FUUSN’s Emerging Membership Vision
With the help of crayons, paper, pens and large index cards, the member services committee brainstormed together about FUUSN’s membership future at a four-hour retreat on September 18. FUUSN’s interim minister, Rev.Parisa Parsa, and DRE Devin Shmueli joined us for a while: Parisa talked about current membership trends and led a brainstorm on what “membership” means to people, and Devin shared his thoughts on connecting with families and the broader community.
Drawing from that context and committee members’ own knowledge and experiences as FUUSNites, the group considered what the congregation looks like at its best–vibrant and cohesive. Words such as “generous,” “engaged,” and “joyful” emerged. The committee also dreamed big, thinking of what FUUSN might look like in the future. The challenge around that is understanding the impossibility of returning to pre-pandemic times, or living up to any one ideal. We talked about how that also frees up the committee (and the entire FUUSN community, really) to be creative, experimental, and really honest about what works and what doesn’t as we emerge from the depths of the pandemic.
This was just the beginning of the member service committee’s work for this year. From here, its four teams (visioning, Sunday morning through first year, lifespan membership and programming, communications) will meet regularly to explore membership’s key components, planning for this year and beyond. The visioning team will develop a holistic membership vision; the Sunday morning through first year team will focus on welcoming newcomers and helping them feel at home at FUUSN; the lifespan team will plan a calendar of events; and the communications team will focus on the online directory (in Realm) and how we communicate with each other, potential newcomers, and the broader community.
During the retreat, we talked about how committee members are membership ambassadors–FUUSNites dedicated to welcoming newcomers and to thinking about growing and deepening connection. We also talked about how important it is for everyone in the congregation to take up at least a little of that spirit–to wear your nametag on Sunday to help visitors feel welcome at social/coffee hour, to say hello to the folks in your pew, to share your experiences as a remote congregant as we live more deeply into our new reality. How can you be a membership ambassador? What feels manageable?
I encourage you to talk with your member services committee members. Share your ideas and concerns. Ask what compelled them to join the committee, and what they hope the group can do this year. Many of them are around on Sunday mornings, and they’re also findable via the Realm online directory. We’re looking forward to talking with you!
FUUSN 2022-2023 Member Services Committee
Connie Stubbs (co-chair)
Heather Beasley Doyle (co-chair/membership director)
Kate Thibeault (visioning/communications)
Saul Lookner (visioning/communications)
Dan Stoll (visioning)
Bill Dusett (Racial Justice Ministry representative to visioning)
Pat Rohan (Sunday morning through first year)
Jeannie Chaisson (Sunday morning through first year)
Alta Hodges (Sunday morning through first year)
Wendy Haskell (lifespan membership and programming)
Lynne Karlson (lifespan membership and programming)
Wayne Everett (lifespan membership and programming)
Bob Persons (communications)