I have never been more confident in recruiting Adult RE volunteers than with Faith Forward. Our facilitators report an effort/reward ratio from leading Faith Forward curricula that far exceeds any RE volunteering experience from the past. Inquirers has been a game-changer for our welcoming ministries, and we have a far more robust group of new attendees than in previous years.
— Rev. Jonathan Rogers, Associate Minister for Lifelong Learning and Growth at UU Congregation of Atlanta, GA
“The clear path to membership that had been missing...”
The Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist congregation started using the Inquirers series of Faith Forward in the fall of 2015. We experienced a noticeable surge in membership within a few months of beginning the series. People had found the clear path to membership that had been missing in what we offered on Sunday mornings.
— Rev. Tandy Scheffler, Minister at Oak Ridge UU Church
“A great resource for our congregation!”
Faith Forward has been a great resource for our congregation! We now have more people in the membership process than we ever have before. This path, beginning with the Inquirers Series, is what people have been looking for, and we're so grateful to now have a clear process for visitors and members to get connected.
— Rev. John Crestwell, Associate Minister of Outreach, Leadership, and Evangelism at UU Church of Annapolis, MD
I can’t tell you how lovely it is to have your congregation’s hard work and thoughtfulness backing us up in this important endeavor of growing the faith.
— Rev. Sydney Morris, UU Church in Eugene, OR
“We found a home, and it was a real home.”
— Sarah Greenman, Faith Forward participant, First Unitarian Church of Dallas
“Participants LOVE the videos!”
— Mike Stanton, Faith Forward facilitator, First Unitarian Church of Dallas
Faith Forward has been a wise investment for our congregation.
— Rev. Pamela Wat, Denton UU Fellowship, TX
READ MORE ABOUT FAITH FORWARD'S SUCCESS AT THE DENTON FELLOWSHIP - A GROWING, 130-MEMBER CONGREGATION.
The Faith Forward program is what was missing the first time I came to the church. Thank you for making it happen!
-- David Faulkner, Faith Forward participant, First Unitarian Church of Dallas
“I’m lucky now to serve as an usher, and I feel as though I own part of this space.”
— Danielle Brissette, Faith Forward participant, First Unitarian Church of Dallas
Faith Forward is going really well in the congregation. We are doing Inquirers every Sunday, and it’s been AMAZING! The newcomers are making connections, and getting deeply engaged in the congregation. We have several folks joining as members in December who were the first group of people who started Inquirers this Summer. It’s amazing how much a part of the fabric of the congregation they've become, in such a short time.
— Janine Gelsinger, Director of Membership & Welcoming Ministries, UU Congregation of Phoenix, AZ
Read how Rev. Pamela Wat, Minister of Denton UU Fellowship in Denton, TX has adapted and implemented Faith Forward for her growing, 130-member congregation:
Faith Forward has been a wise investment for our congregation. The Inquirers Series took some time to adapt to our particular congregation, but that work has really paid off. It has been a key element in how we welcome newcomers and re-engage longer-term members. The series has demystified how to get involved in our congregation, what programs we offer, and what we teach our youth, and other aspects that we thought were quite transparent (but clearly weren't). We had already offered a workshop for newcomers, but this extended series is much more effective and creates more opportunity for connection and learning. We don't offer it consecutively, but run it as an eight-week series four times a year.
The Spiritual Practices workshops create a great way for Unitarian Universalists to explore methods of centering their spirits and connecting to something larger than themselves. I find that many of our newer members are yearning for this work. I especially appreciated the goal-oriented focus on creating a spiritual practice plan. We offer the Spiritual Practices series as a once-a-month offering throughout the year and we open it to the larger community as a free workshop. We also supplement the workshops throughout the year by inviting guests to present (to offer yoga, tai chi, etc.) and to draw in seasonal practices (like a New Year’s vision board practice).
The UU History series included videos that presented our history in an engaging, meaningful way so much so that we replaced our high school UU history program with the one from Faith Forward. Our high school students loved the stories and it helped their UU history come to life. As an added exercise we invited them to imagine a title and cast for each story as if they were going to create a movie of it. We have found that the creative energy of Faith Forward has helped inspire our creative energy as well! We are considering using more workshops from Faith Forward to lead youth programs.
The materials are very well-presented and help us reach the high bar of professionalism that many of our younger and newer members are seeking. There is minimal preparation to lead the classes, allowing even busy volunteers and staff to implement a series with very little work. In addition, most of our membership is new to Unitarian Universalism and they have not felt like they have the knowledge or authority to lead classes on Unitarian Universalism. The videos from First Unitarian Church of Dallas staff fill that gap by providing the expertise and the information, while our church members simply engage the group in discussion based on the provided discussion questions and the questions that come from the group after viewing the videos. In the meantime, as they lead and take the classes, they become knowledgeable UU's and stronger leaders.