One of the most important tasks for congregational leaders at this time is the creating and sustaining a warm, welcoming covenantal community for your members. When outside societal pressures change, so do the needs of our congregants.
Below is a list of suggested program ideas that your
congregation might consider to assist your congregants through these turbulent
financial times. This list was created with the assistance of the board of the
National Association of Temple Administrators (NATA) and also represents some
responses from Union congregations. As always, any new programming ideas should
be coordinated with key clergy and staff, and through the board or a board
appointed committee. This helps to ensure that appropriate human resources (and,
where necessary, financial resources) are allocated to these programs and that
each idea that is implemented is consistent with the mission and vision of the
Be in touch with members: By engaging the Board and other
groups to call congregants to check in you may learn about issues and
opportunities where the congregation can help members in need.
Create a Job Bank: Collect the names of potential employers
within the congregation.
Organize an Outplacement Group: Find volunteers who might
have expertise to offer in resume writing, career coaching, interviewing skills
and/or job search assistance.
Create a Congregational Networking Directory: Collect the
names of members who are willing to be contacted for industry connections,
business guidance and expertise in a particular field.
Offer Financial Information workshop: Older adults in the
congregation on fixed incomes may benefit from hearing from financial planning
experts about how to manage through the current market fluctuations.
Organize support groups for recently displaced workers,
their spouses, and others affected by the economic situation.
Consider a Volunteer Congregational Nurse Program: Using
volunteer nurses offer free blood pressure and basic health screenings for
individuals who may no longer have health insurance.
Invite donors to give to scholarship funds for those unable
to afford synagogue membership or religious school dues.
Organize Family Program Nights: Hold movie night, game
night or other programs that bring families together for low or no cost
activities at the congregation.