A board with Welcome to our lovely place painted on it, leaning on a tree, next to a woven basket with fans in it
A board with Welcome to our lovely place painted on it, leaning on a tree, next to a woven basket with fans in it
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Note: This training was originally offered in a semester format in 2017.

Faith traditions are all in a time of transition and the UU faith is no exception.  As we struggle to consider what Unitarian Universalist faith will look like in the world of congregations and beyond let us come together to consider some new perspectives on the traditional ideas of membership.

In this class we will expand upon the idea of a faith tradition that looks beyond the goal of increasing membership to a considering together what a full Spectrum of Engagement in our UU Faith might look like.  This spectrum was first presented at GA 2015 by Carey McDonald, Marie Blohowiak, and Lori Emison Clair.

Fostering a Culture of Connection

  • Membership as Ministry
  • Welcoming the Stranger – Greeting as a spiritual practice
  • Pathway from Visitor to Community Member
  • Building a Community of Engagement

Creating a Culture of Belonging

  • Fostering connections among all
  • Program Development
  • Group Management/ Support (Affinity Groups)

Striving for Integration and Leadership

  • Engagement Tracking
  • Retention

Lori Emison Clair standing outsideLori Emison Clair worked with the amazing staff at First Unitarian Church in Des Moines from 2004 to 2015. During Lori’s 11 years on staff, First Unitarian membership grew from 240 to 539. Lori’s position began as part-time Membership Coordinator overseeing a mostly lay-led visitor process to serving as the Director of Congregational Life (DCL), which included overseeing new members and membership integration, coordinating hospitality, Wednesday night programming, community building events, affinity groups, Soul Matters (SGM), adult education programming, and working with the team that redesigned the church’s pastoral care into a neighborhood based Caring Communities model. While serving as DCL, Lori supervised a Congregational Life Assistant and the congregation’s childcare staff.

In addition to her position at First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, Lori helped form the Unitarian Universalist Association of Membership Professionals (UUAMP), serving as the Chair for the Steering Committee that formed the Association, serving as UUUAMP’s Vice President, Secretary, the first Coordinator for their webinar and book series, editor for the UUAMP Hiring Guide unveiled at GA 2014, as well as Chair for the Certification Committee as they sought and received a UU Programming Fund grant to design a nationwide certification program for Membership Professionals.

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