As Minister of Membership and Outreach my sole reason for being is to make the entry into our congregation smoother for newcomers. Sounds easy enough but it is quite labor intensive. I work with our staff and Membership Council on everything from the sign outside, to visitor packets, to classes, to policies on membership, to nametags... and on it goes.
It is a full-time job, but the position is only 18 hours a week. If I didn't work in a warm and inviting congregation, I could not hope for any success on that part-time basis. But I do work in a welcoming and friendly congregation. I work with a great staff. And we have been blessed with a constant stream of inquisitive and enthusiastic visitors. We are constantly tweaking the system to improve it, but we have seen some great success in the past couple of years. This year alone we have welcomed over 100 new members and friends.
So here's my question... what's up with our publication UU World? When it comes time for new members to get our denominational magazine - it isn't happening. Some members have been in 8 months and aren't getting it yet.
Maybe we are doing something wrong? Did someone forget to teach us the secret handshake? Or are we putting too many in the system at the wrong time? I mention this now, because my issue came while I was out of town. I've just started poring over it and it's a great one. I'll be preaching and blogging on some of it, but I hesitate to do so knowing that many of my new members are going, "Hunh? What magazine?"
SO... new members - now you know. Feel free to check out the magazine's website. And blogiverse - do your magic.