From The Pastors

Regularly one of our pastors will share a sermon, reflections on religion, or what’s going on around the community and the world. Our current message is below:

Strategic Planning Committee Survey Results

From Rev. Eric Carswell, Head Pastor
February 19, 2019

Last fall we invited people to fill out a survey giving input on some of the roles and activities that the staff and the board had identified as significant. Thank you to the nearly 250 people who made time to give both responses to how well they saw the roles and activities going, and also providing 50 pages of comments and reflections.
As with almost any survey, the wording of items and the choices people were provided to rate them were seen as flawed by some of the respondents. Our apologies for the difficulties these produced.
For each role or activity, people were asked to rate by choosing from one of three options.
• Going well – keep it up
• Improvements needed
• Needs serious attention
The activity of the congregation that got the most positive responses was “educating children at BACS” with nearly 70% of the people responding “going well – keep it up.” Similarly, positive responses were given to “creating service opportunities” and “providing worship services that I value attending.”
The activity that got the largest number of “improvements needed” and “needs serious attention” was “engaging with young adults” with only 18% of the respondents rating it as “going well.” Some of the challenges in better serving and being served by young adults include their busy lives and how different their perspectives tend to be depending on whether they are single, married, or married with young children.
The activity that got the most “needs serious attention” (44%) was “empowering women to have meaningful roles in the church.”
The other roles or activities that had intermediate ratings (listed here from the more clearly in need of work to the more positive) were:
• Attracting newcomers
• Fostering an environment of respect and love towards those with differing viewpoints
• Conveying that each person’s involvement matters
• Connecting people to the church and each other
The extensive comments reflected a broad range of perspectives with nearly polar opposite responses on a number of these roles or activities. This did not come as a surprise to many of us. We were already aware that those views existed. It was useful to have them articulated in the comments.
This coming Wednesday, February 20, there will be a community discussion of these results held in the Cathedral Social Hall at 7:30 pm. We welcome your participation there.
The Pastor’s Office as a whole will be giving consideration to both maintaining what seems to be going well and also to what activities and efforts of this congregation might better serve the ones identified as needing attention.

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