SURVEY RESULTS!!!!!

Thank you, so much, to all who participated!  I received a total of 43 responses to my survey which is SUPER awesome!  9 of you brave souls had never been to a UU church before, while 21 had not gone in the past year.  The rest were some mix of “I don’t go regularly” or “this was a new congregation” or “other.”

Please not all the questions were mandatory and some people chose not to answer some of the questions, meaning not all percentages make sense with the number “43.” In fact, most don’t.

The questions!!!

Just, in general, did people have a good time at church?

Overwhelmingly yes! 37 of the 43 respondents said that they had a good time. The other 6 answered “other.”

79% of folks were greeted warmly

86% said that they understood what they were supposed to do at various times in the service

65% said that it was easy to find their way to the church

58% said they stayed for coffee hour

71% said that the service was as advertised in terms of length topic, etc

and…

28% said that somebody made the effort to tell them about various events happening at the church.

Of those who gave an age, almost three quarters were between 18 and 35, and the rest were over 35 save for the one “under 18” who answered my survey.

And… alright people. Truth time.

Exactly 2 of that coveted young adult demographic were told about young adult programming.

Two.

People had quite a bit to say about their church visits.

What did people like?

  • The people seem very friendly and approachable in general.

  • Last Sunday was our annual music service. It was mostly bluegrass music, which was a wonderful change of pace from the usual classical/organ music we hear. I like classical music, but I’d love it if we didn’t get quite so much of it. I suspect this is not a widely-shared opinion among my fellow congregants.

  • I liked the inclusive speech, the content and delivery of the minister’s sermon, the candles of concern, and some of the music–but all of the effort

  • I love how excited my toddler is to go every Sunday.

  • I liked that they had a rainbow flag and said that they welcomed LGBTQ people.

  • I was happy to see that after the big flu season scare when the sung benediction was done with hand motions, it’s back to holding hands.

  • I really liked the music. There is something special about church music that just makes me happy and peaceful.

  • There was nobody shouting which was nice. I hated that when I went to an IFB church!

  • Somebody came up to me in the service and asked if I was new, and she sat with me the whole time. She showed me where the coffee hour was, too, and I asked her some questions about the church. She was really nice and I was happy that I had somebody to ask where the bathroom was and just talk to in general because I can be kind of shy.

What needs to be changed up?

  • I didn’t notice anyone like me (i.e. people under 35ish who appeared to be there by themselves). I don’t really mind the age difference, but it did seem like everyone already all knew each other–especially during the coffee hour–and weren’t very inclined to say hello to me or ask what I’m doing there or anything. (though one person who was the official greeter did) I’m not the most social person in the world and I hate meeting new people in most circumstances, so the whole concept of awkwardly standing around while other people talk to each other wasn’t very comfortable.

  • So the reason I went, which was before I saw that you were recruiting people to go for the sake of doing this survey, is that I would really like to have a spiritual community, and I strongly agree with all of the UU principles and all of that. So, in theory, being a UU seems like a good idea. I especially enjoy the attitude that each person is on their own spiritual journey and there is no single set of dogma that we’re required to believe. However, the reason why I’m probably unlikely to be a regular UU church-goer is that I feel like the services are typically a large majority of “fluff.” Topics for sermons seem to be things like “war is bad” or “it’s good to care about the Earth” and things like that. Now obviously, I agree with these nice ideas, but I haven’t felt like I was learning anything or being intellectually challenged or emotionally affected in any way, which is what would inspire me to wake up and go to church on Sunday, rather than just sleeping late.

  • My conclusion after the service was that I think when I have children, I’d like to raise them as regular UU church-goers so that they could be exposed to all of these nice ideas and learn to ask big questions and become accepting of difference and embrace diversity, etc. So I’ll probably start going regularly once I have kids, which is nice to have as a long-term plan, but also a little disappointing for the present.

  • 10 years after signing the book and fully participating & contributing in every way imaginable, I have NOT ONCE felt welcomed or been comfortable with the word “church.”

  • There is consistently very little welcoming behavior. No one makes an effort to say hello. Although we do a welcoming ritual during church, that is awkward as well because people avoid me since I am young and usually alone. People welcome the people they already know. No one makes an effort to talk to me or welcome me. I have yet to have a conversation with any regular member of the church after or before church services.

  • I want church to be serious but also about celebrating the joy in life and love. There needs to be that balance and this church seems to take itself too seriously. It’s why I went regularly for about 6 months, but haven’t been back in a while.

  • The piano music was lovely as always. Of the hymns, 1 was relatively easy, but the other 2 were more difficult and not well known – the congregation had a hard time singing them.

  • The sermon wasn’t our minister’s best – it seemed a little disjointed and lacking in a central theme, but it did have a few interesting stories and funny jokes as always.

  • Lots of little things had changed since I was at the congregation last. One change was the benediction. While it said “the words of the benediction are printed in on the inside front cover of the order of service”, none of the greeters were giving out this piece. Apparently the church had switched to having a cardboard part that stayed the same each Sunday with the basic information, including the words to the chalice song and the benediction, as well as a paper insert with the announcements and order of service that would change each week. But most of the cardboard outsides had long since gone missing or been taken home accidentally. I wonder if greeters are expected to recognize guests and make sure they get the few cardboard outsides they have left or what. As someone coming back for the first time in a long time, it felt weird to stand for the benediction with everyone singing and not have the words to read. Same for the new chalice lighting.

  • I didn’t like the all-white congregation and celebrants. Even for Maine, it always feels unnatural.

  • I would say it was a good service; original, but not wildly unique… I wished the service had moved my spirit more

And the best comment of them all.

Wow. I never knew church could be this happy. I’m so glad I went. I will be back.

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One Comment to “SURVEY RESULTS!!!!!”

  1. I love my local UU church. They’re friendly and outreach-y and generally awesome as far as I’m concerned.

    Interesting to read the comment about not liking the lack of challenge in the sermons…having grown up with fire & brimstone & revival, I’m happy to not always be challenged. I provoke myself to thinking as it is. Just having the (I don’t remember the term) minister person talk about whatever she talks about is generally good for me; I’d be uncomfortable with sermons that tried to change me in a way much more specific beyond “do good things in the world.” I’m really leery of creeds, and I’d probably avoid the church if they pushed too much.

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