A few weeks ago I preached on “The State of the State” – or, The State of the Congregation, really. I shared how in just two and a half years we’ve welcomed 61 new members to the congregation; in the last five years, a total of 88. That means that one third of the congregation joined since our longest serving minister retired; one third of the congregation is still learning the history, story, and the possibility of UUCWC.
That learning stage hasn’t stopped the rate of change in the congregation, though. Our newest folks are entering into leadership in big and important ways: co-chairing our Pastoral Care Team; serving on the Strategic Visioning Task Force and Children’s RE Committee; Membership Ministry, helping with Building, Finance, and the like. They have leaned into participation in tremendous ways.
With the growth we have seen, (and not just in numbers, but growth in participation from long term and new members), we are also in need of new – or more – leaders in certain areas of the congregation. As Nominating gears up for the Annual Meeting looking at the work and function of committees, I will be doing the same for the work and function of the ministries. Here are just a few areas of congregational life that are looking for more hands, hearts, and big ideas:
Membership Ministry: Membership’s primary role is to Welcome visitors and new comers into congregational life, the path to membership, and the initial getting-to-know-you stage. We host Talk and Tours, Roots and Wings, and make sure folks are getting connected to Neighborhood Potlucks and others in the congregation so they can make the best decision regarding Membership. We’ve yet been able to mark and celebrate Membership anniversaries the way we’d like to; pair folks up with longer term members for points of connection; and many other “connective tissue” opportunities that would require a larger Ministry Team.
Pastoral Care Ministry: Did you know there were once two teams of folks who took on the different kinds of caring in the congregation? The Caring Committee did the work of meals, rides, hosting memorial services and the like. The Pastoral Associates did the work of companioning and deep listening. These ministries are now one and called the Pastoral Care Team (Ministry). We understand that some folks feel more comfortable offering a meal or organizing assistance; and others more comfortable staying out of the kitchen and would rather offer their ability to ask deep questions.
Building and Grounds: We often couple these committees but in truth Building is one, and Grounds is another. You’d imagine that with all the work that goes into maintaining (and improving) our facility these would each be robust committees – when in truth, both are chaired by one person and that one person (Andy Kidd and Kathleen Konopka, respectively) do much of the work needed. Both of these committees would do well with a larger team. As spring approaches we will see this clearly from bathroom renovations to our garden maintenance.
This is not a limited area of need, invitation, or potential involvement. From Finance and Fundraising to Adult Religious Education to Food Ministry (and so much more), this is a place in which you can try on that quiet but persistent passion that hasn’t been given much attention; to give back to your congregational community with the skills you have but in a different environment; to lean into your growing edge in a safe and welcoming community. Remember: now is the time to Commit to Community, Live from Faith, and Serve (in small or big ways). You are invited!