Welcoming newcomers

Michael Bishop 02 Jul 2018 sunday blog  newcomers 

We had two newcomers gatherings this last week – a chance to hear the stories of families new to our community. Numbers of those we met commented on how welcome they have felt at UMC, which is great to hear. The reality though for everyone moving into a new area and meeting new people, is that this is a difficult time of transition. It’s especially difficult if you have left another church family which felt like home - it can literally take years to finally feel at home in a new congregation.

The aim of meeting with new families is to try and make that transition easier. We talked about how helpful it is for folk who are new to the church to make the effort to linger after services (and how important it is for UMC members to approach that person standing on their own clutching a tea cup!) Probably the most helpful thing you can do though is explore joining a home group. Or signing up to serve in some way (maybe in one of the Sunday teams). Grabbing the bull by the horns like this will definitely speed up the process of feeling like a part of the UMC family.

We also talked a bit about what membership of the church is. Absolutely everyone is welcome to be a part of all that we do here, but those who choose to commit to being members of the church aim to grow and mature as followers of Jesus through five corporate practices: worshipping regularly, giving generously, serving wholeheartedly, connecting relationally and learning continuously.

A warm welcome to those who came along to the meetings this week. And to others who still feel new to UMC, we’re aiming to hold these gatherings on a monthly basis – join us next time.

I’ll see you when our family are back from leave in two week’s time and Kym is back in circulation at the beginning of September after her sabbatical leave.

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