As part of our parish’s discernment of a possible capital campaign, we have been asking ourselves and each other where our building constrains or limits us – and what changing the building would free us up to do. We wanted to ask our neighbors for their thoughts, too. So the Neighborhood Needs team, one of our Capital Campaign Discernment teams, designed a simple survey. We printed the survey on a postcard and sent it out to all addresses within a quarter mile of the church – over 200 addresses. We also put the survey online and invited some local leaders to take it and share their thoughts.
We weren’t sure we’d get any responses, since people get so much unsolicited mail, and immediately recycle most of it! But in addition to seeking input, this was also an opportunity to tell our neighbors a tiny bit about our church, so we took the leap of faith. And we got responses – 25, in the end! And those who responded seemed really appreciative.
Here is a summary of the responses we received.
1. Here are some ways we might make our space and property available. Please mark the ones that you think would be important additions to the community. Check as many options as you like, or add your own.
|Ways to Use Space||Number of responses|
|A space for music classes or lessons||14|
|A space for family meals, parties, or picnics||11|
|A space for artists to teach classes or workshops||13|
|A space for support groups to meet||11|
|Work space for freelancers||9|
|A space for community or neighborhood meals||15|
- One person suggests a space to keep immigrants safe.
- One person says they like the path through the woods. Thanks.
- All are great ideas – Thanks
- All are great thoughts/ideas
2. Here are some programs we might offer in future, perhaps in partnership with other organizations. Please mark the ones that you think would be important additions to the neighborhood. Check as many as you like, or add your own.
|Possible Future Programs||Number of responses|
|Occasional community gatherings to sing/make music||5|
|Occasional community meals||10|
|Regular art or crafting meet-ups for adults, teens, or families||12|
|A low-cost childcare program||14|
|Parent support groups or parenting classes||7|
|Financial wellness classes||10|
|An edible landscaping demonstration garden/forest||12|
|Computer literacy classes||14|
- One person suggests craft fairs
- One person suggests an easy exercise group
- Thank you for asking us! 3 people
- Community meals – meet neighbors!
- Community garden?
- Some interesting ideas
- Community information sessions on current events/issues