Welcoming the Stranger

It has been a year. The last service we held in our sanctuary was Sunday, March 8, 2020. We gathered with paper orders of service, we sang, we passed the plate, we shared joys and concerns, and we drank coffee. And then things changed.

We shifted gears. And we’re doing ok. Actually, as a congregation we’re doing pretty darn well with virtual worship services and creative outreach. We are working hard to sustain and deepen connections with one another.

I’ve been wondering lately about those currently in search of a loving community. These are challenging times and some must be in search of a place of belonging. Will they find us? Will they find a way to engage?

Being new is hard under any circumstances. What must it be like in today’s world?

Imagine what it takes to walk in our virtual doors and come to a Zoom service. Imagine what it takes to “come” back a second week. Imagine what it takes to then engage more deeply.

I have no doubt a stranger would be welcomed. And still it would be hard to be new. I remember how tentative I was the first time our family checked out the local UU church. It was awkward. Those who already belonged were nice, but the Sunday rituals were foreign to us. We were strangers. Luckily there were guideposts around – information about the path to connection and folks ready to gently welcome us toward familiarity.

What might we do to make it easier for someone seeking community to get to know us? What are the questions someone in search is likely to have about our faith community?

If you have ideas on welcoming the stranger to UUFE, please be in touch. It feels important to share the love of this community.

In connection,

Rev. Sue

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