Rev. Leland’s Weekly Message for Nov. 8, 2019

November 8th, 2019

Minister’s Message: How to Grow Our Church and Share Our Mission

Many of us are working together to raise the voice and participation of our church in the larger community. We have great faith, a great congregation, and great faith to share, and we are creating new ways to share it all. We hope you will to join the effort, one way or another. There are many ways to participate—look for updates in this column, on the website, in the Unichord, on Facebook, in church, in workshops, and more.I’d love to know—Are you using or visiting any of these:

  • Our website (uuce.org);
  • Unichord Newsletter;
  • Facebook.com/uucelgin (public page);
  • Twitter.com/uucelgin;
  • Facebook UUCE Bulletin Board (private page); and/or the
  • UUCE email bulletin board (bb@uuce.org)
  • Instagram (should have been included)
  • Looking at Our Church with New Eyes

Let’s walk around the building and grounds for the next few months with an eye to what needs fixing or improving, or beautifying. Each room needs something. At Worship Team meeting Wednesday we thought about what the Sanctuary space needs. Removing the hymnals was the first step in this round of making that important room more attractive. We thought of bringing in symbols of other religious faiths. Or, someone asked, shouldn’t those be something that is on view at the entrance vestibule that already has sample of liberal religious thought? We thought about where symbols of social justice might be arranged, symbols that remind us of our values: something referring to BGLT empowerment, and the valuing of Black Lives, and Democracy, and protection of our environment.We want to make our interior as beautiful as possible too, and so we hope some of you will be interested in selecting paintings, drawings, sculpture, fabric arts, and ceramics to appear for a while, and be replaced by new beautiful things, in the same way that new photos and reports of activities keep our website and Facebook, Twitter, etc presences not static, but ever-changing over the months.

Are we (our church) as attractive as we can be for people looking for a place for a wedding, to rent, to meet?

What Are Your Thoughts?

Before our community outreach and social media begin to work, we need to:

  • Prepare our building and grounds for potential new members;
  • Form a group of us who know everybody so that we recognize visitors;
  • Create a small team of trained greeters, so that newcomers are
  • welcomed, given refreshments, and perhaps taken a place where they can have a conversation while viewing the congregants busy having fun after service;
  • Hold a 30-minute workshop on how to overcome our hesitation to introduce ourselves to strangers;
  • Recruit a cadre of 3-4 who are willing to show visitors the grounds, especially the Labyrinth.

An Example of the New Creative Energy

After Wednesday’s Worship Team meeting, after talking about the aesthetics of the Sanctuary, and what to do with the huge gift singing bowl that we can’t make sing,
Dave Yeager said, “I want to see that singing bowl.”
Five minutes later, our singing bowl SANG!Please call, email, or visit me with your thoughts on any of this, so that we can work together to grow.— Rev. Leland