by Pam Shadzik, Co-chair, Congregational Engagement
Congregational Engagement (CE) has continued the work of reimagining ways that our congregants can be involved in UUCWC in ways that nourish them and support our mission.
To that end, we sponsored a gathering in September where we partnered with Racial Justice Ministry and Right Relations to discuss how we reconnect and reshape our beloved community as we re-envision church. Over forty participants joined the multi-platform conversation about what it means to be a covenantal community: how we live into the covenant in all we do, how we nourish those who do the “work” of the church, and how we integrate the 8th Principle into our work. Participants reflected that the gathering left them feeling connected and energized as well as recommitted to living the covenant and using the 8th Principle lens.
CE also continues to consider new ways to support UUCWC leaders in thinking creatively about how their committees/ministries function and nourish their participants. Our surveys have indicated that people are looking for participation that is part of their spiritual journey: for connection, for limited defined tasks (rather than ongoing commitment), for sense of feeling needed, and a safe place to learn and practice new skills. In light of this, we’ll be participating in the November Council meeting to support congregational leaders in thinking about opportunities for engagement in their groups.
Specifically, we are encouraging leaders to think about:
• how new participants might get a feel for a committee/ministry
• whether there are different roles or skill sets needed that may not be obvious to someone not familiar with a committee
• how groups are welcoming new ideas while honoring old traditions
• some challenges in the committee/ministry
• ways people can participate in short term tasks or behind the scenes; and
• the role of the covenant in the committee/ministry.
We will be posting these opportunities on a board in the church building, and plan to recreate this online as well.
We are also continuing to gather information from surveys completed by individual congregants as to their interests, styles and availability. As this database grows, we will use it as a resource for individual committees. If you haven’t filled out the survey, please take a few minutes to do so here.