- Unitarian Universalism Connection
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta (UUCA) is launching a 3-year membership campaign targeted to members of military service, civilians, and their families moving to Augusta in large numbers to work in the Fort Gordon Cyber District.
We will strategically reach out to newcomers to Augusta, targeting the influx of military and civilians relocating to Augusta to work in the Fort Gordon Cyber District. The Army Cyber Command is now in the middle of a multi-year process of moving from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to Fort Gordon, Georgia, with the Command Headquarters to be fully established in 2018, and continued expansion thereafter through 2020.
The Fort Gordon Cyber District in Augusta will be much broader than the Army Cyber Command. Augusta University (AU) recently initiated the AU Cyber Institute and the State of Georgia selected Augusta to be the site of the GA Cyber Innovation and Training Center. The Cyber Command, the AU Cyber Institute, and the GA Cyber Center, all share a core mission to ensure security in cyberspace. Government contractors are establishing a regional presence to take advantage of anticipated subcontracted support.
Many newcomers will be younger, highly educated, professionals; many are anticipated to fall within the growing percentage of Americans the Pew Research Center termed “religious nones”, rejecting traditional organized religions but, nevertheless, may identify as spiritual, and may have an affinity for a religious community that Unitarian Universalism has to offer.
One of the best times to target potential members for any church or other organization is when they are first establishing roots in a new area. Our goal is to offer social events at the church, summer camp and other opportunities for children, plus participation in community wide events at Fort Gordon, Augusta University, and other locations in the metropolitan area.
We will implement a new part-time church staff position of Membership Coordinator that will devote 10 hours per week to the project. This position is central to the successful implementation of the project. This person ensures a welcoming experience to new members, friends, and visitors by providing opportunities for people to form connections and to become involved in the life of the church. Our membership drive comprises program strategies in four areas: (i) Marketing/Publicizing; (ii) Congregational Training using the UUA Military Ministry Toolkit; (iii) Face-to face engagement; and (iv) Membership Coordination. We aim to increase UUCA Website activity; increase the number of new children attending RE; and increase the number of new participants enrolled in our Pathway to Membership classes. Our overall outcome goal is to achieve a substantial upward trend in new members joining the church over the next UUCA fiscal 3 years.
In 1954 our congregation was founded by young people coming to the area to take jobs in the new nuclear power industry at Savannah River Site. We are already seeing substantial interest in our church from both civilians and military members as this new wave of professionals move into the community. Please help us spread the welcoming message of Unitarian Universalism in Augusta!