Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: The New UU: A Program for Welcoming Newcomers to Unitarian Universalist Congregations

Alternate Activity 2: Guest Panel

Part of The New UU

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Create a panel of three to five congregation members from a variety of backgrounds, interests, cultures, perspectives, and ages who have interesting stories about the impact of the congregation on their lives. Consult with the minister(s) and other leaders to identify panelists. Recruit panelists in person or by phone.
  • Send the panel members an email or letter to describe the purpose of the presentation. Leader Resource 2, Letter to Panelists offers a template.
  • Reconfigure seating so the panel can fully face the participants.

Description of Activity

Introduce the panel with words such as:

Membership in a congregation can have a tremendous effect on people's lives. Rather than simply say that, we have invited guests to share how this has been true in their lives. I will ask each of the guests to introduce themselves and tell their story. After all have spoken, you can ask any questions you might have.

After the introductions, monitor the time so each panelist has an equal amount. If necessary, prompt panelists to wrap up. Presentations should be complete in about 20 minutes. Then, invite participants to ask questions. At the end of the time, thank the panelists.