The Practice of Welcoming

Sunday morning is a busy time around here. I have witnessed the whirlwind that is Sunday morning as a congregant, a guest preacher and as the newly hired Minister of Congregational Life. The excitement of gathering is infectious: we are glad to see one another! But a word of warning: Don’t sidetrack our Greeters! They are hard at work.

Our Greeters are UUCWC’s frontline volunteers. Their jobs are important and take place in a period of about 20 minutes, start to finish. So, a few words about Greeters: if you know one of these wonderful folks, please say hello and move along to chatting with other people while they are working. The Greeters are charged with saying hello to everyone and especially welcoming visitors. (And if you have interest in becoming a Greeter, please let me know!! My email address is:

As we say in worship, attending a new church is a very brave act. Greeters help to ensure the experience is a positive one by sharing logistics. Examples include: the location of childcare, the importance of signing a Connection Card, where and when we have coffee hour, and how to find a restroom. Passing along all this information and more, takes place in the blink of an eye. Then, another visitor may be coming up the steps.

Being intentional about being welcoming is a practice that all of us can participate in. Becoming a welcoming congregation takes all of us. I’d like to ask for your help. In addition to not distracting the Greeters, please remember that new folks want to meet current members. Socialize with them at coffee hour. Sunday morning is a time to connect with church friends AND a time to meet new ones.

While we are on the subject, remember that visitors typically want to meet the ministers. Keep your own interactions with the ministers brief to allow time for this to happen.

The world is increasingly feeling like a chaotic place; UUCWC stands apart as a safe haven, committed to spiritual growth and renewal. Together, let us be clear about making our gathering space reflect our need for Sabbath time. Time apart. Modeling this intentionally requires us to limit discussions of “church business” on Sunday mornings. The rest of the week might be chock full of activity, but let us try to make Sunday morning time set apart.