Next Decade Vision Project

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…”    
       Proverbs 29:18

We at UUCSR have a vision, as we well know. It reads “To live as fully as possible our UU Principles and to nurture a liberal religious community in Sonoma County.”

What our Visioning Project is about is just how is that done? Who do we want to be in the next ten years? What do we want to do in the next ten years? What do we want to have in the next ten years?

We have conducted a survey with about half of the members answering the questions. Most of the questions in the survey were of a general nature. Now we are finishing up House Meetings that explore the topics that generated the most interest in the survey. We are now uncovering the specifics of what we will need to do, want to do, hope to do in the next ten years to support personal growth, develop a more robust congregation, and generate greater involvement with the community we live in.

After the House Meetings, we intend to have one or two larger group meetings with discussion at our congregation. The Board is gathering information about the costs of some of the favored projects so that we can have a more informed discussion. Many of the ideas will take time to implement, but remember, we are looking at the next ten years in our visioning. Participate as much as you can.

     Alan Proulx, Board Member


Please plan to attend the Board’s Forum on Sunday, March 15th, after the 11:00 service, to have a conversation about the lessons and insights we gained from the house meetings in February, as we continue our year-long Next Decade Vision process. That event will provide everyone an opportunity to hear the great ideas, broad themes and repeated concerns that the Board has discerned from both the survey and the records of the meetings.
In preparation for this discussion next Sunday, here is the survey analysis that was presented at the house meetings last month.

Survey observations and analysis

170 total responses
70% female!

Average age: 63
60% Unitarian Universalist, 30% Agnostic, 30% Humanist, 25% Buddhist
23 parents took the survey.
5 people under 30 took the survey!

QUESTION #1: How important are the following programs and ministries in fulfilling the congregation’s mission?

Top Five Answers (both by Average Score, and most answered “Essential”):

  1. 11:00 Service
  2. Children’s Religious Education
  3. Pastoral Care/Counseling
  4. Youth Group
  5. Maintaining the Building and Grounds

All of these were ranked as “Essential” by more than half of the congregation, as were:

  1. Caring Team
  2. Website

Interestingly, the Top Five of “Very Important” were:

  1. Choir
  2. TIE Groups
  3. Saturday Breakfast
  4. Women’s Group
  5. Service Auction

The worst scoring item was the Revival!

QUESTION TWO: Broadly speaking, what is your sense of the current quality of these programs or ministries?

Top quality in ranking of excellence

  1. 11:00 Service
  2. Saturday Breakfast
  3. Choir
  4. UUsual Suspects
  5. 9:15 Service
  6. Children’s RE
  7. Youth Group
QUESTION THREE: Below is an incomplete list of statements describing the UUCSR of the next decade. Please rate their priority to you.


  1. People are growing in love.
  2. Children and youth are empowered and active members
  3. The path to membership is clear and inviting.
  4. Elders are embraced and included.
  5. Members know the UU Principles
  6. There is sufficient space for all congregational activities
  7. Growth is embraced as natural, inevitable and good.


  1. We are always a Fair Share congregation with the UUA
  2. We are a teaching congregation.
  3. We interface regularly with other UU congregations.
  4. We have a food pantry
  5. We have founded other congregations. (The very lowest priority!)
QUESTION FOUR: How would you prioritize the following (incomplete) list of some possible concrete goals of the congregation?


  1. Kitchen improvements/expansion
  2. Coffee Hour improvements
  3. Utilizing solar power
  4. Hiring an Assistant/Associate Minister
  5. Establishing a system of elder care
  6. Improving official communications
  7. Restroom improvements
  8. Improving our social media presence
  9. Establishing a campus ministry


  1. Adopting a school; offering tutoring and support
  2. Acquiring more space
  3. Offering financial planning/education
  4. Planting new congregations
QUESTION FIVE: For yourself, what is the primary function of UUCSR? Please rank these options in order of their importance to you PERSONALLY. Yes, we know you want to rank more than one at #1, and that you are worried that we’ll think you don’t value the last item at all. Please don’t worry.


Personal transformation and growth 34.46%
Fellowship/Community 22.30%
Worship 17.57%
Raising the next generation(s) with our values 13.51%
Societal transformation and growth 8.11%
Direct service to those in need 4.05%
Hosting events and other non-profit groups 0.00%


QUESTION SIX: How would you rank the following possible long-term approaches to our steady ongoing growth?

Answered: 137   Skipped: 35


Grow until we are 500 members, then split off another congregation. 5.39
Buy the building next door. 4.67
Grow until we are 800 members, then split off another congregation. 4.51
Begin planting other congregations now. 4.17
Have satellite locations.. 4.04
Stay the size we are now. 2.62
Sell the Glaser Center and buy a bigger building. 2.57

Grow until we are 500 members, then split off another congregation.
Grow until we are 800 members, then split off another congregation.
Buy the building next door.
Stay the size we are now.
Begin planting other congregations now.
Have satellite locations. (Smaller groups of members might worship in other parts of the city or county but remain part of our congregation.)
Sell the Glaser Center and buy a bigger building.

Answers to percentage of income given to UUCSR:
4% average.

Given to other organizations: