When we think of church membership, we often think in terms of numbers. Yet membership in Unitarian Universalist congregations is as much about quality as it is about quantity. Our Unitarian Universalist congregations exist because of our free choice as members to gather into covenantal relationship with each other.
Of course, growth does bring change, and change brings awkward feelings and moments that cannot and should not be denied. We hope these feelings can be discussed in open and honest conversations that also point out the gifts and opportunities that come with additional members.
28 Ways That YOU Can Practice an Outward Orientation
—Art Brewer, First Unitarian Congregation, Toronto, Canada
- Bring someone to a Sunday service.
- Talk with someone you don’t know during coffee hour.
- Wear your name tag at every Sunday service.
- Tell return visitors that you’re glad they came back.
- Intentionally sit beside a visitor at a Sunday service.
- Put a UU decal on your car or home window.
- Wear UU jewelry and clothing.
- Use a UU coffee mug at work.
- Practice your response to the question, “What is Unitarian Universalism?”
- Write an article for a local newspaper about a church project in which you’re involved.
- Host a party to which you invite both members and nonmembers.
- Participate in a community event that reflects UU principles (for example, a gay pride parade).
- Link your favorite social justice cause to the congregation.
- Invite a nonmember to a service, small group, or adult program within your congregation.
- Tell a nonmember about an adult program.
- Talk to nonmembers about your church.
- Buy a copy of a UU sermon you liked, and give it to a nonmember.
- Display our “7 Principles” at home or work.
- Carry a “7 Principles” card, and give it to people when they ask about Unitarian Universalism.
- Promote your congregation’s rental space to individuals and groups you know.
- Visit other UU congregations.
- Give a copy of the magazine UU World or another UU publication to a nonmember.
- Attend a UU church when you’re on vacation.
- Attend a cluster or district meeting.
- Attend the UUA General Assembly in June.
- If you subscribe to an e-mail list or an e-group, send a posting that identifies an upcoming sermon or event at church that would be of interest to other subscribers.
- Let nonmembers know about the wonderful religious education programs you have for children and adults.
- Tell someone about a provocative thought you heard at church.
Your Membership Team at All Souls is comprised of members and friends of the church who help with strategic planning to increase our membership. They help to make sure that the folks that are visitors, friends and members of All Souls are connected to the people and activities here and we do our best to warmly greet everyone on Sunday mornings as they arrive for the Sunday service. They include Mercedes Carroll, Bev Evans, Margi Heckley, Diane Kennedy, John Murphy, Judy Murphy, Fern Page, and Bruce Russell – Jayne. Marty Pearlman, Susan Vinicor and Karen Downing have also greatly contributed to the Membership Team over the past year.
Please reach out to any of us to ask questions about joining us as we welcome those that attend our church home on a Sunday morning and make space for those we have yet to meet. Thank you!
– Allison Zafiratos