Karen Kent, Trustee, UUCWC Board of Trustees, and Susan Irgang, Congregational Administrator
Finding the best time for Sunday service to meet everyone’s preference is a challenge. In the past, UUCWC held two Sunday services – one at 9:00 a.m. and a second at 11 a.m. During the pandemic it was clear that only one service was possible, and that service began at 10 a.m. Now that we are back in church with multiplatform services, many people wondered about changing the times to our pre-pandemic slots, and asked Rev. Kim about the options. Church leadership met to discuss possibilities and wanted to put the decision in the hands of all of us.
As Unitarian Universalists, we value the opportunity to engage in the decisions about our church. And, as UU’s, we also often have very different opinions and ideas. In response to a survey sent in August, we voted on our preferences about the service’s start time. The times offered were: 9:45, 10:00, 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. Physical and volunteer and staff resource limitations did not allow for an 11:00 a.m. option. We received 132 responses with 189 ranked selections as follows:
9:45 a.m.: 31 responses (16%)
10:00 a.m.: 84 responses (44%)
10:15 a.m.: 22 responses (12%)
10:30 a.m.: 52 responses (28%)
The survey also included questions about current and projected attendance if the 10 a.m. start time changed. Currently, about 40% of our congregation participates in-person, 19% attend online, and 41% responded with a “mix of both.” We asked: “if the preferred start time was different than 10 a.m., would your attendance change?” In response, 66% said this would not impact how they attend, 28% said they would be more likely to participate in person and 6% said they would be more likely to attend online.
The Board discussed the results, both numerical trends and individual responses, and concluded that the majority of votes were for 10 a.m. Additionally, if the worship start time changed, the majority of respondents would not alter their attendance habits. The Board therefore unanimously affirmed keeping the service time at 10 a.m.
We celebrate that this survey gave us an opportunity to live by our fifth principle, “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” We appreciate everyone’s input and hope that we continue to see you at our 10 a.m. multiplatform services.