’t remember that far back, Rev. Kim introduced a new lay leadership (volunteer) position at the church called Membership Volunteer Coordinator. I agreed to serve in this new position, which will oversee the coordination, communication and system health of Membership, Community Building, Nominating, and Adult Religious Education. In light of the recent growth in membership, this position is being formed in an attempt to build connection and grow leadership throughout the congregation.
As part of my new volunteer position, I am thinking about how people experience UUCWC, everything from the people and the processes, to the service and the actual physical space they enter. Do you remember the first time you stepped into our doors? Do you remember who talked to you? How did you learn about something happening at the church that interested you? How did you meet, get to know, and develop relationships with new and longtime members? These are some of the things I am exploring and hoping to make easy and more transparent as our community continues to grow.
The fact is we are a growing congregation. As of the last annual meeting, our current membership reflects a diverse group of 290 signed and pledged members and 32 friends. These numbers don’t include our children and youth. It is becoming more difficult for every member to know all members in the same ways as before! We aren’t a place where everyone knows everyone else, but we still want to feel that way. So we need to find ways to widen the circle and intentionally invite people into our beloved community, and help them stay and grow.
For us to remain a growing community, we need to open up in ways we might not have imagined. For example, we currently only have four neighborhood potlucks that cover only a fraction of our congregation. To create a place for everyone, we need to double the number of neighborhood potlucks, as well as include potlucks that are appropriate for families with children. By the way, if you are interested in coordinating a neighborhood potluck, please feel free to contact me. We are looking for more coordinators!
I’m excited about the changes we have in store this year, and I’d love to hear more from you about the questions posed here, or how you think we can broaden our beloved circle and community. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop me at coffee hour. Let’s grow together!