Congregations and other UU communities are, for many of us, places where we find people we like, people who think like we do, and where we feel at ease. People often describe congregations as ‘like a family’. And while that strong sense of close community is important it can also be so close and tight-knit that new people don’t know how to find their way in.
Unless congregations are able to intentionally take steps to help people integrate they are often frustrated and confused when they hear people say, “That group was not very welcoming”. Feeling so comfortable themselves, members don’t understand how they have unwittingly created a closed community.
If any of this sounds familiar, don’t worry, help is on its way. Each week the CUC Facebook page will feature a post under the heading, “Tips for Intentionally Inclusive Congregations”. The tip will be accompanied by a short explanation and some ideas about appropriate actions.
We know that none of our congregations consciously want to send a ‘not welcome’ message. Following these tips will help stimulate conversations about ways we can all be intentionally welcoming, helping those we’ve not yet met to find their way into our communities.
If you ‘like’ the CUC’s Facebook page, you’ll be sure to see the weekly tip in your feed.