Did you know that UU Meriden is in covenant with other UU churches in Connecticut? In the spirit of covenant, we started exploring a relationship with the Mattatuck UU Society as well as with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport. We are just at the beginning of this process. On November 9, the presidents of each congregation got together over pizza to get to know more about each other and informally explore ways that we could collaborate and partner and share resources. Our conversation was an open and honest discussion about the strengths and challenges that our respective congregations face. We found that all three churches are facing similar challenges re: how to do church in the 21st century. Here are some of the things we have in common:
- All three congregations have fewer than 100 members. (UUCM = 92), (UUCGB = 40), (MUUS = 63).
- Staffing: UUCM and MUUS have ministers. UUCGB is lay-led. MUUS’s minister is a half-time contract minister.
- Religious Ed: All three congregations have religious ed programs for small children and youth. MUUS has a Director of Religious Education (DRE) who works 10 hours a week. UUCM and UUCGB do not have a DRE.
- Two of the churches have a strong history of social justice ministry.
We discussed collaborating on resources for leadership training, sharing ideas on membership issues and stewardship practices, as well as sharing lay-led worship services. We plan to meet again and will include the vice presidents of each of the churches.
Donna Stimpson, UUCM Presisdent