Our Welcoming and Evangelism Committee currently has ten members (Louise Armitage, Kitty Ellis, Nellis Crigler, Cindy Hargroves, Steve Jacobs, Betsy Heilman, Jan Hamilton, and Peter Reddaway along with Fr. Stephen and Mary Beth, our assistant for Family Ministry). It also has a dozen or so supporters, who receive our materials, take an interest in our work, and occasionally participate in one or another activity.
The committee’s overall goal of evangelism has been focused on attracting newcomers to St Thomas, so that they can share in and enrich our worship of God and the life of our community. We aim to help them to settle in and feel at home. Our main activities have included the following:
- We’ve created – and will need to periodically update - different sorts of literature that are suitable for evangelism and for newcomers in the period after they have come to St Thomas for the first time.
Examples of this literature are available on the small table in the narthex. The literature is designed for newcomers to take, and also for any parishioner to freely hand out to newcomers. In addition, more extensive and detailed materials are mailed out as a package to newcomers, after they decide to provide us with their contact information.
- We’ve been improving St Thomas’s exterior signage, and are beginning to operate a system of easily changeable informational banners about upcoming services and events. The banners are displayed on poles, to be easily viewed by passing cars.
- We hold occasional brunches for newcomers. These have been notably successful in helping newcomers to get to know selected members of the church, and to interact with our clergy regarding St Thomas’s mission and identity. An effective feature of the brunches has been the recounting by newcomers of why they came to St Thomas, and by non-newcomers of why they have stayed and become committed.
- We’re working on improving the evangelism we practice through our website and the St Thomas page on Face Book. We're also planning to make a high quality video about the work and identity of St. Thomas', to put on our website and give browsers a quick introduction to us.
Note to potential volunteers: If you’d like to join the committee, or to help with particular activities, or both, you will be warmly welcomed. We’re a lively bunch!
Peter Reddaway, chair, 703-448-9195, firstname.lastname@example.org