St. Ann’s Episcopal Church Parish Survey
In August, the Rector Search Committee prepared a survey to assist us in compiling a thorough and accurate parish profile based on the feedback from the entire St. Ann’s community. The survey opened in early September. The congregation was given over 3 weeks to complete the survey, which was made available in both an online and paper format. A total of 142 responses were submitted with a total completion number of 99.
Much of the demographic information gathered from members regarding age, education, and background will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the parish and who attends any of our services. Other trends may be unexpected, such as how the parish prefers to focus attention locally without a desire to pursue programs outside our community. Finally, the surveys revealed a broad consensus among parishioners about the things we value most and the areas in which we see opportunities for growth and change. The following report presents highlights of what is important to the parish and areas that stood out.
Who We Are
St. Ann’s congregation is for the most part made up of long time parishioners. Most (56%) have attended St. Ann’s for more than 20 years and live within 5 miles (59%). The congregation is largely older (44% over 66, only 4% 26-40), with nearly double the number of women compared to men, and well educated (38% graduate degree, 31% Bachelor’s degree).
The following graph reflects our reasons for “staying at St. Ann’s”. The top two drivers being “Style of Worship” and “Fellowship”.
In Section 3 of the survey, respondents were asked to rank the pastoral specialties with their level of importance. In order to highlight a few of the stronger responses we have included the following graphs. For example you will see that 41.38% rank Youth Worker/Leader – Ability to inspire youth and incorporate them into the full life and Ministry of the Church as most important. Another notable response was Preacher – Ability to preach with clarity and to make the Gospel relevant in people’s lives.
Section 4 asks the respondents to rank in order of importance our Parish Ministries and programs. In addition to a strong ranking for Sermons that are personal and applicable to daily life, we noted a high ranking for Newcomers are made to feel welcome by the Parishioners.
Section 5 focuses on Characteristics of a Good Rector. The general consensus is one that reflects a Rector as a facilitator who helps generate ideas, has stable theological views, regards the Bible as an interpretation of God’s dealing with humanity, and who has an informal conversational delivery.
Section 6 asked for your comments related to two questions. The first being From your viewpoint, what does the Parish do best?
The many responses included the following areas: a warm and welcoming atmosphere, fellowship, outreach programs, and music. We include the following comment as it is a beautiful statement of what St. Ann’s Parish embodies: St. Ann’s is one of the most welcoming places I have had the pleasure to walk into. The doors and the arms of the clergy and parishioners are literally open to all. It is a place to find peace…….
The second question asks, From your viewpoint, where does our Parish need to improve? Answers included, developing Outreach, attracting young families, growing the congregation, cultivating more volunteers, increasing stewardship, calling a Priest who is warm and genuine, and utilizing more digital communication.
The committee thanks you for your participation and your thoughtful comments!
Prayer for the Search Committee:
Almighty God, giver of every good gift; Look graciously on St. Ann's and so hear the prayers of the parish family as we look to you for guidance in our search for a new Rector. We pray that you will lead us a faithful pastor, who will care for us and equip us for ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Susan Knoepffler, Chair
Saint Ann's Episcopal Church
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257 Middle Road, Sayville, New York 11782
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Fax | 631-589-6541
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