Outreach Committee Annual Report
Committee members: Jeanne Halpin, Outreach Committee Clerk, and its members Lorraine Claggett, Pete Howell and Mary Yancey, and associate member Harvey Zendt.
The Outreach Committee focuses on increasing our visibility in the wider community and supporting our Meeting in sharing our perspectives as Friends. Our activities and initiatives over the past year include the following:
Hosting public events:
- We offered a film/discussion series on race (five films shown January through April) which was well attended and well received, attracting more people from the wider community than from Third Haven. Planning for our next series, to be on Environmental Stewardship, is well underway.
- We partnered with the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center to offer two Summer Fun Nights, both of which were held on our campus. We found the atmosphere on our campus much more hospitable than holding these events in Idlewild Park as we did the previous summer.
- We are hosting the bi-monthly meetings of the Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity (TACL) in our Common Room this year, giving attendees the opportunity to explore our grounds and our testimonies.
Letting the wider community know about us:
- We continued to promote our visibility through press releases, with several articles appearing in the Star Democrat and Talbot Spy. We had several new people attend our events as a result of these efforts. We offer help to all committees and initiatives here at Third Haven with publicizing events and opportunities, including writing and placing press releases for use by local media outlets; just ask!
- We hosted an information table at the Carriage Shed Sale in support of the First Day School Committee; we are open to hosting such tables for other events; just ask!
- We host two tables at the Multicultural Festival the first Saturday in May along with the First Day School and Testimony and Concerns Committees. Last May we provided a query activity that invited visitors to tell us their word for equality and how they were promoting equality at home, in their community, and in the world. These are popular activities which invite active participation and elicit thoughtful responses.
Welcoming and retaining newcomers:
- We partnered with the Pastoral Care Committee to produce and distribute name tags to all our local members and attenders. We are grateful to all those who help make our community more welcoming by wearing them and greeting newcomers with a smile, a handshake, and a kind word. Please let us know if you need a new name tag or magnet for your name tag.
- We are also partnering with the Pastoral Care Committee on meeting with newcomers on a regular basis to be sure we are addressing their needs.
- We are about to produce a new rack card (a double-sided handout on stiff paper, suitable as a bookmark) welcoming newcomers and explaining our meeting for worship to help them know what to expect when in our midst.
Effective outreach involves so much more than publicity or public events; it also involves the willingness of individuals to identify themselves as Friends and to give voice to their faith and practice. We are grateful to the many committees and initiatives here at Third Haven which support us all in walking our talk and talking our walk, In particular, we are grateful to the Worship and Ministry Committee for providing a wealth of opportunities to speak of our faith amongst ourselves and learn more about our Quaker ways. These opportunities prepare us not only to more fully participate in the life of our Meeting, but also to feel comfortable expressing our faith and practice when participating within the wider community. We are also grateful to the Testimonies and Concerns Committee for their initiatives and willingness to present our views to governmental agencies. And we are especially grateful to the First Day School Committee for their outreach efforts. Their innovative efforts in partnering with like-minded organizations have brought us much joy and many new faces here at Third Haven.
There are many other activities and initiatives which our Meeting sponsors which provide us the opportunity to put our faith into practice and make ourselves known. We encourage you to check them out: Marilla's lunches, the Talbot County Detention Center library project, P.E.A.C.E. vigils, and the new initiative underway for supporting the local immigrant community are just some of them.
We thank you all for showing up as you do and making Third Haven the nurturing community that it is.