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Handout 2: First UU Anytown Scenario

Membership at First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Anytown, USA has reached a plateau, even though the demographic studies of their community suggest they could be larger. The congregation has tried a variety of growth strategies over several decades, but none have resulted in significant membership growth. During the past decade, the average age of its members has increased from 47 to 60 years old. A few years ago, the congregation undertook a capital campaign and building project that caused severe conflict within the congregation. This conflict has continued with open arguments and confrontation. When district consultants were called in to conduct a congregational assessment, they found that communication practices within the congregation were unhealthy, the facility equipment and furnishings were sparse and unwelcoming to visitors and there was no apparent path to congregational membership. The congregation has an experienced minister who has been with them for five years, a part-time director of religious education, a part-time music director, a full-time administrator and a part-time facilities staff person. Their Board’s expressed goal is to better serve their membership and the community.

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