November 1, 2004
A package of two classes to be offered before religious services on Sunday morning or at a brunch after church, or at an evening session. The first session focuses on information about the denomination, the second on an individual congregation. Newcomers should be encouraged to attend both. These sessions could easily be expanded to two hours. The 28-minute video, An Heretical History, is shown during the first session. It is available for $25 from the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church, Rockford, IL or phone (815) 398-6322.
Many of the documents which are given to visitors/prospective members at these sessions can be found elsewhere in this online collection of membership information.
A ninety minute introduction to the denomination, focusing on history, theology, and beliefs.
Held in a comfortable room where coffee service can be made available.
Packets for each visitor/prospective member:
Tables arranged in L for participants, food table.
Welcome visitors. Explain that participants are free to get up for coffee, etc., during the presentation. Presenters introduce themselves and talk briefly about why they became UUs. Go around the room, asking participants to introduce themselves, talk about their previous religious affiliations and why they're interested in UU, and, if they wish to, offer a question about Unitarian Universalism they'd like answered during the session. Presenters explain what will be covered in this session. Announce that our other introductory session, Welcome to Our Congregation, which will focus more on the church itself, will be presented on _______________(date). Announce that a New Member Ceremony will be _____________(date).
The Seven Principles
If you become part of our community whether becoming a member or not, you will be asked to do three things:
Answer any final questions. If there are any you can't answer, tell them you'll find the answers for them. Thank all for coming. Invite them to attend the second session for newcomers, which focuses on the local congregation, rather than the denomination. Give the date. It will cover material that is mostly different, including opportunities to learn and grow spiritually as a friend or member of this faith community.
Packets for each prospective member:
Tables and chairs arranged in L for participants. Separate food table .
Introduce self and other program workers. Explain that this program is to provide visitors and prospective members an opportunity to learn more about each other and the congregation, including its history, what it has to offer they, what they have to offer it. Ask participants to go around the table and share briefly where they came from (geographically as well as religiously) and what brought each to this congregation. (Do this briefly since it was done more in depth at the first session and ideally the participants attended it also.)
(Minister And DRE)
Religious Education Director's Presentation
Explanation of childrens' religious education, including course material, how classes are divided, Coming of Age, teen programs, child safety policies, summer programs, etc. Lifespan Education: Provided through evening or Sunday morning multi-week courses. topics developed to suit a range of experiences and interests that vary from year to year. Courses which are especially suited for newcomers are: A Chosen Faith, UU History, and Build Your Own Theology.
Show Video of Congregational Life
(Note: If you have the ability to make a video of reasonable quality of congregational events throughout the year it's a great way to show, as well as tell, what your congregation does.)
Review materials in packet. Tell participants about websites (Congregation's and UUA's). Minister or Membership Chair always available to answer questions.
What Do You Get Out of this Church?
What Do You Give to this Community
If you become part of our community whether becoming a member or not, you will be asked to contribute time and money to support it. We ask that each person do three things:
How to Join this Congregation
Answer any final questions. Thank attendees for coming. If they have not done so, invite them to attend the other orientation session: "Welcome to UU" for more information on Unitarian Universalism.
For more information contact interconnections @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
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Last updated on Sunday, December 22, 2013.
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