But for now, here's the letter that went out to the UUA board. I also have the attached documents and will happily provide them to anyone who is not working or has not worked to reduce UU growth who emails me to request them.
My reading of this is that the UUA shrank by 74 members if you include the CLF and 140 if you do not.
Assuming these numbers are correct and no matter whether you think our denomination of 160,000+ members lost 74 or 140, I absolutely stand by everything I said about Morales at the beginning.
Should you wish to verify this email on your own, write your favorite UUA board member and ask about it. Or heck, write Peter Morales.
Oh, and Rev. Peter Morales's church is down 1.16 percent while the UUA as a whole is down 0.02 percent.
Again, dips in membership happen and I wouldn't care if Morales weren't working to hard to bill himself as the savior of UUism's membership numbers.
Ps. The fact that church NUMBERS went down slightly, but church ATTENDANCE went up as a percentage suggests to me that the people who think that a few churches culled the rolls of non-active members are correct.
The various reports are based on the most recent UUA growth statistics and based on data collected as part of the 2-1-09 certification process. A description of each attached report is noted at the bottom of this email. Each of the six attachments are one-pagers, so it’s not as daunting as it may appear!
Highlights from these reports:
· In the last year, for the first time in many years, adult membership in our Association of Congregations declined by 74 members going from 164,730 to 164,656 or -0.02%. Looking at districts only, membership declined by 140 members, going from 156,403 to 156,223 or -0.1%. Many who have reviewed these numbers speculate that membership rolls were reviewed more carefully this year so that membership more accurately reflects active members.
· In the last year, 8 of our 19 districts increased in membership while 12 declined. (Over the last six years – a better gauge – 12 of our 19 districts increased in membership.)
· In the last year, 42% of our congregations reported adult membership growth while 44% reported declines and 14% reported no change. (Over the last six years 52% of our congregations reported growth while 45% reported declines. 3% reported no change.)
· In the last year, 5,110 members were added to the membership roles of the congregations that grew. Of those congregations that declined, 5,184 members were removed.
· In the last year, average attendance on Sunday morning increased 1.2%.
· Religious Education registration declined by -1.3%.
Also interesting is Tracey Robinson-Harris’ update on various growth experiments going on. It is also attached and is one page.
After the last meeting you requested a copy of the UUAs Growth Plan, the three-page document that has outlined our approach to growth for the past several years. It is attached. Between now and the end of Bill’s administration, we will be creating an update of activities and results arising from this Plan. (Note: It is called a “draft” because it is continually evolving as we learn more.)
I look forward to seeing you all at this week’s Board meeting. If you’d like me or Tracey to join you at the Growth Working Group meeting, just let us know.
Be sure to look at the description of the files attached, below. Most are one-pagers. I will provide hardcopies of all the one-pagers to all members of the UUA Growth Working Group. If anyone wants electronic or hardcopies of the detailed congregational data, I can certainly provide that, as well.