GENERATIONS IN COMMUNITY
INTRODUCTION TO GENERATIONAL SHIFT AND CONGREGATIONAL VITALITY QUESTIONNAIRE
URL FOR SURVEY: www.surveymonkey.com/s/UUgenerations
Please complete by August 1, 2016
A warm thank you to those who choose to take the time to be a part of this study! This questionnaire is part of a research project by a Unitarian Universalist minister/sociologist to better understand how generational shift is impacting the nature and vitality of congregations. A number of sociological studies look at the effects of generational shift in society, business and politics, and several have explored patterns of generations in the context of faith communities, mostly Christian. Researchers say at least 75% of a generation (in the US and Canada) fit a recognizable pattern in significant ways, and suggest strategies for building partnerships across generations to create constructive change in our world.
We live in a time of shifting generations, and the loss of the eldest generation, with its culture of church commitment, is hitting congregations of many traditions hard. Our faith tradition prides itself on its commitment to building bridges across all types of diversity, and adapting to changing times. How will our Boomers do “eldering” – hold the space of caring community- given the individualism common to my generation? How can we best invite Gen-Xers and Millennials into our congregations? How can we be more intentional about honouring the life journeys of older generations while appreciating the gifts and needs of those younger? What can we learn by really listening to each other across the generations that will enable us to be more effective allies as we work to build a more just and compassionate world together?
Given the complex and competing demands upon our time, how can we better communicate the great value of inter-generational religious community - its power to enrich our lives and our society? Do we understand what a precious gift this offers our children and youth, who are empowered to be agents for healing and hope in the incredibly diverse world they are inheriting? How can we more fully live this vision in a world of increasing rootlessness, alienation and isolation?