Newcomer Activities

IMG_9713Many newcomers say they first come to Neighborhood Church seeking “community.”  As our lives grow and evolve, many of us are increasingly isolated.  A study published in 2006 by the American Sociological Review reported a significant increase in loneliness.  People are experiencing a greater level of isolation than ever before.  Humans are social beings – we need community in the same way we need food and shelter.

We often find that there has been some sort of catalyst in newcomers’ lives that prompts them to seek a spiritual home.  It could be the birth of a child, new marriage, home relocation, divorce, illness, or other life-changing events.  It is important that you make a commitment to create reflection, quiet time each Sunday to attend service.  In time, you will find that you are ready to add additional elements to your spiritual practice.  Exploring specific topics at a lecture or speaker’s forum is one way.  Joining a Chalice Circle, small groups of church members who meet regularly to explore UU topics and personal connections, is another route.  The benefits of rolling up your sleeves to volunteer for one of our numerous Social Justice projects or helping out with our Youth Religious Education program are numerous.   However you get involved, connecting with other Church members and making Neighborhood your community is vital to a full and rich life at Church.

Learn More

We offer a number of newcomer orientation sessions and new member classes throughout the church year.  Both are wonderful ways to learn more about Neighborhood, meet the ministers, begin making new friends, and learn how to get involved.  Please contact Liz Murphy, Membership and Stewardship Assistant, if you have any questions or want to register for a class.

New to Neighborhood – This short orientation class is offered the first Sunday of each month.  You’ll be introduced to Unitarian Universalism, learn about our various programs and activities, and meet other newcomers.  Free childcare is available.  Contact Liz Murphy, Membership and Stewardship Assistant, to register.  Group meets in the Neighborhood House living room.

Bridging Groups – If you are ready to make Neighborhood Church your spiritual home and explore church membership, this is the class for you.  This two-part membership session helps you develop deeper connections to others and get involved in a meaningful way.  You will have an opportunity to spend time with our minister learning about the theological and historical roots of Unitarian Universalism, expectations of membership, and current programs and activities.  Working with lay leaders, participants will also spend time exploring their own spiritual path and how it has led them to Neighborhood. Free childcare is available.  Classes are held throughout the year.  Contact Liz Murphy, Membership and Stewardship Assistant, to register.

Upcoming Session:
Sunday, March 18 and 25 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Getting Involved

As a newcomer, a great way to explore Neighborhood Church is getting involved in some of our groups and activities. We have many, many groups and activities that you are welcome to join, these groups are particularly good for newcomers.  Our Membership and Stewardship Assistant Liz Murphy or Welcome Table Sunday Volunteers can help you find the right group and answer any questions you may have. Check out the calendar listings for more information.

Newcomer Gatherings & Events

  • New to Neighborhood: orientation class held throughout the year
  • Newcomer & new member potlucks
  • Bridging Groups: two-week long introduction to the Church and Unitarian Universalism

Social Groups & Events

  • People of Color: activities and discussion that address issues of diversity
  • Dining For Dollars: member-hosted meals and activities throughout the year (proceeds benefit the Church)
  • Camp de Benneville Pines: summer & winter camp in San Bernardino Mountains


  • Neighborhood Chorus: Sing at 1st or 2nd service; Thursday evening rehearsals
  • Neighborhood Bell Choir: Monday night rehearsals

Social Justice

  • Social Justice Knitting: every other Wednesday evening
  • Esperanza homebuilding in Tijuana
  • Green Council: environmental initiatives
  • Union Station homeless shelter

Sunday Morning Patio Volunteers

  • Welcome Table hosts & greeting
  • Coffee committee
  • Marketplace & Bookstore
  • Ushers

Discussion & Covenant Groups

  • The GLOBE Forum: Discuss current events and recent Economist issue. 1st Sunday between services
  • Writing as a Spiritual Activity: Every Sunday but the 3rd after second service
  • Neighborhood Meditation: 1st & 3rd Wednesdays and every Thursday evening