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Faith In Action: Distributing Congregational Member Directories - Short-term
Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copies of your congregation's current member directory for participants to distribute
- Optional: Poster board and markers
Preparation for Activity
- Decide when and where the group can hand member directories to a good number of congregants. If the group meets during adult worship, you could get ready to meet congregants as they exit the worship service, or set up a table at coffee hour. If your group meets at a time apart from worship, you may decide to distribute directories only to families picking up children at the end of the session.
- Check with congregational leaders to make sure there are no objections to the children offering member directories to non-member guests who might be present.
- At least one week ahead, let parents know about this activity and request their permission if children's participation will stretch beyond the regular meeting time. You can download, adapt, and distribute Leader Resource 1: Member Directory Distribution Notice to Parents. Gather copies of your congregation's current member directory to distribute.
- Optional: Plan to set up a table where children can distribute the directories. Invite a few participants to make a sign for the table.
Description of Activity
Many congregations have a member directory. Although these are updated and distributed periodically, people do lose them. New people may also need directories, and sometimes people just forget to obtain one. Offering a directory to members also may remind them to inform the congregational office if their contact information has changed or if they are not listed in the directory at all.
The congregational directory is like a microcosm of the congregation. On paper, at least, members come together. This project may help remind the congregation of the importance of recognizing one another.
Ask the children if they know the names of all the people in their Unitarian Universalist congregation. If you know how many families belong to the congregation, tell them.
Show them a member directory for the congregation. Tell them that it lists the names and phone numbers of people who belong to the congregation and (if this is the case) others connected to the congregation by friendship, by music, or another way. Tell them people can use the directory to get in touch with others to plan worship and other activities together, or to see how to spell someone’s name and address, to send that person a card if he/she is sick or it is their birthday. Maybe children can think of more uses for the directory.
Pass a directory around. Let children look to see if their family is listed. You can help them find their own names.
Explain why someone in the congregation might not have a directory. Tell the group your plan for distributing the directories. You may wish to assign particular children responsibilities such as making a sign, carrying directories to the distribution spot, staffing a table, or walking through coffee hour to offer directories to adult members.