What does it look like to belong to our community?

How have you experienced belonging in our community? What have others done that fostered your own experience of belonging? What have you done to help others feel like they belong in our community? Who belongs in our community but is not represented
here? How might we better foster belonging among those people?

These were the questions I brought to the congregation last month as we explored “Harnessing the Power of We by Fostering Belonging.” Here are some of the responses I heard:
-Belonging looks like being at home.
-I experienced belonging when I expressed my beliefs and feelings and felt accepted by others.
-I have helped others feel like they belong by listening to their beliefs and feelings and accepting them without judgement.
-I experience belonging when we share our seven principles and how important they are to us.
-One obstacle to feeling I truly belong is the hesitancy of sharing for fear of being judged.
-I feel like I belong when I come here after being away and people say, “Glad to see you, how have you been?”
-One obstacle to feeling I truly belong is the hesitancy of sharing for fear of being judged.
-I feel I belong when others visit my home, it tells me they are thinking of me.
-I experience belonging through the extracurricular activities outside the building, going to people’s homes,
calling on people when they are ill, potluck suppers, serendipity dinners;
-I felt I belong when I came back and someone had created a nametag for me!
-I felt I belong when someone took the time to learn how to pronounce my name and took the time to greet me by name;
-Minorities, people from the City of Newburgh, immigrants, younger people; people who share our environmental concerns, these are some of the people who belong and could be better represented.
-We can better foster belonging by outreaching to immigrants, attending meetings where people struggling with addiction may find support in our community, offering different religious services and films and advertising in the media.

The care team can improve access for people without transportation by coordinating rides. If you need a ride contact the care team. If you can provide a ride contact the care team.

I hope you will continue the conversation about the power of we and how to foster belonging in the days ahead.

See you on Sunday