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Clean Bathrooms, Half and Half, Create Warm Welcome

By Donald E. Skinner

Tandi Rogers Koerger, program specialist for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA's) Pacific Northwest District, developed a list of "Thirteen Steps to Start Your Church Year Strong." Here are a few of them.

  • Bathroom sniff test: Is your church bathroom up to "company standards?" I especially love those congregations that put out a basket of goodies like fragrance-free lotion, band-aids, feminine products, safety pins, diapers, and wipes.
  • Sound system: Respect your assembled community and the folks who lovingly put together the worship enough to make sure the sound system works seamlessly. Train a cadre of people who can work technical magic and can step in when needed. Practice using the equipment.
  • Greeters as ministry: Wouldn't it be great to be greeted at the door by someone who knows you by name and says, "How are you? I'm so glad to see you!" Blessed are the greeters who take special care with visitors. Remember your first day?
  • Name tags: They're a matter of hospitality and good manners. Another purpose is tracking. After church ask people to put their nametags in a basket. Your membership counter will know who attended.
  • Real cream: We are so into our free-trade organic coffee and usually fumble on the nasty powdered milk substitute. Spring for the real cream (or half-and-half). It makes a difference.
  • Search team of possibilities: Skip a couple Sundays and check out other churches. What good ideas could you bring back? I think it would be fun to have an organized team go out and systematically search for possibilities to share with their leadership.

About the Author

Donald E. Skinner

Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.

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