by Alaine Davis

In the past few months, the Community & Engagement Ministry has been working on our main focus of helping our visitors, members and friends feel like WUUC is a place where they can grow spiritually, find a welcoming community, and find meaning through their contributions of time and talent. Here’s a snapshot of some of the things we have accomplished:

  • We are working on implementing a new online program, VolunteerSpot, that will be used to coordinate volunteer efforts throughout the church. For example, VolunteerSpot can let you know which Sundays are available for you to bring treats, what roles still need to be filled at the church Rummage Sale, and what type of food you can donate for Totes to Go. A monthly training will be available for those who would like instruction in how to use VolunteerSpot.
  • An engagement survey was sent via e-mail and received 70 responses. Our Engagement Coordinator, Karen Hyams, is looking at the collected data and considering how it can b used to inform our approach toward member engagement.
  • We have been discussing a potential reorganization of Membership and VEN (Volunteer Engagement & Nominating), with the intent of combining all the responsibilities that relate to connecting people to activities within the church in one committee (Membership & Engagement), and separating the nominating function of VEN into a separate group that meets much less frequently and has a single, clearly defined role.
  • Both VEN and Cares & Concerns are working on upgrading the way they keep track of historical data, to help preserve information when there is a change of leadership on the committee, to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our many volunteers, and to be more mindful about what people are asked to do (“Serve on the Board?! I’m already the chair of eighteen committees!”).
  • VEN is putting together a slate of nominees for the 2016-17 church year for the Board, Endowment Committee, and VEN itself.
  • Membership Committee continues to provide a welcoming presence for visitors on Sunday mornings, provide tours, and lead Pathways to Membership classes for those interested in becoming members of WUUC. Pathways is a series of three classes that must be completed and includes information on UU history, information about our principles, and plenty of opportunities for potential members to ask questions and find out more about our church.

The Community & Engagement Ministry includes the following Committees (Committee chairs in parentheses):

Volunteer Engagement & Nominating (Leslie Morton), Cares & Concerns (Justin Gertler), Membership (Lindsey Martin), Hospitality (Linda Sherry), Visual Arts (Marlene Katz). Also falling under this ministry are Men’s Group, Women’s Group, Circle Suppers, Buddhist Meditation, Buddhist 12-Step Study Group, Nonfiction Book Discussion, NAMI Support Group, Qigong, Golden Girls, etc.