If TRUU is to develop as I hear members say they want it to, then you are going to have to invite your friends, co-workers, and neighbors to attend our services. Clearly you know a lot of people. Everywhere I go with members of the congregation, they start conversations with people they know. Surely some of these acquaintances would find our religious community valuable, if they attended.
You know people from arts, environmental, political, affinity groups; that means you share some values with them; maybe you have more values in common than you know. Ask, invite. As Mark Kloster said. “Invite someone to church and to lunch afterwards.”
To get even one person to attend, you may need to ask five; inviting others to church is not something that most UUs do, but think of how your life has been made better because someone introduced you to Unitarian Universalism.
I will start indicating in the newsletters services that are especially appropriate for visitors. For example, November 3 is a good time to invite someone who supports education, November 17 for social justice and humanism, the December 21 Solstice service for the environment or paganism, and December 22 for someone interested in our attitudes toward Christmas.
Let’s call these “Bring a Friend” Sundays. You have friends who will attend because they know and admire you. Share with them this part of your life; it will deepen your relationship and may transform their lives.
To help in this process, I will offer sessions on Unitarian Universalism and how to talk about it with others. The first session will be on Sunday, November 17 at 9:00 AM in the Third Street Center Conference Room; it will be on the stories of Unitarian Universalism. I will repeat this session on Monday, November 18 at noon in the TRUU office. (Bring your own lunch or get it at Lisa’s.) The second session will be on Sunday, December 8 at 9:00 AM in the Conference Room and will explore the various theologies/philosophies held by UUs and the “unity beneath our diversity.” The third session is “Self-Defense for UUs” and involves developing a response (a one sentence definition) for when someone says, “You are a Unitarian Universalist. What is that?” It will be offered on Sunday, December 22 at 9:00 AM in the Conference Room and on January 5th at 9:00 and the 6th at noon. I will also meet in the Conference Room on Sundays at 11:30 for questions on UUism or on that Sunday’s sermon topic.
TRUU is a welcoming congregation once people walk in the door; we can become more valuable to more people and to the Valley community, if we work harder at getting them there.