Our Journey to Two Sunday Morning Services in January 2017

The Strategic Initiative Committee provides updates here. Scroll down to see most recent.

 

Background

The UUCB Board-designated Strategic Initiatives Committee has recently completed a whole congregation survey, four Open Door Gathering sessions, a church leadership session, and meetings with staff for gathering input. We are now entering the planning phase to shape our new mission-driven initiative to hold two services on Sunday mornings starting in January.

 

If you were unable to attend one of these meetings, here’s some background information… (if you were able to attend – jump to the last part of this to read what decisions have been made.)

Our Mission: The Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder will become a beacon of liberal religion, committed to:

 

  • Nurturing the spiritual growth of our diverse and multigenerational religious community’
  • Fostering ministry and hospitality between and among our members, friends and visitors
  • Actively promoting Unitarian Universalist values here and in the wider world
  • Sustaining these efforts through our culture of social justice and generosity

 

The Challenge: As we strive to live our Mission to become a beacon of liberal religion, accommodating all members, friends and visitors on Sunday mornings is no longer possible:

  • Research shows that when a sanctuary is at 65-80% perceived capacity, people feel uncomfortable and leave.
  • For UUCB, 80% perceived capacity = 140-160 people.
  • Last year, from Sept – May, average attendance was 174.
  • Our top Sunday was 208, and people were standing.
  • Even more concerning: we witnessed individuals and families leaving on multiple Sundays.

 

The Charter: Considering our Mission, the recommendations of previous task forces, a desire to make the Sunday experience the best it can be, the experience of other churches, and the fact that we are turning visitors away, we are moving towards two services:

  • The Board tasked the Strategic Initiatives Committee to gather congregational input about a two service structure, plan a structure, and implement from January – June, 2017.
  • Based on experience between January – March, the Strategic Initiatives Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on whether to implement a two service structure for the following church year.

 

The Plan: After a period of gathering input from our community and careful planning by staff, two services will begin on January 8, 2017.

  • Planning Phase (September – December): Seek input from congregants and friends, meet with staff and select committees, final planning.
  • Implementation Phase (January – June): Implement two services starting January 8, 2017. Seek additional input from congregants and friends. Make adjustments and provide recommendations for 2017-18 fiscal year.

 

Survey Input as of September 18, 2016

A survey was sent on Sep 6 to all UUCB members and friends asking for input, with responses due by Sep 18. 146 people responded!

Results

  • Most people responding attend church 3-4 times per month.
  • Most people have attended for 3 years or longer.
  • Many people deeply appreciate our community and want it to continue.
  • Many people want opportunities to connect within our community.
  • Many people believe going to 2 Services will support our mission.
  • Roughly half of the people responding prefer an early service and half a later service.
  • Volunteers involved with the worship experience (service leading and chalice lighting) are generally willing to attend both services.

 

Decisions made as a result of survey input, staff input, and Strategic Initiatives Committee deliberations as of October 11, 2016

  • We are moving to 2 services on January 8th!
  • Our services will be 9:15 and 11:00. The services will be essentially identical.
  • Sermons will be identical in both Services.
  • We will have 2 Fellowship times, at 10:15 and 12:00.
  • The Finance Committee has confirmed we have sufficient  funds to move to 2 Services from January – June.
  • The 2017 – 2018 canvass will cover funding next fiscal year.
  • The choir will sing at both services twice a month. Other music will be offered the other two weeks.
  • Religious Education will be offered at the second service, with preK-5 child care at the first service

Actions completed (through October 16):

  • All church survey  – Sept
  • Congregant and Friends input at Open Door Gatherings – Sept / Oct
  • Meet with UUCB Staff, leadership,  and select committees – Sept /Oct

Next Steps (mid-October-December):

  • Create the detailed plan for implementing two services on January 8, 2017.
  • Communicate detailed plan to staff, volunteers, and congregants – ongoing.
  • Communicate plan externally – i.e., Daily Camera, External Signage, Website
  • Recruit and train for implementation of plan: ongoing.

Implementation  (Jan – June)

  • Implement 2 Services – Jan 8
  • Seek input from congregants (Open Door Gatherings) (March – April)
  • Refine 2 service design based on input
  • Recommendations to Board of Trustees for 2017-18 Fiscal Year (May)

You may direct additional inquiries about the two service initiative to siuucb@gmail.com.

 

Update October 30, 2016

  • Our services will begin at 9:15am and 11:00am and will offer essentiallly the same content and format
  • Choir will sing at both services on first and third Sundays
  • Nursery care and K-5 childcare at the 9:15am service
  • Religious Education for our children and youth at the 11:00am service
  • We will have two Fellowship (coffee) times, one following each service at 10:15am and Noon
  • We hope to hold one all-congregant/combined service in the first year.
  • So that blessings and concerns can be read at both services, email or call Rev. Kelly with your blessings and concerns by 5:00 pm Saturdays. ministeruucb@gmail.com 303-494-0195 x4   Start now!
  • Parking: we have two lots with access from Pennsylvania, street parking on Pennsylvania, and authorized use of the Eisenhower School parking lot just a 3 minute walk over the footbridge
  • Formal input begins February 26. Comments and suggestions welcome anytime. Email: Siuucb@gmail.com