Scheduling Meetings and Events

What should my Team or Ministry consider before planning an event?

There are a few questions your group should talk through, before scheduling and publicizing any WellSprings project or event. If you run into trouble thinking these things through, your ministers, and your liaisons from the Leadership Development Ministry, are all glad to offer support!

  1. Is this project or event consistent with WellSprings’ Core Values and Beliefs? Is it in alignment with our congregation’s culture?

  2. Is this the right thing for our Team or Ministry to prioritize right now? Does it support WellSprings’ current strategy, and does our group have the energy and resources to see it through?

  3. Do we have a clear sense of the purpose of our project or event? How will we know if it achieved its purpose? Can we commit to learn from this effort, regardless of whether we “succeed” or “fail?”

  4. Will this project or event have an impact on another WellSprings Ministry or Team? On our staff or ministers? Have we checked in with those folks, to ask appropriate questions, or to invite them to collaborate?

How do we schedule an event for the whole congregation?

If your Team or Ministry wants to invite the whole congregation to an event, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Have you checked the Calendar to see if anyone else is gathering that day?
    If there’s another all-congregation event scheduled, consider how double-booking your events might impact attendance at each event. If a Team or Ministry is meeting that day, consider the same. When in doubt, feel free to find contact info for the leader of the Team or Ministry organizing the conflicting event, and check in with them about potential conflicts before setting your date in stone.

  2. What’s the capacity for this event?
    When you open an event to the whole congregation, you’re inviting about 300 adults (and, if it’s an all-ages event, their kids… and, if you’re encouraging them to invite friends from outside of WellSprings, even more!) Is your event flexible enough that you could accommodate even a quarter of them accepting the invitation? Should you set an attendance cap? Do you want to collect RSVPs and set an RSVP deadline, so you can plan ahead for the correct crowd size?

  3. Do I need to reserve space for this event?
  1. If you think your space needs at the Montgomery School will conflict with something else on the WellSprings Calendar, you can be in touch with a leader from that Team or Ministry, to find out what specific room they plan to use.
  2. WellSprings is welcome at the Montgomery School after 6:00 pm on weeknights and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. However, the School sometimes rents out Bell Hall, the Dining Hall, and the Gym to other groups during those times.
  3. If you have your heart set on hosting your event in a particular space on the School’s campus, you should follow the instructions below to reserve the space.

Once you’ve answered these questions, a leader on your Team or Ministry can post your event to the full “WellSprings Congregation” group on Realm. From there, our Administrator will add it to our website Calendar, list it in the upcoming Wednesday’s Weekly, and Sunday’s Order of Service.



How do we schedule a meeting for our Ministry or Team?

Talk to Your Group

Check in with your Team or Ministry members to find a good date and time. Pulling out your calendars after church, or at the end of a gathering, is one option. Many of our leaders have found Doodle to be a helpful tool, particularly when trying to schedule a date for groups of more than 4 or 5 people.


If you have to schedule a meeting when you know one or more members will be absent, take extra care to share an agenda ahead of time – or be in touch with those members about key questions that will be discussed at the meeting – so they have an opportunity to contribute to the discussion electronically, or to share their thoughts with another member who will be at the meeting.


If you expect your Ministry or Team will meet regularly, consider agreeing upon a recurring time (e.g. “3rd Monday of the month, quarterly on the 1st Sunday” etc.). This helps people plan for upcoming meetings on a predictable schedule, and keeps the meetings on their calendar, to avoid scheduling conflicts down the road.


Let the Congregation Know

These days, two or three WellSprings gatherings are often happening on the same night – and, it’s good to put meetings on the calendar so that folks considering joining your Team will know when you gather. Our Administrator keeps the website Calendar updated with meetings, small groups, and all-congregation events. It helps when all of these gatherings are added to our calendar, so everyone can see what’s going on in our community, on any given day. Once your meeting is scheduled, a leader on your Team or Ministry should post it in your group as an event on Realm. (If it is your group’s regular, recurring meeting, they can post it as your “Primary Event,” which will make it visible to other congregants searching for your Team.) From there, our Administrator will add it to the website Calendar.


How do we reserve space at the Montgomery School?

The Montgomery School space can be used for meetings and events organized by our Ministries and Teams. We have use of the space for those purposes on most weeknights after 6:00 pm and weekends. However, the School sometimes rents their space out to other groups during those times. Additionally, the School’s use of all spaces takes precedence – so certain spaces may be in use by teachers or parents on a weeknight, requiring our folks to be flexible and move into another open space. If your group is meeting outside of Sunday morning hours, you will also need WellSprings visitor badges for all attendees – these can be obtained any Sunday morning by asking the Administrator or Executive Minister.


If your space needs for a particular event at the Montgomery School are not flexible, you will need to be in touch with our Executive Minister to reserve a specific space. Email (lee@wellspringsuu.org), text (484-467-3784), or message Rev. Lee Paczulla on Realm.


Communications

How do we post on Realm, in the Weekly, and/or Order of Service?

To share news from your Team or Ministry with the congregation, or to invite our entire community to an event, a leader on your Team or Ministry should post to the full “WellSprings Congregation” group on Realm. From there, our Administrator will list it in the upcoming Wednesday Weekly e-newsletter, and the Sunday morning Order of Service.


Please be aware that posts longer than 3-5 sentences may be edited for space. You will need to post by noon on Tuesday to ensure inclusion in the Weekly, and noon on Friday to ensure inclusion in the Order of Service. Posts will be listed in the Weekly and Order of Service for a maximum of 3 weeks. If you post an event more than 3 weeks in advance, we may hold it until closer to the event date. Exceptions may be made for events that require an RSVP in advance – these can run for up to 3 weeks before the RSVP deadline, and, as appropriate, may be re-listed as the event itself approaches (if the event has not filled, for example).


Where can we store our Team or Ministry’s files?

Every time anyone on your Team includes an attachment with their post on Realm, it is added to the “Files” tab for your group. These are listed on the “Files” tab by date, with the most recent files at the top. A leader on your Team or Ministry can also “pin” certain files to the top of that list, as a “Group Resource.”


If you have more complex needs for keeping your files organized, WellSprings maintains a Dropbox account that can be used to keep a record of your files. You can contact our Administrator at office@wellspringsuu.org to request that a folder be set up for your Team or Ministry. The Dropbox folder can be accessed via web, mobile app, or by downloading the Dropbox program onto your computer. Dropbox folders can be shared by all the members of your Team or Ministry, and we ask that leaders keep the list of folks who have access to those files up to date with the current membership of your group. You can also set up your Team or Ministry’s Dropbox folder to give leaders from other Teams and Ministries permission to view your folders and files – which can help folks serving in different parts of our community to see what other groups are working on.

Supplies and Expenses

How do we get written materials printed or copied?

Our Administrator will be glad to print materials and make copies for your Team or Ministry meetings, for small group gatherings, or for flyers or handouts at other WellSprings events. Keep in mind that WellSprings doesn’t have an office that is staffed and open during the week, so these will have to be delivered to you either on a Sunday morning, or you can arrange to pick them up at a mutually agreed upon time and place. Costs for small print jobs (less than 50 copies), black and white copies, or basic color printing (colored text or logo) are all covered in our general printing budget, but complex jobs that can’t be done by a typical office printer (e.g. signs, large color photos, bound booklets) will be funded out of an individual Team or Ministry’s budget.


Many of our leaders find it is easier to make their own arrangements for printing and copying. If you find yourself doing this on a regular basis, we encourage you to let us know about your costs, and to follow the expense reimbursement or in-kind donation process outlined below.


How do we buy supplies for something WellSprings-related?

As a nonprofit, WellSprings maintains a tax-exempt Amazon Prime account. All WellSprings staff members have access to this account, and can order supplies for your Ministry or Team. Most items are delivered within two business days, so if you’re planning ahead, you can be in touch with our Administrator, YouthSpirit Coordinator, or one of the ministers to request that we put in an order.


If you purchase supplies on your own, be aware that WellSprings is exempt from sales tax. Different merchants have widely varying processes for tax exempt organizations, and depending on where you shop, saving on tax may be much more trouble than its worth. If you’re making a major purchase and would like a copy of WellSprings’ tax exemption, please contact our Finance Officer at accounting@wellspringsuu.org.


Please be mindful of your Team or Ministry’s annual budget when purchasing supplies. We suggest you designate someone in your group to monitor your expenses throughout the year – including any un-reimbursed expenses outside of your budget – so you can suggest adjustments in the next fiscal year’s budget.


Who do we notify when we’ve spent money on something WellSprings-related?

Please save your receipt and fill out this online form to let us know about a WellSprings-related cost. There is an option to request either full or partial reimbursement of your expenses, or to donate the cost of the item.


Even if you are not requesting reimbursement, it is helpful for us to have an accurate picture of what it takes to fund all our Ministries and Teams at WellSprings. If you’re not comfortable with the online form, or have trouble uploading a picture of your receipt, you can be in touch with our Finance Officer at accounting@wellspringsuu.org to make other arrangements.