As the physical work on the Welcome Project nears completion, it’s time to turn our attention to the important work of becoming more welcoming as a Congregation. In last week’s eNews, our Lead Minister Rev. Mark Ward talked about the Ends Statements that the Board has recently updated after listening sessions with the Congregation last fall. The second group of Ends is entitled ‘Among – We Care’ and the first statement reads ‘feel welcome and connected with each other’. So, among our friends and members of the Congregation, how can we do a better job of making everyone feel welcome and connected with each other?

I propose we use the annual auction as a test of our becoming more welcoming by pushing our individual comfort zone to ensure we make every member and friend feel welcome and connected with each other. Instead of claiming all the chairs at a table at the auction with your usual friends, consider seeking out and inviting that couple or that single person you have seen around but haven’t had a chance to really talk with or get to know. Perhaps you never knew that the single person you see all the time actually feels left out and would so welcome the chance to be invited to your table. Asheville is a couple’s town and it’s hard to be single. Or maybe you didn’t realize that the couple who has been attending now for a year or more still doesn’t feel connected. For them, the auction is a new way to roam and talk and they’d really enjoy the invitation to sit with you.

So as we look forward to the dust settling, the most important part of the Welcome Project is just beginning. I hope you’ll join me in making UUCA even more welcoming than it already is.