For this Letter from Leadership, the Board wanted to share a summary of the results of the recent congregational survey and give an overview of what we plan on doing with this information. Overall, we had 53 participants, which is a great response! Of course, there was a wide diversity of opinions reflective of our individualism.
The survey was divided into 4 major areas:
· Professional Minister
· Social Justice
· Recommending the Church
The summary below is just that – a high-level summary.
· The majority of respondents would like to see more professionally led services than we have now. It was a ranked-choice question, and about 78% of people selected a professional minister 1-2 times per month or 3 times per month as their first choice.
· Pastoral care, community outreach, and serving as a “face” for UUCE were the top priorities outside of pulpit time.
· In the comments, one theme that stood out is the importance of a minister in leading the church, and that some people think that it is a deciding factor in being able to attract more members.
· There was also about 20% of respondents that indicated that having a part-time or full-time minister would increase the time and talents they gave to the church.
· The large majority of respondents (about 90%) indicated that their first priority is staying in our current building in some fashion – either staying as now, staying and increasing rentals, or staying and sharing with another organization.
· Only a little over half said that the current building’s benefits outweigh its drawbacks. About 35% said that the benefits and drawbacks are about equal.
Respondents were asked to rank 10 different social justice causes according to their passions. Collectively, UUCE ranked the options in the following order:
1. Environment/climate change
2. Reproductive rights
3. Racial equality
4. Domestica abuse/neglect/safety
7. Voter’s rights
8. Mental health
9. Criminal justi9ce reform
10. Animal well-being
· When asked if they would recommend UUCE as we know it today, we have room for improvement. This is an area the Board would like to dig deeper into soon.
· We do, however, see a big jump in members and friends being willing to recommend UUCE if we 1) hire a minister and/or 2) have more families with young children.
· The next step is for the Board to use this feedback to start to develop 5- year objectives (this is where we are now).
· Once the objectives are defined, the Board will collaborate with committees, teams, and interested individuals in what tactics will be best achieve to these objectives year by year.
· This plan will be evaluated at least annual to ensure we’re on the right track.
We want to end with expressing gratitude to everyone who took the time to fill this survey out, and/or provide us with your feedback in other ways. The Board is here to serve the church, and it’s hard to do that effectively without hearing from the members and friends that make up the church. We are uniquely positioned to “choose our own adventure,” so to speak, and with this feedback, we can start to plan our route. Of course, as our situation changes, we may have to adjust our path or even tweak our destination, but we are optimistic that at this point, we at least have a compass to show us which way to go. More to come at the May 21 Annual Meeting (mark your calendars!).
Erica Lavine, President and Krista Wagner, President Elect
On behalf of the Board of Trustees