How We Communicate

Written by Laurie Coltri.

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UUCC is a big tent.  We range in age from young babies to centenarians, and hail from a wide range of regions, cultures, ethnicities and religious backgrounds.

Communication in a big, diverse community like UUCC can be challenging, so we strive to be clear, easy-to-understand, and consistent.  In that spirit, here is a run-down of how we communicate.

Getting & Staying Informed

UUCC members and friends communicate in a wide variety of ways, and navigating your way through them can initially be a challenge.  Here are some guidelines about how to find who and what you're looking for.

Contacting staff & leadership

Staff – use the email addresses listed at http://uucolumbia.net/about-us/our-staff.html.
Leadership – look for leadership groups and individuals at http://uucolumbia.net/leadership.html.  The pages of individual leadership groups contain contact links.
Can’t locate or contact a staff person or a leader?  Call UUCC at (410) 381-0097, or fill out the contact form at http://uucolumbia.net/about-us/contact-us.html.

Connecting with others in the congregation

Coffee hour time is prime conversation time.  Coffee hour is between the first and second service (approximately 10:15-11:00am), and after services in the summer.

We also have conversations on our congregational blog, Voices of UUCC, at http://usm9.siteground.biz/~uucolumb/voices/.  For more information about Voices of UUCC, see this page: http://uucolumbia.net/voices-of-uucc-info.

Reflection Groups are a way to connect deeply with people about the big questions, including spiritual ones, and to form close bonds with others. Information about Reflection Groups: http://uucolumbia.net/finding-fellowship/ongoing-groups-and-activities/i-a-u.html

The Groups Glossary (http://uucolumbia.net/groups) is a list of groups you can join or connect with.  And of course, there are numerous events and activities posted on our congregational calendar (http://uucolumbia.net/upcoming-events.html) where you can meet and chat.  Whatever your interest, you’ll find like-minded people through this resource.

Another popular way of making new friends and connections is at Auction events, which are often the centerpiece of families’ social calendars.  For more information, consult our Auction website, https://uucolumbiaauction.wordpress.com/.

Connecting On UUCC Social Media

There are four congregation-wide social media platforms:

There are a number of other Facebook groups and blogs maintained by groups within UUCC.  More information, including contact information, is available at http://uucolumbia.net/groups/180-social-media.html.

Finding out about meetings

Meetings of leadership and other groups which are open to congregants are posted on the congregational calendar (events listing view: http://uucolumbia.net/upcoming-events.html and monthly view: http://uucolumbia.net/calendar.html).  Many groups (http://uucolumbia.net/groups) also maintain email groups where announcements about meetings are posted.

Finding out about UUCC events & activities

UUCC-sponsored and supported events and activities are posted on the congregational calendar.

Two exceptions:

Auction events are posted on their own calendar at https://uucolumbiaauction.wordpress.com/catalog/uucc-annual-auction-calendar-of-events/.

Black Lives Matter local events, even those co-sponsored by UUCC groups, are posted on their own calendar at https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=oct1obfmcbc4rduc9pu4c15jn0%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York.  UUCC-sponsored Black Lives Matter events are also posted on the congregational calendar.

Events and activities (including events external to UUCC, but of interest to congregants) may also be announced …

  • From the pulpit during worship service announcements;
  • In Orders of Service (Bulletins); and
  • In our newsletter, the Link (see “Getting news about UUCC”).

Events may also be announced unofficially in our congregational Yahoo group, on UUCC-related Facebookpages, and in other social media locations.  (Look for information about these groups on the Groups Glossary, http://uucolumbia.net/groups.)

Don’t see what you’re looking for on the congregational calendar?  You may want to call the office, 410-381-0097, or consult the Groups Glossary(http://uucolumbia.net/groups) to find an appropriate person to contact.

Getting information about a UUCC group

The Groups Glossary, http://uucolumbia.net/groups, has information about UUCC’s groups and activities, and each listing contains contact information.

If you find that any information on the glossary is out of date or inaccurate, contact the listed coordinator or leader of the group.  If coordinator/leader information is missing or inaccurate, please contact Colette Gelwicks at colette.weihrauch@gmail.com.

Getting news about UUCC.

News of interest to the congregation is posted in UUCC’s digital Newsletter, the Link.

  • You can read the Link online at http://uucolumbia.net/the-link-4.html.
  • If you have given your contact information to the UUCC office, you should be receiving the Link via email at least once a week.  If you’re not receiving it, contact Kelly Lundgren at admin@uucolumbia.net.
  • Did you know that UUCC also has a press page?  It’s located on our website at http://uucolumbia.net/press.html.  (Do you know of an item in the media that you think ought to go on the press page?  Contact Maureen Harris, Executive Director.)

Offering feedback about UUCC

Obtaining your personal records, such as records of your donations

If you need to update your contact information, get details about your pledge payments, or share a change in your family composition (new baby, divorce, etc.) please contact Kelly Lundgren at admin@uucolumbia.net or 410-381-0097.

Seeking Pastoral Care

At UUCC, pastoral care is provided by ordained clergy and by volunteer laity.

Members of the congregation may call on one of the ministers for pastoral counseling in times of crisis, discernment, grief, or whenever the perspective of a professional minister would be helpful:

Additionally, the Karuna Ministry is a lay team of trained pastoral caregivers who are available as listeners in times of transition, sorrow, illness, grief, celebration, or joy. If you would like to speak to a Karuna caregiver, contact the Steering Committee at karuna@uucolumbia.net or call 410-381-0097.

Communicating with UUCC's Community & Beyond

UUCC is a big place with lots going on.  It's important to both make it easy for folks within UUCC to stay engaged, and to let folks outside UUCC know when we're having events that they may want to attend.

Event Planning
: UUCC is moving to a more organized and full use of its congregational calendar.  The goal is to make it as clear and simple as possible for congregants to get information about what is happening in the congregation using one centralized location.  As UUCC grows, with more and more going on and more and more diverse groups and activities, it is increasingly important to have this central resource.  We can also keep folks conscious of what others outside their own social circle are doing, which fights insularity and promotes empathic relationships.  So this effort is directly connected to our overall purpose and our UU principles.

Publicity and Outreach: We've gathered some information to help you get the word out, to folks both within and outside UUCC, to extend the reach of our congregation as well as the Unitarian Universalist movement.

Having a meeting?

If it could possibly be of interest to persons outside of your group, the meeting belongs on the congregational calendar.  See "Posting and Publicizing an Event to the UUCC Community," below, for how to get your meeting on the calendar.

Are you the coordinator or contact person for a group at UUCC?

UUCC has a groups glossary at http://uucolumbia.net/groups.  Please review your group’s listing periodically, at least twice per year.  An easy way to take care of this task is to use the group update form, http://uucolumbia.net/group-update. It will show you the content of the current listing, and give you spaces to enter your modifications.  It also allows you to upload images to display on your group listing.

If you have a new group or your group is not in the glossary, contact Colette Gelwicks at colette.weihrauch@gmail.com.>

Posting and Publicizing an Event to the UUCC Community

All UUCC-sponsored or supported activities belong on the congregational calendar.  Note: If you or your group are working with a group external to UUCC on an event or activity which is supported financially, or otherwise, by UUCC, it also goes on the congregational calendar.

You should also post events and activities in the Link, and may post them on social media, on calendars maintained by UUCC members for UUCC groups and in announcements from the pulpit and in the Order of Service (Bulletin).

Ø   How:  Use the form at http://uucolumbia.net/announcement-calendar-request to request a room and to ask for calendar listings, pulpit announcements, Order of Service announcements, and Link articles. All event listings, articles, and announcements are now handled using a single form, and no special computer skills are needed.  (If you normally post Link articles yourself, you can still do so.)

  • Begin by requesting a room, if necessary.  Make your request as soon as possible – reserving a room takes time.
  • Once you have a firm date and time for the event, open the form again, and request that your event or activity be posted on the congregational calendar.  Do this even if the only information you have is “Save the Date.”
  • As the details of your event become clear, modify the calendar listing by using the form to request an update.
  • Request pulpit and Order of Service announcements by 10am the Wednesday before the Sunday when you want the announcement to appear.  Pulpit announcements will be made at the discretion of the UUCC staff, depending upon other requests and time available in worship.
  • 72 hours lead time is required for publication of Link articles.

It is important to make the calendar listing informative and interesting.  This is the primary location of your event announcement.  Think of it as an opportunity to “sell” your event or activity to those you want to attend. Include an image if you can find a suitable one you have permission to post.

Help congregants to remember and attend your event or activity by requesting that it be announced from the pulpit, in the Order of Service, and in a LINK article.  When you post articles about your event in the Link, you can include additional interesting facts and other elements to draw readers in, and persuade them to attend.

Publicizing a UUCC Event Beyond the UUCC Community

Our Publicity Guide lists many external publicity resources, and how to use them.

Download/View the Publicity Guide at https://goo.gl/nV0S6S

Contact the Communication Council

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  • For questions, comments, and suggestions about UUCC communication ...
  • To report inaccuracies, broken links, etc. in this webpage ...
  • To suggest additional information for this How We Communicate guide ...

... Please contact the UUCC Communication Council using this contact form: http://uucolumbia.net/index.php?option=com_rsform&view=rsform&formId=108

The Communication Council thanks you!  

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