Through a survey, community meetings, and many individual conversations, the Ministerial Search Committee has worked to gather feedback from the entire GNUUC community about our plans, hopes, and dreams for our new settled minister.

Here is some of the information we gathered.

The Survey

Beginning in late July 2014, a survey was created to gather the perspectives and insights of GNUUC members and friends. The survey was available at GNUUC in paper form, and online here.

The Results

We were thrilled to have 54 surveys submitted, which represents over 60% of the congregation’s adult members. You may view the spreadsheet of raw data here.

Here is the information presented in graphic form.

Demographics

How long have you been attending GNUUC?

Less than 1 year 9 16%
1 – 5 years 14 24%
6 – 10 years 14 24%
> 10 years 19 33%

Your age

18 or under 3 5%
19 – 29 1 2%
30 – 39 3 5%
40 – 49 9 16%
50 – 59 8 14%
60 – 69 12 21%
70 – 79 13 22%
80 – 89 3 5%
90 or older 0 0%

Your highest level of education (current or completed)

Elementary school 0 0%
Middle school 1 2%
Some high school 0 0%
High school graduate 2 3%
Some college 4 7%
Trade/technical/vocational training 3 5%
College graduate 14 24%
Some post graduate work 5 9%
Post graduate degree 26 45%

Do you consider yourself:

Hispanic or Latino/a? 0 0%
Asian or Pacific Islander? 1 2%
Black or African American? 4 7%
Native American or American Aboriginal? 1 2%
White? 47 81%
Don’t know? 1 2%
Other 1 2%

Do you think of yourself as:

Male? 17 29%
Female? 38 66%
Transgender? 0 0%
Other 0 0%

Do you think of yourself as:

Exclusively Heterosexual? 31 53%
Exclusively Gay? 2 3%
Exclusively Lesbian? 0 0%
Predominantly Straight? 9 16%
Predominantly Not Straight? 0 0%
Bisexual? 3 5%
Don’t know? 1 2%
Other 3 5%

Atheist? [Do you think of yourself as:]

Not Me! 12 21%
1 – Weakly Identify 5 9%
2 4 7%
3 1 2%
4 5 9%
5 – Strongly Identify 8 14%
Absolutely Me! 5 9%
No Rank 1 2%

Theist? [Do you think of yourself as:]

Not Me! 14 24%
1 – Weakly Identify 9 16%
2 4 7%
3 2 3%
4 4 7%
5 – Strongly Identify 5 9%
Absolutely Me! 5 9%
No Rank 1 2%

Agnostic? [Do you think of yourself as:]

Not Me! 10 17%
1 – Weakly Identify 4 7%
2 1 2%
3 6 10%
4 4 7%
5 – Strongly Identify 4 7%
Absolutely Me! 12 21%
No Rank 4 7%

Don’t Know? [Do you think of yourself as:]

Not Me! 7 12%
1 – Weakly Identify 0 0%
2 1 2%
3 1 2%
4 2 3%
5 – Strongly Identify 4 7%
Absolutely Me! 6 10%
No Rank 14 24%

 

Insight into those who have chosen GNUUC:

Spiritual life of the church (Sunday service, meditation, ritual) [1.What keeps you involved at GNUUC?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 4 7%
3 16 28%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 15 26%
No Rank 3 5%

Intellectual stimulation (classes, sermons, discussions) [1.What keeps you involved at GNUUC?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 5 9%
3 7 12%
4 18 31%
5 – Most Important 23 40%
No Rank 2 3%

Social interaction (activities, luncheons, special events) [1.What keeps you involved at GNUUC?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 9 16%
4 28 48%
5 – Most Important 18 31%
No Rank 1 2%

Social justice (community events, world issues, political action) [1.What keeps you involved at GNUUC?]

1 – Least Important 4 7%
2 12 21%
3 13 22%
4 21 36%
5 – Most Important 6 10%
No Rank 2 3%

Celebration of common value [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 4 7%
3 11 19%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 22 38%
No Rank 2 3%

Fellowship time before and after the service [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 3 5%
3 7 12%
4 24 41%
5 – Most Important 19 33%
No Rank 2 3%

Hearing, playing, or singing music [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 3 5%
2 7 12%
3 11 19%
4 23 40%
5 – Most Important 11 19%
No Rank 0 0%

Intellectual stimulation [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 2 3%
3 6 10%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 29 50%
No Rank 1 2%

Mystical, spiritual experience [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 8 14%
2 11 19%
3 13 22%
4 9 16%
5 – Most Important 13 22%
No Rank 2 3%

Personal reflection and meditation [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 7 12%
3 17 29%
4 14 24%
5 – Most Important 14 24%
No Rank 1 2%

Sense of belonging [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 2 3%
4 16 28%
5 – Most Important 36 62%
No Rank 1 2%

Support and encouragement of social action [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 4 7%
2 8 14%
3 11 19%
4 20 34%
5 – Most Important 12 21%
No Rank 1 2%

Exposure to ideas and viewpoints [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 2 3%
3 4 7%
4 19 33%
5 – Most Important 30 52%
No Rank 1 2%

Discussion of contemporary issues [2. How important to you are different parts of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 6 10%
3 17 29%
4 15 26%
5 – Most Important 15 26%
No Rank 2 3%

Build community [3. How important to you are different objectives of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 2 3%
3 4 7%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 32 55%
No Rank 1 2%

Help us understand ourselves better [3. How important to you are different objectives of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 3 5%
3 17 29%
4 16 28%
5 – Most Important 19 33%
No Rank 1 2%

Inspire reverence and awe [3. How important to you are different objectives of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 7 12%
2 13 22%
3 14 24%
4 10 17%
5 – Most Important 10 17%
No Rank 2 3%

Provide a place to develop and share feelings and beliefs [3. How important to you are different objectives of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 3 5%
3 2 3%
4 18 31%
5 – Most Important 30 52%
No Rank 2 3%

Show new paths for individual growth and change [3. How important to you are different objectives of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 4 7%
3 13 22%
4 19 33%
5 – Most Important 16 28%
No Rank 2 3%

Spur individuals to act on their own convictions [3. How important to you are different objectives of the Sunday Service?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 4 7%
3 18 31%
4 15 26%
5 – Most Important 16 28%
No Rank 1 2%

4. Which major characteristic sets Unitarian Universalism apart from other mainstream religions?

Open-mindedness 18 31%
Lack of creed or doctrine 12 21%
Acceptance of differing views 19 33%
Concern for real life issues 5 9%
Other 2 3%

5. Do you believe in a god or supreme being?

No 23 40%
Yes 16 28%
Unsure/no opinion 18 31%

6. Are you convinced there is no supreme being?

No 22 38%
Yes 18 31%
Unsure/no opinion 17 29%

7. Are you unsure whether there is a supreme being?

No 30 52%
Yes 21 36%
Unsure/no opinion 6 10%

8. Do you consider yourself a Christian?

No 38 66%
Yes 8 14%
Unsure/no opinion 10 17%

9. Do you consider Unitarian Universalism a Christian religion?

No 42 72%
Yes 6 10%
Unsure/no opinion 9 16%

10. Do you pray regularly?

No 36 62%
Yes 17 29%
Unsure/no opinion 4 7%

11. Do you believe in an afterlife?

No 29 50%
Yes 12 21%
Unsure/no opinion 16 28%

12. Do you believe when a person’s body dies the spirit or soul lives on?

No 22 38%
Yes 18 31%
Unsure/no opinion 17 29%

13. Do you believe a deceased person’s body/soul is resurrected at some point in the future?

No 38 66%
Yes 4 7%
Unsure/no opinion 15 26%

14. Is mortality a major concern for you?

No 36 62%
Yes 16 28%
Unsure/no opinion 5 9%

Candidate Strengths

Character (strong moral consistency, stability, reliability) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 0 0%
3 4 7%
4 21 36%
5 – Most Important 30 52%
No Rank 0 0%

Consultative and cooperative approach [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 2 3%
3 7 12%
4 19 33%
5 – Most Important 27 47%
No Rank 1 2%

Creativity (ability to develop and present new ideas and methods) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 12 21%
4 23 40%
5 – Most Important 20 34%
No Rank 2 3%

Empathy (genuine interest in and concern about others) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 1 2%
3 1 2%
4 10 17%
5 – Most Important 43 74%
No Rank 1 2%

Humility (awareness of limitations) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 3 5%
3 14 24%
4 21 36%
5 – Most Important 18 31%
No Rank 1 2%

Intellectual depth and rigor [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 0 0%
3 10 17%
4 20 34%
5 – Most Important 25 43%
No Rank 1 2%

Open-mindedness (receptive to other ideas) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 3 5%
4 16 28%
5 – Most Important 37 64%
No Rank 0 0%

Professional competence (ability to communicate, counsel, empower) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 0 0%
3 2 3%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 35 60%
No Rank 1 2%

Scholarship (educated, informed, interesting) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 0 0%
3 4 7%
4 20 34%
5 – Most Important 27 47%
No Rank 3 5%

Sense of calling (motivated, enthusiastic) [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 1 2%
3 14 24%
4 15 26%
5 – Most Important 24 41%
No Rank 1 2%

Sense of humor [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 0 0%
3 5 9%
4 23 40%
5 – Most Important 26 45%
No Rank 1 2%

Outstanding public speaker [15. How important to you are the following characteristics in the new minister?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 2 3%
3 10 17%
4 24 41%
5 – Most Important 18 31%
No Rank 1 2%

Leads the Sunday Service [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 4 7%
3 7 12%
4 24 41%
5 – Most Important 19 33%
No Rank 0 0%

Officiates rites of passage (weddings, funerals) [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 3 5%
2 3 5%
3 12 21%
4 21 36%
5 – Most Important 16 28%
No Rank 0 0%

Provides pastoral care and presence [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 0 0%
3 3 5%
4 22 38%
5 – Most Important 30 52%
No Rank 0 0%

Encourages spiritual development [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 5 9%
3 14 24%
4 20 34%
5 – Most Important 15 26%
No Rank 0 0%

Witnesses to social justice in the public square [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 4 7%
2 3 5%
3 13 22%
4 23 40%
5 – Most Important 10 17%
No Rank 1 2%

Leads administration [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 5 9%
3 17 29%
4 20 34%
5 – Most Important 9 16%
No Rank 1 2%

Leads GNUUC and the UU faith into the future [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 2 3%
3 5 9%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 29 50%
No Rank 0 0%

Adult Religious Education [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 1 2%
2 3 5%
3 17 29%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 11 19%
No Rank 2 3%

Children’s Religious Education [16. How important to you are the different priorities of the new minister’s work?]

1 – Least Important 2 3%
2 4 7%
3 16 28%
4 17 29%
5 – Most Important 12 21%
No Rank 1 2%

For the following questions, 1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

17. It does not matter whether GNUUC’s minister is a theist or non-theist so long as she/he remains true to the congregation’s mission and principles.

1 0 0%
2 4 7%
3 8 14%
4 9 16%
5 36 62%

18. GNUUC’s minister should remain neutral on the concepts of a deity, supernatural being or intelligent designer of life in his/her official capacity as minister.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 11 19%
2 5 9%
3 16 28%
4 10 17%
5 14 24%

19. GNUUC’s minister should feel free to express his/her personal views on theological issues.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 2 3%
2 1 2%
3 10 17%
4 16 28%
5 26 45%

20. GNUUC’s minister should feel free to express his/her personal views on secular issues.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 0 0%
2 1 2%
3 13 22%
4 18 31%
5 23 40%

21. GNUUC’s Sunday service should favor spiritual stimulation over intellectual stimulation.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 9 16%
2 10 17%
3 21 36%
4 9 16%
5 6 10%

22. GNUUC’s Sunday service should favor intellectual stimulation over spiritual stimulation.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 4 7%
2 5 9%
3 23 40%
4 13 22%
5 9 16%

23. It is important that GNUUC’s minister respect the views of theists, non-theists, and other faith or secular traditions.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 2 3%
4 3 5%
5 51 88%

24. GNUUC’s minister should have the freedom to express political views from the pulpit (short of political endorsement).

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 6 10%
2 2 3%
3 16 28%
4 19 33%
5 13 22%

25. GNUUC’s minister should strive to maintain and strengthen alliances with the larger interfaith community of Nashville.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 0 0%
2 2 3%
3 6 10%
4 21 36%
5 27 47%

26. GNUUC’s minister should strive to maintain and strengthen alliances with community, civic and social organizations.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 0 0%
2 1 2%
3 10 17%
4 20 34%
5 23 40%

27. GNUUC’s minister should strive to become a more visible spokesperson and representative of the congregation with Nashville media.

1 is Strongly Disagree, 5 is Strongly Agree.

1 0 0%
2 4 7%
3 21 36%
4 16 28%
5 15 26%

28. I intend to support the new minister even if she/he has a different theological view from mine.

1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 5 9%
4 14 24%
5 36 62%

29. I feel comfortable talking with other GNUUC members with beliefs different from mine.

1 0 0%
2 1 2%
3 3 5%
4 10 17%
5 37 64%

 

One thought on “Gathering Input From The GNUUC Community- The Survey

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