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August 2: Sunday Experience Initiative (SEI)

Our hope is to deeply engage each person, not just on his/her first visit with the UBC community, but also in the subsequent visits. We want to be a community of hospitality.

Experts say (whoever these experts might be) that someone decides within ten seconds whether they will come back to our church or not. Before the choir has a chance to sing, before a sermon is preached, or before the dynamic community of the church is experienced, a guest unit has decided if you are the church for her/him/them. No pressure…

At the same time, we must recognize that each guest and member is different. Some expect to be engaged in conversation from the time they walk in the door until the time they leave. At the same time, others want to be greeted warmly and then engaged in a modest amount of dialogue.

Whether a person wants a deeply engaging or a brief moment of dialogue, there are some key things we can all do to make this a full and unique experience for the guest and members.

Over the next few weeks, we will begin to share a thoughtfully crafted initiative to engage first time guests and make the weekly experience of Sunday morning more fruitful for all.

SEI, Part 1: Creating Opportunities for Community on Sunday

Sunday mornings should be an experience of discipleship, worship, and community. We do discipleship and worship well. What we lack is a more robust space for community.

One of UBC’s primary focuses over the next few years will be facilitating the space for authentic community to spark, grow, and thrive. For it is through authentic community that dynamic relationships, unity, and clarity of God’s dream can become a reality.

Now, you might be thinking, “We have Sunday School and a time to greet one another at the beginning of worship. That should work, right?”

Sunday mornings are a challenge for a lot of people, especially families with young children. If you’ve ever tried to get out the door on the weekend with young children, then you know it is a circus. The result is that not many of our families attend Sunday School.

Conversely, with the average person working 55-60 hours per week, Sunday mornings are often the only chance people have to catch up on sleep or to cook an extraordinary breakfast.

Creating space for authentic community is absolutely essential to the vitality of the church. Creating this space gives way to meaningful conversations, presentation of opportunities, and a seamless segue into a corporate worship experience.

In an effort to bridge the connection between Sunday School attendees and non-attendees, as well as to facilitate a creative space for healthy community on Sundays, we are slightly adjusting the morning schedule.

Sunday School will move back fifteen minutes to 9:00am and wrap up by 10:00am. From 10:00am to 10:25am, we will host an intentional time of community. The gathering space for this time will be the Fellowship Hall, housing coffee, refreshments, space for kids to play, and a space for presenting upcoming opportunities.

Our hope is that if you have utilized the time before Sunday School for fellowship that you will transport this time to this new Coffee & Community space.

Additionally, the creation of this intentional space becomes a natural landing area for first time guests and a wonderful space to blend with folks from the Church of the Nations.

Children, ages first through fifth grade, will be brought to the Fellowship Hall by their teachers. While children, ages kindergarten and younger, will transition to their extended care spaces in the Education building.

While we are working on the logistics of the shift—childcare adjustments, volunteer enlistment, and communication of the change—we want you to circle Sunday, August 19 on the calendar. This will be our first Sunday with the new schedule.


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