Support Guest at Your Table
“A comment from a relatively new UU says it best, ‘I really enjoyed the Guest at Your Table service. . . . Thank you for bringing this to our congregation. It made me proud to be a UU.’”
Magic Valley UU Fellowship, Twin Falls, Idaho
Looking for ways of making your own Guest at Your Table box? Here are some suggestions:
- Try using a free template for making a box from recycled materials, from PlanetPals.com. You can paste images from Guest at Your Table or do your own artwork and then assemble.
- Reuse a large box, decorate with images from the Guest at Your Table poster, and cut a slot on the top. Use this box for participants to put their Guest at Your Table envelopes in.
Looking for ways to get everyone involved with Guest at Your Table online? Here is a suggestion to consider:
- Set up a table during social hour with a couple of laptops. Have volunteers on hand to assist congregation members who want to participate. Announce it during the service, with language like, “We want to get [specify your goal] new or renewed UUSC memberships for Guest at Your Table this year. After service, there will be computers at the coffee-hour table, where volunteers will help you set up your web page to raise money for Guest at Your Table or help you make your online donation.”
Each year, we ask Guest at Your Table coordinators to share with us any events or activities that made their program stand out. The creativity and commitment that goes into these activities is impressive. How do you make your Guest at Your Table program special?
We hope that the partial list of past activities will inspire you to try something new during Guest at Your Table. Share your own ideas and pictures by e-mail to volunteerservices @ uusc.org. Thank you for your time, support, and creativity!
- The religious education director at First Universalist Church in Denver, Colo., prepared a social justice youth workshop, including a play she wrote based on Stories of Hope, which some of the youth performed for the other children. Then the youth wrote their own plays!
- The religious education classes at First Unitarian Church in Rochester, N.Y., advertised “Chores for Change” in the congregation’s newsletter, and throughout the month they did odd jobs and put the proceeds toward their Guest at Your Table collection.
- The UU Church of Palo Alto, Calif., created a hope calendar, similar to an advent calendar. It drew from Stories of Hope and listed activities and ideas for each day from Thanksgiving through Christmas that families could use during Guest at Your Table.
- Members of the UU Society of Grafton and Upton in Grafton, Mass., created and reflected each week on "wondering questions" about the guests featured in Stories of Hope.
- Children at the UU Society of Grafton and Upton, Mass., created a mural of the guests from Stories of Hope. The mural served as a visual reminder to congregants throughout the program.
- The River Road UU Congregation in Bethesda, Md., has an annual alternative gift market, and they included items related to the work being done by our featured partners, including smaller items so children can participate. For example, one option was “$5 share of materials for a groundnut sheller,” which helps teach about appropriate technology used by partners in Uganda.
- The fifth- through eighth-grade classes at the UU Church in Barnstable, Mass., made bean soup mix and sold bags of it at coffee hour, while helping to distribute boxes. (Note: this project is described in more detail in the 2009–2010 religious education kit.)
- North Shore Unitarian in Deerfield, Ill., recognized the top two contributing families in the worship service with a small open-hands statue and featured their names in the weekly bulletin. (Note: be sure to get permission before recognizing people publicly for the amount of their donation!)
- Children at the UU Church in Springfield, Vt., started a fundraiser with a microloan: using primarily recycled and natural materials, they made door swags and centerpieces to sell at coffee hour.
- In Golden, Colo., Jefferson Unitarian Church volunteers held a youth religious education class during services, with a slide show of UUSC and Guest at Your Table with pictures and stories. Students role-played being guests and hosts.
Questions about organizing Guest at Your Table? We are happy to help! Contact us at volunteerservices @ uusc.org.
Share your great idea with us!
How have you made your Guest at Your Table program unique and engaging? Please share your ideas here! Also, if you have photos of your idea in action, e-mail some to volunteerservices @ uusc.org.