Outreach Committee Annual Report
February 10, 2013
The mission of Third Haven Friends' Outreach Committee is: to support those activities which make the nearby general public more knowledgeable of our beliefs and more welcome at our meetings. Our goal is neither conversion to our beliefs nor is it proselytizing. Outreach is simply sharing, in an open way, information about our activities and our religious experience outside the circle of Quakerism. In some way it is bringing the community into the meeting and our meeting into the community.
Early in 2012 the committee worked to design and install a new sign on Washington Street. This process sought to enlarge the signage in a clean, appropriate way increasing visibility and introducing three new elements:
- The word "Quaker"
- reference our Children's program and,
- high-light our web-site. While doing this, reports were made to, and input sought from the membership.
Solar powered display lighting was added at modest cost, enhancing the sign's night-time visibility.
A thorough review was made of our printed hand-out materials. As a result, a new package of literature was developed. Some pieces were re-designed, some purchased, and some re-written. All were enhanced graphically. The purpose here was to offer a coordinated set featuring two fresh key pieces and supporting supplemental hand-outs. One 8pp brochure, Your Guide to Quakers, describes our community and our beliefs to the curious and seekers and new attenders. A smaller, colorful piece is directed to visitors and passers-by and focuses on our unique building and grounds.
This effort involved many hours, the whole committee and many meetings. It couldn't have succeeded without Friends with special knowledge and talents including: Ken Carroll, Ralph Young, Jessica Johnson, Nancy Robbins, and Peggy Walbert.
Thanks to John Hawkinson's craftsmanship (creating a new wood and Lucite rack) these five pieces can all be seen displayed inside the entrance to the brick meeting house.
Recent meetings and discussions of the Outreach Committee have turned to how we as a meeting might become more effective in connecting with new attenders.
The Outreach Committee believes that the overall process of qualifying, welcoming and informing new attenders can only be fully effective if it can be a truly a Meeting-wide, community effort. As a result, the committee will be communicating with Overseers, and the Worship and Ministry committees in the months ahead soliciting their ideas and support. We also will be presenting these concepts, from time to time, to the Meeting as a whole for review and implementation.
The committee acknowledges that this process of connecting with new attenders is a delicate one, yet truly critical to our mission.
Our committee will also be exploring in the year ahead: how we at Third Haven might become more active within and visible throughout the wider Talbot County community. We welcome fresh ideas and supportive suggestions from Friends.
Submitted by the Outreach Committee:
John Schreiner, clerk, and participating members: Larny Claggett, Lorraine Claggett, Robt Gladney, Marsie Hawkinson, Joyce Macijeski, Candace Shattuck, and John Winterbottom