Growth is a by-product of doing a lot of other things well.  If  we celebrate dynamic worship services, if we welcome strangers and each other, if we are active in the wider world—and especially if we maintain a sense of a nourishing and liberating church community—then we will grow in healthy, appropriate ways.

 Sometimes we can want too much growth, too soon—as when we see visitors only as potential volunteers or pledge units.  Other times, we can fear growth, and mourn the loss of our close-knit community.  Sometimes, we may demand and fear it simultaneously! 

 If we concentrate on growing in congregational depth and community, and on growing in terms of our mission and outreach, then we are likely to feel so joyously vital that the inevitable growth in membership numbers will simply be icing on the cake.

“Chip is personally outgoing and engaging, empathetic and present in conversations. People find him easy to talk to and enjoy the experience.”
–the Rev. Dr. Lindsay Bates

I helped the UU Congregation of Grand Traverse wrap up its capital campaign, and expand its building with a new Religious Education wing—which was necessary, due to the influx of children and young families.  I co-facilitated a monthly gathering, using the Evensong for Families curriculum.

My internship was a key component in creating a third service (worship & RE, on Saturday evenings) at the UU Society of Geneva, Illinois. 

I helped the Berrien UU Fellowship use the UUA’s “Uncommon Denomination” program to facilitate growth.

I participated in the First UU Church of Columbus’ struggles as it adapted to its Program size.  I presented a Lay Viewpoint in 1997, lamenting that we no longer celebrated birthdays during every worship service, while suggesting other ways to maintain a sense of community and intimacy. 


I believe we can work together to inspire new growth and strengthen the communal bonds that contribute to long-term stability.  Congregational celebrations, such as Fast Day, deepen connections among members–and they can be publicized to attract new members.

so may we categorize: