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 I 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, you can follow the instructions below to have your event listed in the Weekly and Order of Service, and posted on The City.


If you would like your fellow WellSpringers to know about an event not hosted by one of our Ministries or Teams, or simply would like to invite WellSpringers to gather socially (to attend a concert, art show, movie, etc.), you can post your event in the Marketplace on The City.


How do I schedule a meeting for my 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! Our Administrator keeps the WellSprings Calendar updated with all regularly recurring 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.

  1. Email office@wellspringsuu.org to request that your meeting be added to the public WellSprings Calendar on our website.

  2. Include in your email: the name of the Team or Ministry; the date, start and end times, and location (e.g. Bell Hall, Gresh Center, Dining Hall, Gym, Private Residence, or some other location). If this is a recurring meeting, include those details.

  3. If your Team or Ministry is using The City, you can add your meeting as an event within your group, ask for volunteer roles to be filled, and collect RSVPs.
  1. Click on the Group for your Ministry or Team.
  2. Click “Start a New Post” at the top, then click “Event.”
  3. Fill in the requested information for your Event. You can add details for location, recurrence, items to bring, and roles to fill. If you click “Advanced Options” you can also add files to the Event, like a meeting agenda or prior meeting minutes.
  4. Members of your Team or Ministry’s Group on the City will now see information about the Event, according to their notification settings.

How do I 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 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 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 The City.


Communications

How do I list an event in the Weekly and/or Order of Service?

Any Team or Ministry that is organizing an event open to the entire congregation can list their event in the WellSprings Weekly e-newsletter, and the Order of Service on Sunday morning.

  1. Draft a 3-5 sentence blurb for your event. Be sure to include:
  1. A simple heading – this will usually just be the name of the event (e.g. “Spring Potluck!”).
  2. The date, start and end times, and location of the event.
  3. Key info you’d like the reader to know, and the action you’d like them to take. This might include instructions to RSVP, an RSVP deadline, or a simple “we hope to see you there!”
  4. The name and contact info of a person to be in touch with for questions about the event.
  1. Consider wheher a photo would help your event pop! Do you have photos of similar past events? Photos of your Team or Ministry in action? Is there a free photo you could pull from the internet (a stack of board games for a game night, etc.) that would draw people’s attention to the post?

  2. Send your blurb (and photo, if applicable) to our Administrator at office@wellspringsuu.org. Blurbs must be received no later than noon on Tuesday to be included in the Weekly.

  3. If your event has a maximum size: please communicate the maximum number of attendees to our Administrator. People will likely RSVP to your event in multiple ways – by emailing the contact person, by emailing our office or one of the ministers, by signing up on the Connection Card, or by RSVPing to the event on The City. The Administrator can be the single point person to collect RSVPs from all of these sources, and ensure you don’t go over your maximum attendee cap.

All events in the Weekly will be run in the following Sunday’s Order of Service. Our Administrator will also add these events to the public WellSprings Calendar on our website, and to the all-congregation calendar on The City. We try to keep the Weekly and Order of Service to a manageable length – so please keep in mind:

  1. Events will run for a maximum of 3 weeks. If you send a blurb for an event to us 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).

  2. If your Team or Ministry has a news item or update to share with the congregation, rather than an invitation to an event, please be in touch with the Executive Minister.

How do I get an event on the WellSprings Calendar?

Any events open to the whole congregation that are listed in the Weekly and/or Order of Service will be added to the public WellSprings Calendar on our website, and to the all-congregation calendar on The City.


If you would like to get a Team or Ministry meeting added to the calendar, follow the instructions above under “How do I schedule a meeting for my Ministry or Team?”


If you would like your fellow WellSpringers to know about an event not hosted by one of our Ministries or Teams, or would like to invite WellSpringers to gather socially (to attend a concert, art show, movie, etc.), you can post your event in the Marketplace on The City.


What can my Team or Ministry do on The City?

All of our Teams and Ministries are set up with a Group on The City. Senior Leaders (Team Leaders and members of our six core Ministries) can manage who is in your Group, and we encourage all leaders to check periodically to make sure those lists are accurate and up-to-date. Each Group on The City has a news feed, where any member of the Group can post:

  1. Topics for discussion, with comment threads, and the option to attach files to each Topic.
  2. Events (e.g. Team meetings or other gatherings), with the option to request that people sign up to bring certain items to the event, or volunteer for specific roles for the event.
  3. Prayers, where members of the group can let others know when they’d like to be offered supportive thoughts, words, prayers, or intentions, or simply to be held in the care of the group.
  4. Needs, which allow a member of the group to make a request for a specific volunteer task or donated item related to the Team or Ministry’s work (these can be posted internally to the group, or shared with the entire congregation).
  5. Photos of events, meeting notes on a whiteboard, or of the Team or Ministry members in action!

Additionally, all our Teams are discoverable to any WellSprings’ City user when they click “Search for groups” under the “Groups” tab. Individuals may ask to join your Team’s Group on The City as a way of expressing their interest in joining your Team. They also have the option to send a Message to a Team leader through The City, and may use that feature to inquire about joining your Team.


Since The City provides an avenue for new members to learn about and join your Teams, we encourage all leaders to familiarize themselves with the features of a City Group, to respond to inquiries from current or potential Team members on The City, and to consider moving your communications away from email and towards The City as much as possible. Our Administrator can offer support in getting all your Team or Ministry members signed up for, and using, The City.


Where can I store my Team or Ministry’s files?

WellSprings doesn’t keep a centralized shared drive or folder for all congregational files. The City is great for communicating with your Team or Ministry, and for sharing files as attachments, but it does not keep an organized repository of your files (things like meeting minutes, notes from past events, a record of flyers and handouts, etc.).


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 I 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 I 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 I notify when I’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.