Do you belong to UUCC? Do you belong at UUCC? Does UUCC belong to you?
After a year at the helm, it occurs to me that a sense of belonging underpins much of what we accomplish at UUCC. Engaged members make connections with each other, gain a sense of belonging, get emotionally vested, and then do great things.
It also occurs to me that the first step, engagement, isn’t a particularly strong suit for us. I recently interacted for the first time with a couple who have attended for four years. They said they “sort of” felt like they belonged, but that it seemed like many people their age were “cliquish.” They said it’s been hard to break into established circles of friends.
We do a pretty good job getting curious folks through the door on Sundays. In general, they like what they see and are impressed by the gambit of activity. We even do a decent job of chatting with them at coffee hour. But we don’t do enough to engage them. And, sometimes they slip away.
Barry Marsh could have slipped away. It would have been tragic if he had. He’s a great guy. I spent a few minutes with him, discovered that he worked in the same field as Steve Parr and that they shared a love of bird-watching. It took three minutes to introduce them to each other by email. I can’t claim credit for Barry’s continued presence, but I may have given him another reason to stay long enough to engage.
Fortunately, we have a well-staffed Engagement Committee. It has 450 members. Now we must get the committee to be a little more proactive.
Are you looking for a random act of kindness idea? Why not invite a newish person to do something with you? Lunch. Coffee. A walk. O’s game. Okay, an O’s game this season might not be kind…
We belong together.
We belong together at UUCC.