Thank you for your interest in "Faith Forward: From Visitor to Leader," First Unitarian Church of Dallas' member integration and faith development program.  We continue to develop the program and want to share with you some of what we're learning.
Rev. Beth Dana, our Minister of Congregational Life, recently wrote a guest blog post about Faith Forward for Growing Unitarian Universalism. You can check it out HERE!
Here are a few suggestions on welcoming and hospitality, based on what we've learned from our Inquirers Series.
  1. Inviting Space: Having a space just for visitors outside of the often loud and intimidating coffee hour creates a different dynamic. It invites intimate, small group conversation, and a place where visitors can ask questions.
  2. Backstage Pass: A weekly class like the Inquirers Series gives newcomers a “backstage pass” into the life of the congregation. They get to know members of the church who are facilitating and speaking, and have access to ministers and staff.
  3. Belonging: The weekly newcomers’ class is often the first small group people are part of in the congregation. It fosters a sense of belonging and connection as attendees see many of the same people week after week.
  4. Consistency: Even when the Inquirers Series is on break for a holiday, it is important to have a consistent destination for newcomers to meet and be greeted. Our Church Parlor is open every Sunday.
  5. Path: People come to churches seeking a path to follow. They want to know what to do first (our answer is worship and the Inquirers Series), what's next, etc. A path helps them get to know the congregation more easily and get connected sooner.