Tag: visitors

Membership Development Workshop – Let’s get together

Coming up for all members of the Membership Development team at UCV

Saturday, March 28 – open to active membership committee teams including:

  • New to Vancouver Unitarians workshop coordinators
  • Greeters and Welcome Table volunteers
  • Connect and Engage team including Sermon Discussion table facilitators
  • Membership records, retention, renewal and recruitment team members
  • Membership committee chair and board liaison
  • Communications team liaison
  • Sunday Coffee servers


1:30 – 2 pm

  • -set up – coffee/tea and snacks available

2 – 5 pm workshop:


  • Was there a “turning point” when you decided to join UCV? How long was that from when you first started attending?

How do the teams all work together

  • What are your challenges and pleasures?
  • What staff/caretaker roles are helpful for your team?
  • Suggestions for making things easier for members and volunteers – what would you ask of others? what do you see that could be smoothed out?

Volunteer recruitment and support

  • How do you typically recruit more volunteers? Does your team need additional volunteers?
  • Some brainstorming around how to recruit
  • What works? what doesn’t?

Volunteer Status

There are approximately 20 on each of these three teams: New to VU/welcome table; greeters; coffee servers. There are about 6 on the relatively newer Connect & Engage team (who set up the sermon discussion table and support neighbourhood groups etc.) Some people do double duty. The “member retention” team has never been fully staffed nor the “member records” team. To some degree the role of “member recruitment” is handled by our communications systems.

The member experience

Mapping the visitor to member and beyond journey

– what was your journey from discovery to involvement?

What do you see with first timers?

  • What do they already know? What do they need? Do you notice clues that they might stick around?
  • Given how busy Sunday morning is, how can we best help people get connected?

5:30 – 6:30 pm – potluck dinner

  • kitchen and fireside room – You’re encouraged to sit with folks from a different team

7 – 8:30 pm

Membership Development

  • considering UUA/CUC ideas for membership growth.

Ministerial (and other) Transitions

Information about ministerial transition – what’s in our future for next 2 to 3 years?

  • what questions are you getting? on ministerial transition, possible redevelopment and name change?
  • What questions/concerns do you expect?
  • brainstorm responses

Registration form:



Resources you may find of interest






Join Our Social Media and Communications Team

Our UCV Communications Team is looking for someone to post web links to our facebook page. We’d like to post, on average, 5 links per week, preferably spread out over the week including posting the link for the Sunday morning service on Friday. Each post would only take you a couple of minutes if you regularly sign into facebook anyways.

You would be made an admin for the page and post as UCV (not as yourself). You would be welcome to get more involved than that such as adding photos, updating the cover photo more often, but that’s not required for the basic role.

Thanks to a growing team of volunteers, we have been able to increase our social media and web outreach over the past months and years.

Our Communications Team meets two or three times a year. You would be encouraged to attend to find out what else is happening and contribute your ideas. A lot goes on between meetings with individuals and sub-groups taking on tasks. Our meetings are mainly a check-in for individuals and small groups to report on what they’re doing and get feedback from others on their projects.

Video – We’d like to be able to do more

Our youtube channel has been mobilized. Here’s the link for Rev. Phillip Hewett’s Memorial Service and memories shared after the service.


People from across Canada and beyond have been so appreciative of being able to attend Phillip Hewett’s memorial service through youtube.

Among the notes I’ve received is one from Patricia Pavey (previously Yates) who attended UCV some time ago and is the composer of our “Carry the Flame” benediction. (And in case you’re wondering about the extra part that some congregations sing, that part was added by Louise Taylor who was music director at the Victoria congregation.)

We have podcasts of Sunday sermons

Click here to find the most recent three sermons–and check back regularly.

Our Closed Facebook Group

On advice from other congregations, we set up a Facebook Group (for community communications) that complements our Facebook page (for external/outreach communication). Our page has over 900 Likes (up from 800 in March, 2018).

You must have a facebook profile to join Members and Friends of Vancouver Unitarians. 

Note: you can see what’s on our Facebook page  even if you’re not on Facebook. If you are on Facebook – please go there regularly and like, comment and share. That’s how we increase our outreach.

Volunteers Needed

We need more help to continue to expand this work.

Some tasks, like posting links to our facebook page, take only a few minutes to do and don’t require much learning.

Most committees now have someone to post events and articles (“posts”) on the web but others need help getting their message out. Training is available and if you’ve used wordpress it will be easy to learn about our system.

We’d like more photos posted on instagram, facebook and the web, especially (with permission) of our many events and our beautiful campus (with people shown). If you like to take photos, we’d like to have you on board.

Other tasks such as editing videos (adding title pages, tweaking sound and light) take a lot of time. We need at least two more people if we’re to do video-recording, some of our events. Some ongoing tasks would only take about 15-30 minutes each week. Congregational consultant Peter Bowden says if he could suggest one thing it would be to do a very short video about the upcoming Sunday programs. Rev. Samaya Oakley of South Fraser Unitarians has been doing this.

How to attract and welcome visitors using social media

Are you interested in how Unitarian congregations can use social media well? I liked this article by Peter Bowden, emphasizing how much research visitors do before showing up in person and how important it is to respond very quickly to them.

We’d Like to Get to Know You! Yes, We Would

New Sermon Discussion Opportunity — Let’s Talk!

from the Connect & Engage Team, Sheila Resels  Email Sheila

Have you wished there was a quiet(er) space to have a meaningful conversation about the service on Sundays?

At the forum last week, the panel for Connect and Engage acknowledged that new people and visitors especially can feel overwhelmed by our busy (noisy, crowded) coffee and lunch hour. Indeed most people present (including me) reported that when they were new they found it hard to get connected. Those there of course persevered seeing that there was a lot worth persevering for. We do have some concern that others may just not try as hard as these stalwart folk.

Come and share your thoughts and questions about the Sunday’s service with a small group.

If you’re a regular, look around on a Sunday morning and you might see someone seemingly mesmerized by the bulletin board or lurking near the coat rack not sure how to get engaged.

Not just for new people – All welcome!


Not all, but some, members report that when they first came they found us unwelcoming. They sat at a table at lunch and no one started a conversation with them. Some are generous enough to admit that they themselves could have started a conversation, but didn’t. I think we all know it’s difficult sometimes to join a group of people who seem like they all know each other so we want to make it easier.

We’ll be in the part on the right of this photo.

Tamiko Suzuki recalls a conversation that she and Mary Bennett had early on when she started coming to UCV after moving from the North Shore Unitarian Church. (Mary had noticed her lurking on the edge of the Hall.) She says, “Mary told me to find a small group to get involved with. Then I joined the Environment Committee and got very involved. Now I realize sometimes that I am part of what I would have called a “clique”. On Sundays, I’m busy connecting with other people on our team. We often sit together for lunch, starting a pre-meeting before we’ve even got to the meeting room.”

Tamiko Suzuki

At a forum in January, Tamiko shared a suggestion of having a table set aside for discussing the sermon. This idea fell on fertile ground among those there and we now have a team who will take turns hosting the table. As Tamiko says, “Because the discussion is guaranteed to be on that day’s subject, everyone would be on equal footing (because they just heard it).” Everyone is welcome, but if you want to chat about upcoming events or other issues, this isn’t the place for you—at least not on that particular Sunday.

Melody Mason who joined about three years ago and Sheila Resels are getting together to do more planning about how we can make this new experiment work well. Sheila says, “I wouldn’t say I felt unwelcome. It was more that it was so overwhelming. And when it’s so busy, I feel we need to reach out even more to counteract that.”

Melody noted that one of the themes from Phil Campbell’s service on Shared Ministry was that we can intend to be welcoming, but without a system in place, it might not happen at least not as well as our aspirations would lead us to want to be.

Starting February 4, 2018, a host from the Connect & Engage Team has been in Priestley (the East part of Lindsey-Priestley) to welcome anyone who wants to join in on a conversation about that day’s sermon. There are always thought-provoking and conversation-starting aspects to the service in any Unitarian congregation.

The host will make sure people are welcomed and introduced to each other. If they are new and have questions that weren’t answered at the Welcome Table the host will try to refer them to answers. And they’ll make sure the discussion sticks to the topic of the day.

On the first Sunday of each month, we’ll be sharing the space with Compu Tutor, who have generously offered to take their offerings into the Lindsey portion. We’ll pull the accordion partition shut.

There may be days when the room is fully booked, in which case we’ll set aside a table in the Hall, one close to the entrance with a sign on the table.

Are you someone who feels passionate about making sure our visitors feel really welcome and want to help them get connected and engaged? If the answer is yes, that’s great anyways. If you want to go one step further and help by hosting the Sermon Discussion table one Sunday, you can signup here.


Or go to the lower right section of our website home page to see various volunteer opportunities.

More information for newcomers.

Past sermons