Project Description

This week I’d like to give you a summary of your answers from the Adult Faith Formation section of last fall’s survey.  (Again, a full report of the survey results is available on the parish web site, complete with charts and graphs!)  “Adult Faith Formation” refers to the opportunities that we offer outside of the Mass to come together to pray and learn about our faith.  These range from one-time opportunities, such as parish retreats and evenings of prayer, to longer-term programs, such as Bible Study or Men of Faith.   (Answers were on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being Strongly Disagree and 5 being Strongly Agree.)

 

  • I have participated in the following events/programs (listed in order by how many people responded that they have participated):
    • NONE (210 respondents)
    • Prayer Services (155)
    • Guest Speakers (142)
    • Parish Retreat (133)
    • Small Faith-Sharing Groups (i.e. Arise, Disciples Along the Journey, etc.) (95)
    • Bible Study (81)
    • Men’s and/or Women’s Group (38)
    • Marriage Enrichment (34)
  • It is important to participate in faith formation activities outside of Sunday Mass: 9
  • Christ the King offers sufficient opportunities to learn more about my faith outside of Sunday Mass: 0
  • Faith formation offerings are interesting and attractive: 6
  • I feel welcome at adult faith formation opportunities: 7
  • It is easy to find out when faith formation opportunities are taking place: 0
  • Activities at Christ the King have helped me deepen my relationship with Jesus: 8
  • Christ the King has helped me find ways to practice my faith on my own, in my daily life: 9
  • My family’s involvement at Christ the King has helped us practice our faith more as a family: 9
  • Faith Formation opportunities are offered at times that fit into my schedule: 5
  • Christ the King is effective in reaching out to adults of all ages in the parish: 8
  • What groups/demographic need more attention at Christ the King?
    • Young Adults (37)
    • Divorced Parishioners (17)
    • The Elderly (9)
    • Childless Parishioners/Single Older Adults (9)
    • Empty Nesters (5)

 

Here were the most common free-form comments from this section of the survey:

 

  • Suggestions for different offerings (12)
  • Positive comments about RCIA (6)

Your feedback in this section gives us a lot of useful insight into the challenges involved in offering ways to grow in faith in addition to Sunday Mass.  The data show that people who come to adult faith formation events really benefit from them, but that a large number of parishioners don’t participate.  There are many reasons for this.  Some folks are intimidated to walk into a Bible study if they fear they might be “less advanced” than the other participants.  Some are reticent about programs that might involve sharing in small groups.  For others, we haven’t found offerings that strike a chord with them.  The most common reason expressed in the surveys, though, was time.  Many people said that they would like to participate, but that they never seem to have the time.

 

The survey data also confirmed that there are certain groups in the parish to whom we could reach out more directly, particularly young adults and people who have been divorced, and we are working on ways to engage these folks in a more intentional way.  (Single adults were also frequently mentioned, but I’ll address them in the section on Community & Hospitality, which is where more parishioner comments about the challenges of being a single adult in the parish appeared.)

 

These insights will certainly help us in the planning process, especially as we look for ways to help people grow in faith that fit with their busy schedules and with their own comfort levels.  With that being said, I also encourage all of us to help each other step out of our comfort zones and find new ways to grow in faith in addition to Sunday Mass.  The more work we put into our faith – both individually and as a community – during the week, the richer our experience will be when we gather together to share the Eucharist on Sundays.