Our Belongings

Our Belongings

My People,

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.

Yep.

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.
We belong together.
We belong together at UUCC.

In community,
-Frank Hazzard
President

9 Comments

  1. Stuart TenHoor

    Frank thanks for pointing that out. Was the count of 450 on the Engagement Committee a recitation of how many members we have at UUCC or is it an actual standing Committee? If so, I’ve never heard of it or seen any info on who comprises its membership.

    • Frank Hazzard (Author)

      It was meant to be subtle humor. A playful way of saying we are all on the committee (which doesn’t formally exist). Perhaps I was too subtle for the first time in my life. 🙂

  2. Phyllis Cook

    Thanks for sharing and giving us some ideas. I would be happy to be in touch but would need some names and phone numbers.

  3. Sara K. Rubloff

    Good thoughts that need to be revisited often. Each of us is ‘on the committee’ and need to do our work, even times when we feel we are hoping the committee reaches out to us.

    • Frank Hazzard (Author)

      Bingo! This isn’t a spectator sport. Sometimes it’s not easy to initiate an engagement, but when I engage with someone I, too, become engaged. It sometimes helps me to remember that when I’m reaching out, it’s to a fellow committee member, not a stranger!

  4. Elaine Pardoe

    Yea, Frank! That was my thought when the news about the pledge decrease came out. I think, since we’ve needed a nudge about this in the first place, that we may need an Engagement Sub-Committee to invite, entice, browbeat us into being more “engaging,” and to help us design and put into practice ways of doing that.

  5. Barry D. Marsh

    Now that Frank has called me out, I want my church family to know that I have indeed found a spiritual home at UUCC. I’m a longtime UU who had been a member of three UU churches before I started attending services at UUCC several years ago. I left another UU congregation much closer to home to join UUCC, largely because this congregation seems a much better fit for me. I look forward to meeting more of you as we continue to walk our path in life.

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