Many years ago, I was chatting with a couple of church members after a getting-to-know- you conversation with someone who was new to the congregation. As we talked about how we would know that someone had become part of our community, I said that I watched for those who without being asked started to help put tables away after a pot luck, or who collected up the dishes, or who made sure that hymnals were put away after service. When people feel some ownership of a community, they begin to contribute. They’re no longer guests or tourists. They’re a part of the community.
Something similar happened to me when I was working as a community minister on the north side of Chicago. I went to the church that was nearest to me – Second Unitarian Universalist Church – and at the end of the service I sought out one of the leaders of the congregation and asked for a pledge form.
She sputtered a bit and finally said, “This is your first service here, and you won’t be able to join until you’ve been here for two more services and take the membership class,” she told me. “I know,” I replied, “but I want to go ahead and get my pledge to the church out of the way. I mean, I know I’m going to sign the book, but that’s not the point of my pledge. I just want to support the church.” Bewildered, she wandered away and came back with a pledge form and the membership book. She had figured out some of the math differently and decided along with the minister that I could go ahead and sign the book.
As we are coming back together we’re starting to figure out the tasks that are needed in these new circumstances. One is to join our administrator, Libby, in welcoming people into the church on Sunday mornings. Would you be willing to show up early one Sunday a month to greet people as they arrive and especially to help orient newcomers? By that I mean, point out the children’s corner if there are children with the adults, let them know about the candles of joys and sorrows, give them a warm hello.
We’re in the process of remaking our Sunday morning routines that will continue to evolve as we keep discovering that the new normal looks like. We need those of you who can to come along and join in the task of welcoming each other on Sundays. Let me know at email@example.com if you’re willing!
The Article II Commission has invited individuals to respond to their survey that can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYfdvPAnUGHU60U5UZ4AHB5m9IXTG0t9kVAiyfYGcQ0A238w/viewform – Survey will remain open until April 30, 2022.
Also, the Commission is having Open House conversations via Zoom. Despite how it appears at first, there are two opportunities to take part in May. You find the information here: https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission/blog/get-involved
Sunday, May 1
Join us this Sunday online or in-person for our worship service, “A Quarter Turn from God.” Remember to register online if you plan to join us in person, and we’ll look forward to you being part of our worship service this Sunday, May 1 whatever way you join us.
Blessings on you all!
Rev. Dr. Linda A. Hart