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First Unitarians Executive Team, survey and report prepared

by Rev. Michelle Collins


September 2014
FIRST UNITARIAN
CHURCH OF WILMINGTON
2013-14 Annual Congregational Survey Results

Summarized here are results from our congregations annual survey
which takes place in the spring of each year. The survey included
questions rating ones spiritual maturity, ones experiences in the
churchs programs and activities, and about what one might be
seeking at the church. The results provide a snapshot of the
individual and communal spiritual life of our congregation. Also
included are Unity Consultings dimensions of spiritual maturity and
how we measure up on those scales.
Many thanks to everyone who shared about their experiences in the
survey. A very special thank you to Donna Curtis who helped to
redesign and implement the survey this year.

1
FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF
WILMINGTON
2013-14 Annual Congregational Survey Results
End 1: At First Unitarian Church, people of all ages feel
safe, accepted, loved, and empowered to be their authentic
selves.
From the Elements of Spiritual Maturity portion, questions related to End #1
included:
I seek meaning in my life.
I act in an authentic manner.
I act intentionally.
Even though I cannot know exactly what will happen, the promises I make
give shape to my future and meaning to my life.
I believe my life has meaning and purpose.
Answered on a scale of 1 to 10, for how true each statement was for the respondent
at the present time, here are our averages and percentage responding 8, 9, or 10.


0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
7.50
7.60
7.70
7.80
7.90
8.00
8.10
8.20
8.30
8.40
8.50
8.60
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All ages
Spiritual Maturity Questions for End #1 (N=87)
Average rating & percentage at benchmark
% 8 to 10 Avg

2
From the Experiences at the Church & Programs portion, all ages were asked
whether they had certain types of experiences in programs, groups, or activities at
the church during the past year. Questions related to End #1 include:
Felt comfortable sharing your own personal experiences and stories.
Feel that your needs are understood and acknowledged.
Felt understood and cared for during a time of particular need.
Answered on a scale of Not at All, Seldom, Occasionally, Some of the time, Most of
the time, or All of the Time, heres how we answered, by age group:

Do you participate in programs or activities at First Unitarian that meet
your needs? Heres what we said:

63%
60%
58%
57%
71%
87%
70%
9%
9%
9%
8%
7%
8%
10%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
11-17
0-10
Experiencing End #1 in Programs & Activities
(N=112)
Most & All of the time (benchmark) Some of the time
83%
94%
83%
88%
86%
17%
6%
17%
12%
14%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
18-35
36-60
61-75
76 & up
All Ages
I participate in programs or activities at First U that meet
my needs. (N=86)
yes no

3
Regarding the community at First Unitarian:




85%
100%
73%
94%
100%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I have received or given help to
others.
71%
76%
68%
71%
83%
0% 50% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I feel comfortable sharing my
personal experiences and
stories.
69%
71%
68%
65%
83%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I feel I can share myself within
the community.
55%
71%
52%
47%
50%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I feel supported.
42%
53%
36%
41%
50%
0% 20% 40% 60%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I feel loved.

4
END 2: AT FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH, PEOPLE OF ALL
AGES GAIN NEW PERSPECTIVES AND GROW AS INFORMED,
SPIRITUAL HUMAN BEINGS.
From the Elements of Spiritual Maturity portion, questions related to End #2
included:
I think about my place in the universe.
I act in a spiritual manner.
I accept ambiguity as inherent in life.
I am aware of some of the limitations or paradoxes of my own preferred
religious vocabulary.
Answered on a scale of 1 to 10, for how true each statement was for the respondent
at the present time, here are our averages and percentage responding 8, 9, or 10.



0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
6.00
6.20
6.40
6.60
6.80
7.00
7.20
7.40
7.60
7.80
8.00
8.20
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All ages
Spiritual Maturity Questions for End #2 (N=87)
Average rating & percentage at benchmark
% 8 to 10 Avg

5
From the Experiences at the Church & Programs portion, all ages were asked
whether they had certain types of experiences in programs, groups, or activities at
the church during the past year. Questions related to End #2 include:
Gained a deeper understanding of how someone else experiences the world.
Explored questions youre curious about.
Have a spiritual practice of some sort that you practice outside of the church.
Answered on a scale of Not at All, Seldom, Occasionally, Some of the time, Most of
the time, or All of the Time, heres how we answered, by age group:

Through church experiences during the past year, I have grown in
knowledge and wisdom because:
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All Ages
I have learned new things about other people's
perspectives and views.
40% 75% 77% 81% 75%
I better understand religious perspectives. 0% 38% 30% 31% 30%
I know myself more as a spiritual being. 60% 25% 30% 38% 33%
I have learned new things that help me to live better. 40% 81% 79% 88% 79%
I better understand my Unitarian Universalist values. 60% 44% 37% 19% 36%
I am better able to see and appreciate beauty in the
world.
60% 56% 28% 38% 38%
I have learned about other spiritual practices. 40% 50% 40% 50% 44%
I am more grateful for my life and its experiences. 60% 38% 47% 63% 49%
I better understand my mortality. 40% 19% 28% 25% 26%
I am better able to forgive myself. 60% 25% 30% 19% 29%
I am better able to forgive others. 40% 44% 35% 50% 40%
I better understand metaphor. 20% 25% 12% 13% 15%
54%
47%
55%
60%
67%
21%
61%
28%
35%
28%
27%
17%
42%
21%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
11-17
0-10
Experiencing End #2 in Programs & Activities (N=112)
Most & All of the time (benchmark) Some of the time

6
I have learned how to exercise power positively. 20% 38% 16% 13% 20%
I can better transform suffering and brokenness. 20% 44% 19% 13% 23%
I can find joy. 60% 56% 33% 50% 43%
I have a better sense of humor. 60% 25% 19% 25% 24%
I think more about my place in the universe. 60% 38% 40% 50% 43%
I am more compassionate. 60% 44% 26% 31% 33%
I can cross boundaries of difference with courage. 20% 38% 21% 38% 28%
I have learned ways to cross boundaries of difference. 20% 31% 26% 44% 30%
I have found values in common with others. 80% 63% 72% 94% 75%
TOTAL RESPONDENTS (N)
5 16 43 16 80




79%
88%
79%
81%
40%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I have learned new things that
help me to live better.
30%
44%
26%
31%
20%
0% 20% 40% 60%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I have learned ways to cross
boundaries of difference.
49%
63%
47%
38%
60%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I am more grateful for my life
and its experiences.
75%
81%
77%
75%
40%
0% 50% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
I have learned new things
about other people's
perspectives & views.

7
END 3: AT FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH, PEOPLE OF ALL
AGES ACT ON THEIR SHARED VALUES AND UNITARIAN
UNIVERSALIST IDENTITY TO FIGHT FOR A MORE JUST
WORLD.
From the Elements of Spiritual Maturity portion, questions related to End #3
included:
I give to others fully and generously.
I am able to exercise power without corruption.
Answered on a scale of 1 to 10, for how true each statement was for the respondent
at the present time, here are our averages and percentage responding 8, 9, or 10.


50%
55%
60%
65%
70%
75%
80%
7.00
7.20
7.40
7.60
7.80
8.00
8.20
8.40
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All ages
Spiritual Maturity Questions for End #3 (N=87)
Average ratings & percentage at benchmark
% 8 to 10 Avg

8
From the Experiences at the Church & Programs portion, all ages were asked
whether they had certain types of experiences in programs, groups, or activities at
the church during the past year. Questions related to End #3 include:
Found values you had in common with others at church.
Felt that your values grounded your actions.
Grew in your understanding of Unitarian Universalism.
Deepened your identification of yourself as a UU.
Have grown in your sense of fairness and justice.
Answered on a scale of Not at All, Seldom, Occasionally, Some of the time, Most of
the time, or All of the Time, heres how we answered, by age group:


56%
54%
59%
59%
46%
59%
50%
23%
16%
23%
22%
17%
29%
31%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
11-17
0-10
Experiencing End #3 in Programs & Activities
(N=112)
Most & All of the time (benchmark) Some of the time
67%
17% 17%
35%
53%
12%
54%
35%
11%
40% 40%
20%
49%
38%
13%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
Regularly Sometimes Not at all
I am active in activities outside of the church that
promote UU values. (N=84)
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All Ages

9
Our congregation acts on our shared values and UU identity by:

Confirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Sharing love and compassion.
Encouraging spiritual growth.
Promoting justice and equity.
Promoting the free and responsible search for truth.
Using the democratic process.
Using practices that are consistent with respect for the interdependent web of life.
Confronting injustice.


0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Our congregation acts on our shared values & UU
identity by (N=84)
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All Ages
50%
33%
17%
0%
59%
12%
29%
0%
71%
16%
13%
0%
59%
24%
12%
6%
65%
18%
16%
1%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Regularly Often Sometimes Not at all
I give my time, talents, and/or money to causes that
support UU values. (N=85)
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All Ages

10
END 4: AT FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH, PEOPLE OF ALL
AGES EXPERIENCE WONDER, INSPIRATION,
FULFILLMENT, AND JOY.
From the Elements of Spiritual Maturity portion, questions related to End #3
included:
I delight in experiences both great and small.
I am mindful of my emotions.
I appreciate the beauty and power of religious symbols and rituals other than
my own.
Answered on a scale of 1 to 10, for how true each statement was for the respondent
at the present time, here are our averages and percentage responding 8, 9, or 10.


0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
6.60
6.80
7.00
7.20
7.40
7.60
7.80
8.00
8.20
8.40
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All ages
Spiritual Maturity Questions for End #4 (N=87)
Average ratings & percentage at benchmark
% 8 to 10 Avg

11
From the Experiences at the Church & Programs portion, all ages were asked
whether they had certain types of experiences in programs, groups, or activities at
the church during the past year. Questions related to End #4 include:
Felt inspired to make a change in your life.
Found a sense of satisfaction from an experience.
Felt a sense of happiness or joy.
Experienced & named beauty in the world around you.
Got a chance to be creative or inspired to try something new.
Answered on a scale of Not at All, Seldom, Occasionally, Some of the time, Most of
the time, or All of the Time, heres how we answered, by age group:


50%
53%
39%
52%
44%
54%
74%
23%
14%
27%
26%
28%
21%
20%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
All Ages
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
11-17
0-10
Experiencing End #4 in Programs & Activities
(N=112)
Most & All of the time (benchmark) Some of the time

12
Through worship services, I have:


Through other church programs, I have:

Inspired: Been inspired to make changes in my life.
Beauty: Come to appreciate the beauty and power of religious symbols and rituals.
Soul Fed: Felt that my soul was fed.
Joy: Experienced joy, happiness, and contentment.
Fulfilled: Felt fulfilled.

0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All Ages
Through Worship Services, I Have... (N=53)
Inspired Beauty Soul Fed Joy Fulfilled
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
18-35 36-60 61-75 76 & up All Ages
Through Other Church Programs, I Have... (N=65)
Inspired Beauty Soul Fed Joy Fulfilled

13
DIMENSIONS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY
The elements of spiritual maturity questions also cover what Unity Consulting (from
Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota) calls the 10 dimensions of spiritual
maturity. Heres what they are:
A spiritually mature individual
1. Acts with care for others.
2. Actively develops and integrates spirituality in their life.
3. Connects to a sense of wonder.
4. Thinks symbolically or metaphorically.
5. Develops their self-awareness.
6. A wise decision maker who can deal with a variety of situations and
outcomes.
7. Opens themselves to a wider connection they're unable to control.
8. Pursues understanding and growth.
9. Develops dedication to purpose.
10. Develops clear boundaries to inform intentional action.
Heres how we did with them: (vertical scale is our self-ratings, on a scale of 1 to 10)



8.10
7.01
8.26
7.47
8.08
8.25
8.13
7.81
8.39
7.93
5.00
5.50
6.00
6.50
7.00
7.50
8.00
8.50
9.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Our Average Ratings for Ten Dimensions of Spiritual
Maturity (N=87)

14

ABOUT US AND OUR CHURCH PARTICIPATION
How do you participate at church?
Worship
Small
Groups
Adult RE
Visited
church
website
CYRE
volunteer
Volunteered
at church
regularly 72% 55% 27% 40% 9% 50%
occasionally 26% 19% 39% 52% 15% 38%
not at all 2% 26% 35% 8% 76% 12%

What are the primary ways that you spend your time?

21%
14%
52%
10%
13%
29%
27%
19%
26%
36%
12%
13%
23%
33%
13%
11%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
employment full-time
employment part-time
volunteer activities
adult care-giver
child care-giver
education, training, or learning
travel
leisure activities
exercise or sports
household needs or meal preparation and
cooking
health or illness related
hobbies
social activities
creative pursuits
entertainment or games
other
Primary Ways You Spend Your Time (N=84)

15
DEMOGRAPHICS OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS



0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%
76 & up
61-75
36-60
18-35
11-17
0-10
Age Demographics
Survey Respondents & Overall Church Membership
First U Membership Survey Respondents
29%
71%
Gender Identities of Survey
Respondants
male female
36%
64%
Gender Identities of
Church Membership
male female