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UU evangelism fosters new church growth

Marketing efforts underway
By Staff Writer
May/June 2005 5.1.05

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Five significant marketing efforts are under way by UU congregations or clusters of congregations that have enthusiastically embraced "evangelism."

Houston-area congregations conducted a marketing campaign from January through April, including billboards, radio, direct mail, a newspaper insert, and print ads. San Diego-area congregations began a three-year "I Believe" marketing campaign this past winter. It includes several forms of advertising and a campaign Web site where visitors can find out about activities at all of the participating congregations and learn about Unitarian Universalism. To view the site, go to www.uusandiego.org.

A mini-marketing campaign will take place in Dallas/Fort Worth around the time of General Assembly in Fort Worth in June. It may include the use of billboards, radio, and direct mail using a second generation of Uncommon Denomination promotional materials developed during an ad campaign in the Kansas City metro area in 2003.

The Pathways Church UU in Southlake, Texas, which the UUA provided major funding to start, celebrated its six-month anniversary at Easter. In addition to Sunday services and a religious education program, it is holding quarterly events to reach out to the community.

The UUA and the 700-member Mainline Unitarian Church in suburban Philadelphia are working on plans to start a congregation in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The new church will have a strong relationship with Mainline.

Growth plans are also being prepared for the Baltimore/Washington, and Wilmington/Philadelphia areas and a "partnership for growth" is being developed by the UUA with five midsize to large congregations in the Clara Barton District.

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