Family & Youth
Parish Survey on Family and Intergenerational Activities
at St Peter’s
Earlier this year, the Parish held two informal meetings with parents and other parishioners to discuss the future, content, and improvement of Children and Youth Ministries with focus on Christian Education in the Parish. During this meeting, people expressed their willingness to learn more about other parents.
As a result of the discussion, we created the survey to address two goals:
- The primary goal was to seek more information from all parents regarding Children and Youth Ministries with focus on areas of interest and levels of commitment.
- The secondary goal was to connect with the entire parish to find ways to enhance St. Peter’s intergenerational community and to allow parishioners to get to know each other.
The on-line survey was circulated from February 19 through March 16, and a survey summary was presented to the Vestry at the April 19 meeting. Here is a brief summary of the survey, along with some interesting discoveries:
- We sent out a total of 186 emails and received 52 responses, via online survey or letters, with an overall 28% response rate; this is in line with previous surveys in the parish.
- We had a very good response from parents of children in the younger age groups (up to 9 years old).
- While tabulating the age groups, we discovered, based on Parish census data, that we have over 100 children up to 18 years of age.
- Spring and fall are the most-attended (event-supported) seasons of the year.
- All of the educational topics were of interest for discussion, with Scripture, The Book of Common Prayer, ethical and moral questions, and Judeo-Christian history as leading topics.
- Local outreach (primarily Dover and Amenia foods banks) is one of the main interest areas for both children and adults.
- More than half of the adults would like to have a Distinguished Speakers series.
- 40% of the respondents would like to participate in discussions of their areas of interest/expertise.
- We discovered 10 parents willing, and now assist Marie in the Church School when needed (parental presence rather than Sunday School teaching).
- 17% of the respondents are willing to assist in organizing occasional events in the city.
- Individual names of those interested in Acolytes, “buddy-system,” Vestry/Committee service, and a speakers network have been provided to Parish staff.
- Suggestions were given on enhancing existing events and activities around the parish, especially St. Francis Day (Blessing of the Animals), Halloween and other events.
- Many (especially young families) noted that they are currently quite busy with their existing schedules, and any additions need to be carefully evaluated—perhaps existing programs could simply be enhanced.
The parish staff, in cooperation with the Vestry, is taking this feedback very seriously and will provide details, in Keynotes and in subsequent newsletters, of the responses that will be put in place or are already in place as a result of the survey. Stay tuned, and keep an eye on forthcoming newsletters and information on our updated website.
A Christian Education Committee has already been formed to monitor progress and to make recommendations to the Vicar and the Vestry. A family newsletter is already helping to improve communication, with future events and themes for the children to follow.
An Outreach Committee is in formation and will build intergenerational events for many programs, i.e., food banks, garden tour coming up in July, Blessing of the Fields and other entertaining activities.
We have improved communication with an expansion of the website, the Family Newsletter and bi-monthly emails from the Vicar on events and special programs. We are looking for someone to help with social media and a new St Peter’s Facebook page. We hope to have a Communications Committee up and running by the summer. Please let staff know if you are interested in discussing these opportunities.
The Distinguished Speakers Series will be continuing, so stay tuned!