Considerations/suggestions for the future

  •   Focus on outreach and public engagement – build bridges with local organizations and institutions with similar values, as well as local aboriginal communities and other spiritual communities – in order to increase the overall strength and diversity of the congregation
  •   Work to further increase accessibility while minimizing environmental footprint of the buildings & grounds
  •   Consider bringing back the Adult Religious Education program (this was a popular response)
  •   Several people voiced a desire for more ritual/pageantry in church services or in church-sanctioned events
  •   Several people put forward the idea of ‘rebranding’ to remove the word ‘church’ and replace it with something more ‘neutral’, such as ‘community’, the rationale being that many people find that the word ‘church’ is triggering or has certain connotations (dogmatism, oppression, etc.) that people are resistant to or suspicious of. There are many people in the world today who are spiritually-inclined, but who do not resonate with the idea of a ‘church’ as it is popularly conceived – the idea is that since the UCV offers a non-dogmatic approach to spirituality that is open to and accepting of all cultures and beliefs, it should take efforts to distance itself from the word ‘church’ in order to better engage with young spiritual seekers.
  •   Coordinate a ride-sharing program to make it easier for people to attend on Sundays (particularly elders) – this would also have positive environmental effects as well
  •   Look for opportunities to create a Unitarian presence in other areas of the city – e.g, creating location-based ‘splinter groups’ of the various committees to help tackle local issues and increase community engagement, offering classes or talks in public venues, distributing UU materials to community centers and libraries, etc. As wonderful as the buildings and grounds are, there are concerns that focusing too much of the congregation’s collective energy within a singular location is not advantageous when it comes to community engagement
  •   Create more ‘fun’ opportunities to gather outside of the Sunday services – circle dances, pot lucks, etc.
  •   Involve local government: invite local MPs to attend Sunday services/committee meetings, etc.
  •   Nurture stronger relationships with other Unitarian churches and the Unitarian Council of Canada
  •   Several people responded: ‘more of the same’. ☺

Compiled by Marcus Hynes, Office Assistant (info@vancouverunitarians.ca), from responses to survey questionnaires distributed to the UCV congregation in early October, 2016.  

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