The "Connection" Section of Your Congregation's Website
The Connection Landing Page
This is a place to emphasize the ways that participation in the congregation builds community, and the kind of support one can find. Many people visiting your site will not have experience participating in a congregation before, and may not be aware of the kinds of deep relationships that can form, and the ways that people can truly be there for one another in religious community. The language at UUA.org's Connection and Care can be helpful. Our tree tests show that a significant minority of users will look for information about the choir and about religious education programs under Connection. Make sure your page includes links to the Choir and Learning pages.
This is the page to which the First Time Visitor button on the homepage goes. Though your whole site should be accessible to a first-time visitor, this is a warm and welcoming page curated just for that audience. See an example on our demo site.
This page describes the kind of care offered from member to member in times of need (such as meals, cards and flowers, rides to the doctor, rides to Sunday services). Be sure to indicate how people can receive the care or refer someone else to it. Also indicate how someone can involved in helping others. Title the page with the name of your group that does these things, which may or may not be “Caring Committee.”
This page describes what Pastoral Care is, and how to receive it or refer someone else to it. Be sure to describe who offers pastoral care: in many congregations, it’s not just the minister – pastoral care teams and religious educators often offer care as well. A picture of the congregation’s pastoral caregiver(s) is appropriate here.
Small Group Ministry
If your congregation has a Small Group Ministry/Covenant Group/Chalice Circle program, include information about it here. What are the groups? What kinds of topics do they explore? How does someone get involved? See UUA.org's Small Group Ministry page for some language you can use.
Groups like the Knitting Group, Guitar Group, the Parents Group, the Interweave/LGBTQ Group, and the 20s/30s Group fall under the umbrella “Affinity Groups.” These are groups that gather within the congregation based on affinities of identity or interest. You may wish to develop 3rd level pages for these groups, or to simply describe the concept of affinity groups then provide descriptions and contact information for the various groups.
This page links to ongoing opportunities to volunteer in the congregation, such as: teaching children’s programs, serving refreshments, providing refreshments, ushering, serving on a team or committee, making food for the soup kitchen. Include pictures of volunteers at work.
This page enables people to donate directly to the congregation’s general fund, donate to special funds, and make pledges for future donations.
Become a Member
This page describes the process for formally joining the congregation, and encourages readers to get involved and take the next step.
A picture from a new member ceremony or event would be appropriate here.