Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme. The theme for September is Belonging. This month’s post is offered by Board President, Becky Halat.
As the summer wraps up and a new church year starts, we’ll see more friends and members back at the church or on Zoom services. And even though I write that phrase “as the summer wraps up” with an intense feeling of longing to extend these longer days and the warmth of the sun that turn my tomatoes from a dull green to a bright and delicious red, I also relish the renewed sense of belonging that comes from meeting together as our UUCM community.
That sense of belonging to a community is what I want to reflect on now. We completed the UUCM church survey at the end of spring. The members and friends of UUCM provided this feedback—you. I want to assure you that your ideas find full consideration from the UUCM Board of Trustees.
The annual congregational survey takes the pulse of the UUCM community; specifically, our group’s priorities and concerns. Members noted the positives of Sunday services, initiatives with music and social justice, and the COVID response, among others. A positive feeling was apparent in the results.
We found that the availability of hybrid worship is a hit. The ability to meet in person or log in online has proved invaluable to many of us, building our sense of belonging even if we are not in the same spaces physically. Survey-takers also celebrated the return of in-person services and interactions.
The board wants to know how connected the congregation feels in relation to the church mission. Almost 9 in 10 respondents agreed that UUCM is fulfilling its mission to connect, grow, and act.
Of course, there is always room for improvement. And in the spirit of this month’s Soul Matter’s theme, Belonging, we know that people come to UUCM for the UU principles but stay for the community. We’ve learned from the survey that people want to feel more connected to each other, to have more opportunities to connect with each other with more gatherings and more engagement. Survey takers also expressed a desire to connect more outside of church, as well.
As we begin a new season and a new church year, the board, council, and staff participate in a leadership retreat. We will reflect on the feedback from the congregation closely, from both the survey and listening sessions. We will take this feedback and use it to refresh and clarify our goals to better align with needs of the community. This effort’s goal is to deepen our sense of belonging in our community and beyond it. I look forward to this ongoing conversation with you.
— Becky Halat
President, UUCM Board of Trustees
Looking forward to hearing more; thank you all for your wonderful service to and support of UUCM! I appreciate you.