Congregational Workings


Committees and Groups

Standing Committee Charters

Membership Committee

General Purpose
To greet and welcome newcomers to our church, to help them learn about our community, to inspire those who wish to become active and involved members of the church, and to increase the awareness of the entire congregation about welcoming newcomers and including them in the life of the church.

Leadership and Membership
People are appointed to three-year terms on the Membership Committee by vote at the Annual Meeting in May of each year. The chair or co-chairs of the committee are chosen by the committee members.

Specific Duties

  • Welcome newcomers to First Parish by staffing a welcome table before and after church services.
  • Organize New UU classes for people who want to learn more about the church and are considering becoming new members.
  • Participate in the recognition of new members during two services each year, and organize a New Member Brunch following each of these services.
  • Take the lead in organizing First Parish’s booth at Arlington Town Day.
  • Work to maintain consciousness among the congregation of the importance of welcoming people who come to First Parish seeking a spiritual home.

Annual Objectives and Mission Linkage
For the church year 2011–12, the Membership Committee seeks to:

  • Increase visibility for newcomers by creating new signage for the Welcome Table in the narthex and a welcoming space in the vestry during coffee hour.
  • Put in place a bulletin board in the vestry that will highlight information about First Parish for newcomers and include a photo display of those who have recently become members.
  • Staff the Welcome Tables in the narthex and vestry before and after the service every Sunday.
  • Establish more comprehensive protocols for committee members in terms of following up with newcomers who provide their contact information.
  • Create a “squad” of greeters, who will greet people as they enter church on Sunday morning. Possibly create a similar group of “farewellers” to say goodbye as people leave.
  • Create new materials that will help newcomers become connected, specifically pew cards (“Connection Cards”), Path to Membership brochure, and updated First Parish brochure.
  • Organize and offer the New UU classes once in the fall and once in the spring. Each session will consist of three classes, as follows:
  • Individual pathways to First Parish/Unitarian Universalism
  • History of Unitarian Universalism and First Parish
  • How First Parish works and how to get involved
  • Work with the minister and the parish clerk to organize two Membership Sundays, in which new members are formally recognized during the service.
  • Organize a brunch for new members following each of these services.
  • On behalf of the Parish Committee, organize a First Parish information table at Arlington Town Day.

Outcome Measurements
The committee will keep the following statistics, which will be reported to the congregation in the annual report at the end of the church year:

  • Tally of pew cards filled out, including the number who filled out cards as a result of connections through the Welcome Tables
  • Number of participants in the New UU classes
  • Number of new members
  • Number of sign-ups at Town Day

Annual Budget and Spending Authority
The committee has an annual budget of $750.

Reporting Requirements
The committee shall report in writing annually to the congregation in conjunction with the congregation’s customary annual reporting process.

Authorities Reserved to the Board
The Parish Committee approves the committee’s charter and annual working budget.

Relationship to Professional Staff

  • The clerk of the Parish Committee is an ex-officio member of the committee.
  • The committee will work with the minister and the clerk to coordinate New UU classes, official occasions for new members to sign the membership book, and Membership Recognition at Sunday services.
  • The committee will work cooperatively with the office manager to coordinate production and purchase of publicity materials and to ensure that newcomers are added to the church e-mail list.


Copyright 2017 First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

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