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Welcoming in the Age of Social Media
As recently as five or ten years ago, visitors to our congregations showed up full of questions—and brought with them some apprehensions about what Unitarian Universalism might be.
Times have changed. Thanks to the Internet and social media, today’s Sunday guests have a pretty good idea of what they’re getting into by the time they make their first in-person visit.
Peter Bowden, a Unitarian Universalist media consultant who often gives workshops on the relationship of changing culture and social media to ministry, wants congregations to adjust their thinking when it comes to welcoming. Read more.
Emerging Congregations Offer Hope for Growth
It’s no secret that the Unitarian Universalist Association hasn't been growing. In the past decade membership numbers have fluctuated from barely perceptible growth to losses of just under 1 percent.
As a result there’s been lots of conversation about how to grow Unitarian Universalism. One of the most recent discussions was in October when the Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, the UUA’s program and strategy officer, updated the UUA Board of Trustees on the Association’s growth and prospects for growth. She shared with the board one positive note about growth: that across the country there are more than 50 “emerging” UU congregations.
A congregation is “emerging” when it is relatively new and does not yet have enough members to allow it to apply for UUA membership. A congregation must have 30 members to become a UUA-certified congregation. Read more.
Getting the Most From Your Congregation’s Facebook Page
For individuals, Facebook is a pleasant way to pass some time and keep in touch with friends. For congregations, it can be much more.
Rachel Walden, the Unitarian Universalist Association's communications specialist, works to help congregations use social media as effectively as possible. Many congregations underuse Facebook, she believes. She finds that the majority of congregations use Facebook to communicate with people who are already connected to the congregation—informing them about Sunday services, events during the week, the progress of renovations, and social justice projects. There is much less content aimed at reaching people beyond the congregation's walls.
“For most congregations, Facebook still serves many of the same purposes as a newsletter,” she notes. “What I'd like to see is more congregations use it to also reach out to non-UUs, to newcomers, to show them what Unitarian Universalism is about.” Read more.
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Do you have a story idea, comment, or question? Call InterConnections editor Don Skinner at (800) 204-2523 or send him an email: interconnections @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Monday, April 14, 2014.
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