Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos
Verdes, CA, has experienced a 30% increase in membership in the last two years thanks to a renewed sense of mission and
direction, according to their minister, Rev. John Morehouse, who was called there in
With a vision to "Build a Radically Inclusive Community," the
congregation has finalized a multi-year strategic plan that calls for renewed outreach to people of color and the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender (BGLT)
community. Critical to the success of the church's growth has been the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Media Campaign, launched in the Fall of 2006. "The advertising brought them in the door and the
quality of our worship and the depth of the our community kept them" reports
Two new ministries have been launched under the church's rubric of "Setting Free the Ministry in
You": a renewed presence in the interfaith community and an Addiction and
Recovery Ministry. One of the most vital improvements to programming was the addition of a paid Director of Pastoral
Care to the staff. Rev. Teri Masters, a long time member and interfaith hospice chaplain, began working to develop a network of trained Lay Pastoral Associates
under Rev. Morehouse's supervision. With over half the congregation over 65, the church recognized the need to care
for its own even as it expanded out. The Director of Pastoral Care has now taken on the increased
responsibility of revitalizing the small groups in the church to further deepen
the connections of young and old.
"Our plan calls for another 30% increase
in membership in the next four years," said Rev. Morehouse. Over the long term, the church is considering a satellite congregation in nearby
San Pedro. "And with this combination of depth and breadth,
we will get there."
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.
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