The United Methodist Church's Find-A-Church website receives more than 400,000 page views each month, or almost five million a year.
As of June 2010, those "virtual visitors" who find St. Paul's will see that we now are an officially certified "Welcoming Congregation." Churches so-designated have met specific criteria, including embracing newcomers and providing opportunities in discipleship. Beyond that designation, St. Paul's profile lists worship and ministries opportunities and links to our website. (If you see any errors in the profile, please let us know so we can get them corrected.)
The Welcoming Congregation program is part of an overall effort by The United Methodist Church to invite people to enter into connection with the Christian community as they seek meaning and purpose in their lives. Among opportunities to be in Welcoming Ministries here at St. Paul's are Sunday morning ushers and greeters, meal service hospitality, meeting hospitality, gardening, and tour guides. To get involved, email Rev. Gail Williford or call her at 713-528-0527.
“I’m thrilled that we have earned this designation,” said Rev. Williford. “It is important not only from an evangelism perspective for St. Paul’s but in our belief as Christians to offer ‘radical hospitality’ to strangers. As our various web presences provide a means for more and more virtual visitors to find us, it is encumbent on all of us to provide the personal welcome to every visitor in our midst.”
Yet another way that a virtual visitors find St. Paul's is through the UMC's General Board of Discipleship's Church PHoto Gallery. In May, the GBOD designated St. Paul's as the Church of the Week. From that designation, we now are in the GBOD's Church Photo Gallery with a link back to our website.