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"Welcome Baskets"

AtomicSnowflake

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A few of us in our church were thinking it might be a nice idea to put together some sort of "welcome basket" to give to people who move into the community... Just a friendly way to say --hello, welcome to the neighborhood, you are invited to visit/attend church, and we are glad you are here, can we help you in some way, pray with you, etc...

We are thinking of a nice basket filled with some goodies...
fruit- apples, oranges, bananas, pineapple, or whatever we happen to get!
literature/welcome pack from our church
our church newsletter
a Bible
hand-signed welcome card/invitation from our pastor
homemade cookies, bread, muffins, brownies, or ??
maybe a few christian themed / hand-crafted items such as
refg magnet
calendar (possibly customized)
potholder
dish-towel
& if there are children, a few things for them also.
---
We're not trying to go over-the-top with it... and most likely will only have a few of the items mentioned, (or different things).. we just want to be friendly, welcoming, & sincere :)
But I was wondering what kind of "welcome basket" would you like to receive? If you were new to an area, what would make you feel welcome? What are some practical items you'd appreciate? What might be a "special" or "hand-crafted" gift that would be meaningful?
Is this a good idea.... or is it a bad idea in some way?
 

bobinfaith

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Hello AtomicSnowflake;

This is a great idea and would be a wonderful welcome to any one new in the church or community. I would like to add that a mesh bag of about 30 marbles would be a nice thing to add to the basket. Nobody would expect marbles and they are a nice toy - colorful pheres that anyone would like.

What do you think?

We're having a church wide meeting soon and will pray about suggesting the welcome baskets for our church.

God bless you and your family.
 

AtomicSnowflake

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Thanks for suggesting marbles...lol I like that idea. They have the small bags of like 20 or so marbles in bags at our local Dollar Tree store... we got some of them for including into some of the shoe-box gifts that we made up for Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan's Purse.
I had a bag left over.... & my cat just loves to chase them around!!

As for the baskets, I really hope to be able to incorporate help from all ages in making some hand-made items... I think it's important to involve as many people/ages as possible... so that everyone can be able to contribute... all the way from the small children up to our retired adults and more senior members.

I also have an abundance of "egg gourds" that grow wild on our property. I was wanting to have the children paint/decorate them to be used for Christmas ornaments or maybe Easter eggs...lol I thought it would be cute. We could also include one of those in the baskets as well.
We're having a church wide meeting soon and will pray about suggesting the welcome baskets for our church.
Cool... If you do feel led to bring it up, let me know how things go!
 
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Apr 28, 2017
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AtomicSnowflake, you have covered some very good suggestions. If I were new I would like to receive a fruit basket (this may work for others because almost everyone eats and likes fruit whereas cookies could be out of range for those restricting sugar intake) A personalized note from the pastor or a church calendar and/or newsletter would also be nice. Some meaningful scriptures on a card which should include your particular's churches vision statement. (Most vision statements have scriptures which go along with.) My church provides something monthly after 11:30 a.m. services disperse called "Pizza with Pastors" in which the pastors (there are several) meet with new people for, yes, a time of fellowship over pizza which is provided by the church. A bit spendy but does set a nice welcoming atmosphere for someone new. Of course that isn't part of the basket unless you also have some kind of function like that. Then there could be an invitation to the function specifically in the basket. :)
 
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Apr 28, 2017
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As for the baskets, I really hope to be able to incorporate help from all ages in making some hand-made items... I think it's important to involve as many people/ages as possible... so that everyone can be able to contribute... all the way from the small children up to our retired adults and more senior members.
Absolutely love it! We did this at Christmas time back when my late husband and I were involved in a smaller country church. This wasn't for newcomers as such (although some did come to church as a result) but simply people either from church or the community who were in need. Fine baskets (actually large bags) with a turkey and all that goes with. Also served refreshments and in the background the pastor had a video playing of "It's a Wonderful Life." We were the first greeters in the door area so got to welcome all who came. Our first Christmas doing this we received and gave out 60 some baskets which the congregation provided. Nice way to work together too from those who got the baskets ready, to cookie and coffee makers, those who greeted and those who helped people carry their Christmas basket to the car. At the car members of our prayer team asked if they would like us to pray for them. Most said 'yes'..but it wasn't push at all..most of the time we asked the Lord to simply bless them.
 

AtomicSnowflake

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My church provides something monthly after 11:30 a.m. services disperse called "Pizza with Pastors" in which the pastors (there are several) meet with new people for, yes, a time of fellowship over pizza which is provided by the church.
That sounds like a really good idea! ...and fun :)
We are also planning to have regular cookouts this spring/summer as a way to say "hello" to those who may stop in from the area... sort of like a church picnic... mabye once or twice a month. But we haven't started that yet.
 

bobinfaith

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That sounds like a really good idea! ...and fun :)
We are also planning to have regular cookouts this spring/summer as a way to say "hello" to those who may stop in from the area... sort of like a church picnic... mabye once or twice a month. But we haven't started that yet.
Hi AtomicSnowflake;

After praying about the baskets, its a great idea and I plan to bring up to the board. They would put together small basket with the Daily Bread or other devotional, visitors card, church pen, a few other goodies and a bag of marbles. lol! for new visitors / members.

Please pray for this idea with our church family.

God bless
you and your families.
 
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AtomicSnowflake

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bobinfaith just an fyi... I've done alot of studying/researching from articles on what makes people feel appreciated/welcome... all agreed that a "hand written" note is especially thoughtful... they appreciate the special time & personal attention involved when they get a written welcome from the pastor. :) Many churches include info cards in a welcome packet, to get the new visitors to fill out... name, address, email... then the church will send a simple postcard with a note, thanking them for visiting, and inviting them back.

Please pray for this idea with our church family.
Will do... (Actually, already have been. :) )
 

AtomicSnowflake

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Update: We went out this evening and delivered our first "welcome baskets". We visited four families who are new to the community. It was awesome! :) Three of us went out, and everyone was very nice, and seemed genuinely happy that they were thought of. They all expressed how nice, thoughtful, and caring they thought it was.
And there is the possibility that at least one couple, possibly two... may come to visit our church. It was a very nice day & and exciting. It was awesome.
So if anyone is considering this, but feels intimidated by the thought of visiting a "stranger"... it wasn't like that... everyone was super friendly and happy to receive our welcome. I'm so glad we were finally able to pull this together.
We kept the baskets simple, fruit, mints, a nice pen, bookmark, bibles, & some literature.
fruit_baskets.jpg
 

AtomicSnowflake

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bobinfaith Thank you for the kind words!!
We put them together ourselves... My husband and I just made a trip to the store for some fruit, apples, oranges, bananas, pineapple, & some peppermints. So I simply divided the fruit into them & then added the other items, (which we already had on hand at the church).
The baskets were just a few random ones we were able to find. It really was very quick and simple... and loads of fun... and very encouraging too :)
 
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Wow amazing, the church im at now has a welcome pack for vistors but not an entire basket. Its a pen with the church number on it, a chocolate, and a church newsletter and contact details.

I think what I would find useful is a fridge magnet. Love the fruit.
At church conference the welcome pack or goody bag had a bottle of water, a pen, a notebook to writes sermon notes in, hand crafted book marks with scripture, and a minty chocolate.

I think seeds are a good idea maybe mustard seeds lol. Or peas and beans, corn, or a pot of herbs like maybe basil or parsley.

For children yes marbles, or maybe an eraser you could find christian themed ones at the christian bookshop.
 
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