Ideas for welcoming the new minister
Congratulations! The fruits of the discernment process are beginning to sprout. Continue to nurture them through hospitality to the new minister (and family, if applicable). Here are a few ideas for showing care.
- Welcome cards, emails, and/or texts. Prior to the minister’s arrival, send along words of greeting. Not only will the minister feel loved, your messages will allow the minister to begin getting to know names and stories.
- Pounding. Stock the minister’s pantry with staples.
- Gifts that represent the community. Help the minister assimilate by sharing products with local flair.
- Stole or chalice and paten made by members of the congregation. Give a heartfelt, handmade item that can be used in worship.
- Meal train. Homecooked meals – especially when the dishes are yet to be unpacked – are great ways to show care. (Be sure to ask about dietary constraints!)
- Comfort items for small children (if applicable). Moving is hard for people of any age, but especially for children. Let the minister’s kids know that they are seen and loved.
- Prayers. Pray for the minister to settle in well, for rest, for wisdom, and for clergy-congregation bonding.
- Community information. Make the minister’s transition easier by providing essential details about schools, services, and community events.
- Reception. Allow the minister (and family, if applicable) to interact informally with the congregation over cake and punch on the first Sunday.
- Installation. Plan a worship service to celebrate the new clergy-congregation partnership. (The shape and timing of this service vary by congregation/judicatory/denomination.) Invite the judicatory and partner churches and organizations to participate.