There are many different ways to be involved in this community, and one of the best ways to meet people and experience true connection is by finding a volunteer role that works for you. Whether it is a one-time job or an ongoing commitment, there are many ways ways to engage in community that will fit your lifestyle, skills and interests. Below are just some of the ways that you can lend a hand and start making a lasting connection here at TVUUC.
Greeters: Welcome people as they enter the church for 30 minutes before a service.
Welcoming Table: Greet visitors; help them get name tags; orient them to the building and answer questions.
Host: Float in the lobby after the service, talk with visitors, help connect them to others and to programs, invite them back again.
Ushering: Welcome people into the sanctuary for 20 minutes before a service; pass the collection plate; count money after the service.
Sanctuary Guild: Help straighten and store hymnals appropriately after a service; pick up any leftover order of services, etc.; check to be sure there are matches for chalice lighting.
Caring Table: Write cards to those in need or celebrating a joy; sit at the table before and after service encouraging people to sign cards – a great way to meet new people!
Coffee: Make coffee before the service (people really appreciate you in this job!)
Sunday Potlucks: A few times a year, assist in setting up, breaking down, and cleaning the Greg McKendry Fellowship Hall and the kitchen.
Religious Education: Teach a class; organize the closet, greet at the RE Greeter Table, there are many ways to help out with our Children’s Programs! Check out the Children & Youth page for more info.
Flowers: Arrange flowers to beautify our Sanctuary, Welcome Table, and bathrooms. Perfect for someone with a creative eye!
Choir: Provide music for worship. Choir practice meets Wednesday nights. See the Music page for details.
Building and Grounds
Help with our grounds: Weeding, planting, cutting back vegetation – for folks who know that gardening is the best medicine!
General Handyperson: Give some of your time to do odd jobs in and around the building.
Kitchen Care: Give a few hours a month to help keep our kitchen clean and sanitary.
Office Assistant: Give some of your time to help the Administrative Assistant in the office.
Evening Hosts: Volunteer as a sexton to open or close the building
Social & Environmental Justice:
FISH Emergency Food Delivery: Volunteer to distribute food on Wednesdays to those in need, or to help get food from the pantry to the church.
Lonsdale Elementary School Tutoring: Volunteer to mentor a student.
Family Promise: During the week when TVUUC hosts 3 or 4 families who do not otherwise have homes: be a dinner host, spend the night or help with entertainment for the children.
Volunteer Ministry Center: Once a month, help cook meals to take and serve at Volunteer Ministry Center.
Community Garden: Rent a bed in our garden, help with general upkeep, weeding, watering, pruning, etc. as needed.
Racial Justice Program: Address the specific issue of Racial Justice within and without our community through workshops, book studies, actions, etc.
Every Sunday – Volunteers arrive 30 minutes before the service. Stand at the entrance of each side of the sanctuary to welcome people and hand out orders of service. Assist latecomers in finding seating. If crowded, may ask people to move closer together to allow additional seating. Pass the collection baskets, record attendance and tally up collection at end of service. Before or after service, check seating for hymnals, envelopes, visitor cards and pencils, and remove trash, cups. Collect orders of service at end for reuse or recycle. Four ushers needed each week. Volunteering for a regular slot each month is especially helpful. Contact: Bill Cherry, Email
Every week – A member creates a large arrangement for the table in front of the sanctuary for Sunday services, and smaller arrangements for the Welcome Table and rest rooms. S/he uses flowers and natural materials that are homegrown, from fields, or from floral shops. Donors who wish to Honor With Flowers may have given funds for specific Sundays, and team will then submit a note for the Order of Service. Arrangements are put in place between Friday and Sunday before the service, and removed early the following week. Six to twelve members rotate scheduling Tips on effective floral arrangement gladly offered to anyone interested in joining the team. Contact: Emily Taylor, Email
Memorial Service Coordination
As needed – Four to eight team members respond to requests from TVUUC-connected families planning a memorial service at the church. They provide coordination of details of service – guest book, flowers, sanctuary preparation and seating,or whatever is needed. They provide a reception that meets the needs and desires of the family, often requesting donated food items from the congregation. Contact: Carolyn Franks, Email
As needed – Members meet once a month to plan lay-led or visiting minister services when the minister is not worship leader, including several summer services. Assist worship assistants and church staff with all aspects of service delivery. contact: Nathan Paki, Email
Monthly – Four to five committee members meet in support of the music program, discussing the needs of the church and the Director of Music. Responsible for scheduling public concerts and Open Mic evenings. Contact: Barbara Taylor, Email
Choirs – Adults and Children
— Sanctuary Choir – Wednesdays, 7:15 PM – This SATB (Soprano.Alto, Tenor, Bass) ensemble is open to all volunteer singers and participates in Sunday services approximately twice a month. The Sanctuary Choir also participates in Christmas Eve, Easter and other events and services of the church as requested. The Sanctuary Choir prepares larger musical services and works during the calendar year.. Contact: Leslie Gengozian, Director of Music, Email
— Chalice Singers – 2nd and 4th Mondays, 7:15 PM – This is an auditioned group of approximately 16 singers. The Chalice Singers participate in Christmas Eve and Easter services, occasional Sunday services, and other events as requested. Contact: Leslie Gengozian, Director of Music, Email
— “UU Terns” Children’s Choir – Sunday mornings, 10:00 AM. This group is open to all children between 6-11 years of age and regularly participates in Christmas Eve and Inter-generational services. We meet every Sunday before service. This choir focuses upon developing basic ear training and rhythmic skills and frequently incorporates instruments such as drums and maracas. Contact: Ann Barber, Email
Every Sunday, also concerts and other special events – Team member arrives half an hour before the service. Set up microphones and computer to amplify and record service, sit in sound booth and make adjustments as needed. Export recorded service to MP3 player on computer. Put microphones away after final service and turn off system. One volunteer needed for each service (or both). Orientation and training to system gladly arranged. Contact: Dan Bing, Email
Do you love organizing? Have a mind for strategic planning and a vision for the future of our community? You might be the right kind of person to join a committee! TVUUC is democratically governed by our Board, Program Council, and many committees that do the work of ensuring we live up to our aspirations, mission, and vision. Below is a list of just some of the committees that make up our church.
Art Gallery Committee
Spiritual Care Team
Memorial Service Coordination
Denominational Affairs Committee
East Tennessee Cluster of UU Churches
Volunteer Opportunities in Welcoming and Membership
Meets as needed – The purpose of this committee is to create a welcoming environment for visitors and generate interest in becoming members. Five to seven committee members work with the Membership Coordinator to help members and friends find involvement in programs and activities that connect with their talents, skills and interests. Assist with periodic programs (currently UU 101 and New Member Ceremonies) that help new people learn about Unitarian Universalism, TVUUC, and membership. Work with staff to compile, archive and discern members’ information and skills to join programs, committees, and pathways to leadership. Contact: Trevor Dockery-Palmer, Email
UU Conversations Team
Every Sunday – Facilitator is introduced at beginning of second service, meets following the service in e.e. cummings room with anyone interested for up to 30 minutes. Welcomes visitors, answers questions about Unitarian Universalism and TVUUC, provides printed info from resource box as needed, learns their interests and helps them make connections with activities as appropriate. Have grey visitor cards filled out if needed and provide to office. Orientation and guide for facilitators available. Contact: Beauvais Lyons, Email
Every Sunday – Volunteers arrive 45 minutes before the service. Wear a nametag and a Welcome badge (available at Welcome Table). Open the doors for all members and friends and welcome them with kind words, a smile, perhaps a handshake. If they are clearly new visitors, direct them to the Welcome Table. Two greeters needed for each service each week. Volunteering for a regular slot each month is especially helpful. Contact: Suzanne Brown, Email
Every Sunday – Immediately following service for 30-45 minutes. The purpose of this role is to assist visitors, friends, and members with after service needs. Wear a nametag and Host badge (available at Welcome Table). Hosts are positioned in the foyer and at the main entrance doors to provide directions to programs, events, and facilities and to offer kind goodby greetings, a smile, or other friendly gesture to our visitors, friends, and members exiting church. Two hosts needed for service every week. To capture all visitors, friends, and members exiting service, Hosts will station themselves at their designated spots before service ends. Volunteering for a regular slot each month is especially helpful. Orientation gladly offered. Contact: Suzanne Brown, Email
Every Sunday – Volunteers arrive half an hour before the service. Set up brochures, cards and pens on table in foyer, return items to storage in office at end. Wear name tag and Welcome badge. Greet visitors, offer temporary name badges, respond to requests for new permanent badges, and help them fill out visitor cards, answer questions about the church, various activities and Unitarian Universalism in general. Introduce them to RE table, Membership Coordinator or other member if appropriate. Return to table for a time after the service. Place completed visitor cards in Membership Coordinator’s box in office. Two attendants needed for each service, and orientation to procedures and supplies is gladly offered. Volunteering for a regular slot each month is especially helpful. Contact: Bill Fields, Email
Every Sunday – Volunteers set up Caring Table in Fellowship Hall or foyer with extra chairs 30 minutes before the service. Prepare cards to friends with caring needs or celebrating a joy and encourage people to sign, then prepare for mailing. Collect information about caring needs and communicate as needed to Minister of Pastoral Care. Collect names of people who will volunteer to help. Two volunteers needed each Sunday. Orientation gladly offered. Contact: Wendy Syer, Email
Spiritual Care Team
As needed – Members of the Spiritual Care Team are volunteers trained to sojourn with those in crisis, illness, or transition of any kind. Upon request, they provide a confidential, caring presence, in person or by phone. Meetings may be one-time or ongoing, depending on the need. Members serve 2 year terms as part of the pastoral care ministry. Contact: Pam Johnson, Ministerial Intern
Sunday Lunch Bunch
Most Sundays (except Potluck Sundays), 12:30 pm – Whether you are a new visitor, recent returnee, or long-time member, all are invited to join the Sunday Lunch Bunch after the second service for informal fellowship and fun. Lunch will be at a local restaurant selected for the day. Meet in the lobby by the front doors to confirm the spot and coordinate transportation. Contact: Trevor Dockery-Palmer, Email