THIS FRIENDLY PLACE
The song we sing each Sunday to the children and their teachers as they go to classes calls our church "this friendly place."
On my first Sunday at MDUUC, I was greeted with big smiles by three different people as I entered and made my way into the sanctuary. When newcomers were recognized, I could be introduced by name, or simply stand, or raise my hand.
I didn't offer my name but did stand with other visitors. There was warm applause and more smiles. When everyone present was asked to join in greeting one another, several people came to shake my hand and welcome me.
The person who thought of asking new folks to use a red cup at the coffee hour was inspired. I did that and was immediately approached by members. They made me feel right at home.
I have been tempted, after becoming a member myself, to "cheat" by continuing to use a red cup. Instead, I try to keep an eye out for a red cup newcomer I can greet.
Free coffee and fresh pastries for a small donation add to the "friendly place" experience. Especially if you rushed off to church without your breakfast.
Under the rainbow-colored umbrella, I ordered a nametag and had my questions answered by enthusiastic volunteers. A book display and a nearby information table provided more opportunities to find out about the UU movement and learn about church activities.
At my age I was glad to find a ring of chairs to rest my feet and chat with people sitting there.
"This friendly place" is more than a happy song. It is a delightful reality.