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As in the past, the Welcoming Committee’s overall mission has been to attract newcomers to St Thomas, so that they can enrich and share in our worship and our community. The committee, which currently has nine members, aims to help them to settle in and feel at home. In 2014 it continued and developed the main activities that it launched in its first four years of existence.


These activities have included circulating within the parish contact information about newcomers, information that enables our parish administrator Eric Bonetti to mail welcome packages to these folks, and also parishioners to approach newcomers. From time to time the committee also organizes brunches for newcomers that help them to feel welcome. These have been relaxed and enjoyable occasions. We have also continued to informally encourage the main groups within the church to take the initiative and invite newcomers to join them in their work.


In addition, Steve Jacobs has continued to take photos of newcomer families and to place them on a board in the corridor just outside Hudson Hall, with names attached. Also, Louise Armitage has updated the photos of the organizers of various church groups on relevant boards. The photos are accompanied by contact information, to make it easier – in particular for newcomers – to find out what groups exist in the church, who their organizers are, and how to contact them.


Since our church appointed Mary Beth in 2012, the committee has used in its work a new, revised edition of Margel Snead’s colored brochure about St Thomas. The brochure is also used by staff and parishioners in a variety of ways to inform newcomers and outsiders about our church.


A year or so ago the committee began to encourage Jeff Crigler to pursue his plan to make some brief videos about St Thomas’ – for use on the church website and for special occasions, so that outsiders may more easily be attracted to come and worship with us. He has already taken scores of hours of video film. We hope that this project will come to fruition before too long.


Submitted by: Peter Reddaway, chair of Welcoming Committee