Profile Committee Update
Parish Conversation on Demographics and Pastoral Care
(11 Sept, 15 Sept 2013)

The final two Parish Conversations occurred in the past week thus, fearing email message fatigue, I have combined the reviews for both.

After Eventide and supper on Wednesday, September 11th, Father Bob lead an interesting, interactive review of our neighborhood demographics -- human-only, we ignored our marine neighbors!  This was based on extensive data analysis provided by the National Church on upon which Father Bob is trained.  We went until past 8:30 PM which is an indication of how interesting it was for all of us to learn a bit more macro details about our surroundings.
Adult Formation Parish Conversation 4Aug2013-2
What would an outsider have learned by attending our Parish Conversation?
*  The National Church makes available and online resource for studying the neighborhood general demographics around all episcopal churches.  The neighborhood equates to a three-mile circle centered on the church property. This is not meant to represent the parishioners, but rather the population with whom it is "easiest" to reach because of physical proximity.
*  For All Saints, that equates to approximately 23,400 people, marine life was ignored, so our 3-mile circle is really half a circle.  The analysis indicates that the population is projected to grow 10% in the next five years with the Hispanic population representing almost all of the growth.
*  Close to 30% of our congregation lives within three miles of the church.  
*  In our neighborhood, the fastest growing segment of the population by Life Phases is 65-years old and older ("retirement opportunities").  
*  Based on the Experian data base, our neighbors within 3 miles are fairly "bipolar" categorically.  Of 78 possible categories, 4 represented nearly 60% of the neighborhood community.  I am providing the category names because they are quite clever.  More detail on these categories is available upon request:
 -- 20% - Booming with Confidence, Silver Sophisticates.
 -- 20% - Power Elite, American Royalty
 -- 11% - Family Union, Latin Flair
 --  9%  - Cultural Connections, Ciudad Strivers
The next four categories each comprise approximately 5% and continue the picture: Significant Singles-Wired for Success, Power Elite-Platinum Prosperity, Booming with Confidence, Golf Carts and Gourmets, Thriving Boomers-Full Pockets, Empty Nests.
Although these labels are clearly designed to bring a grin, the top four were in two subsets: financially well-off seniors and middle-class Hispanics characterized by a family orientation with aspiration for the next generation to do better. 
*  One of the important points we discussed is the difference between "serving our neighbors" and "recruiting our neighbors".  We broke into a group for each of these four categories to identify one idea on how to best serve one of these groups considering our congregation's talents.  As Father Bob put it, "This is not a way to get them to come to church at All Saints.  It's a way to get connected with their lives."
The Pastoral Care Parish Conversation drew nearly 20 parishioners on Sunday, September 15th between services.
What would an outsider have learned by attending our Parish Conversation?
*  The organized support of members in need appears to have ebbed and flowed throughout the years depending upon staff or clergy for leadership.  The main characteristic appears that it was a reactive program, meaning when help was requested, help was given.
*   Several programs from the past -- The Warm Line, instituted under Bishop Gethin's time and Befrienders under Rev. Michelle --  were successful, but one of the shortcomings postulated was that both programs involved a very few people doing all the work.
*   There clearly is energy and desire for a stronger, integrated connection among parishioners based on the comments of those at the Parish Conversation.
*   One person observed that pastoral care appeared to be mainly "shut-ins" but not as robust for those temporarily in need of support -- recovering from injury, illness, or operation.
*   Offering communion at home was described as powerful and desireable.
*   Participants described that there was a need beyond physical needs, too. Loneliness and isolation could be helped with a program that was more aware of parishioners' needs and challenges.
*    Lay leadership was recognized as a likely starting point for developing and maintaining a more robust program.  The Pastoral Visitors program is currently forming.
What desirable clergy characteristics were indicated by this conversation:
*  In line with other Parish Conversations, clergy with a gift to energize and organize lay leadership and the laity appears likely to find fertile ground and strong support for a commitment to serving both our neighbors and ourselves.

There are no more official Parish Conversations!  
Once the Sanctuary Project is discussed on September 22nd, look for a parish-wide survey to be completed by all.
Thank you to all who came to one or more of our conversations and those that have written to add to the comments.
A draft of Our Parish Profile will be available for review a few weeks after the parish-wide survey is reviewed and incorporated.