Is This Your Home? Are We Your People?
By Conrado Marion-Landais, UUCA Board Member
One key function of the Board of Trustees is to listen to the congregation. To this end, the Board’s Congregational Life Committee has been holding “listening events” with invited congregants. One of the interesting discussion points that emerged during the two recent events is the theme of membership, belonging, and connection within the congregation. As representatives of the congregation, this theme is of great interest to us and the topic of frequent discussion. We want to make sure that the congregational budget and priorities are aligned with making the congregational experience at UUCA as meaningful and valuable as possible.
In the conversations during the listening events, several participants shared stories of how fellow congregants rallied to their aid in the face of significant personal crises.The support and care they felt made them realize that this was their home; that we are their people.
Not everyone, of course, shares this experience. This is a large and growing congregation, and there is always lots going on. Compared to a smaller congregation or fellowship, it is easier to feel lost or bypassed here. We heard stories of those who do not feel fully connected, who do not feel quite at home, and about long term members who have stopped coming and whose absence no one seemed to notice.
Where do you fall along this continuum?
During our listening events, many participants described a broadening and deepening of their sense of engagement and belonging as they got involved in one or more groups, activities, or volunteer opportunities at UUCA. One participant described how she selected an adult education class at random, just for the opportunity to meet and engage with new people.
If you do not yet feel at home here at UUCA, perhaps checking out the “Finding your Place” brochure may be a good place to start to change that. It is a rather comprehensive listing of the great variety of groups and activities that are available. Consider making a New Year’s resolution to reach and out try something new. Who knows where that might lead?