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Community Feedback on Liturgy Formats

Community Feedback on Liturgy Formats

Results of the community survey sent with recent election ballots have been tabulated. The survey asked members to give their likelihood of attending future in-person and online liturgies based on the frequency of each liturgy format. Responses were provided by about 60% of the membership.

The responses showed a strong desire for both in-person and online liturgy formats for the coming year.  Overall, responses showed a higher likelihood of community members attending liturgy on Zoom compared to in-person meetings at Saint Stephen’s Church.  Specifically:

95% of respondents indicated a desire to attend liturgy on Zoom at least once a year (compared with 98% for in-person liturgies)
77% of respondents would attend liturgy on Zoom at least one Sunday per month (compared with 72% for in-person liturgies)
66% of respondents would attend liturgy on Zoom two or more Sundays per month (compared with 40% for in-person liturgies)
41% of respondents would attend Zoom liturgy three or four Sundays per month (compared with 21% for in-person liturgies).

Community members also provided qualitative comments on their likelihood to participate in both liturgical formats.

For Zoom liturgies, respondents expressed enjoyment of the Share the Word format, appreciation of the accessibility of online liturgy (due to factors such as scheduling, physical distance, health issues, and aging), and the ability to welcome new members online. Some also acknowledged that social connection is difficult in this format.

For in-person liturgies, respondents noted the importance of shared Eucharist in person and the ability to connect in person with community members. They also cited continued concern for health and safety due to COVID-19 and a desire to continue assessing current safety measures, including continued precautions such as masking and vaccination requirements, while other restrictions such as a 6-foot distance between households could be re-evaluated. Several respondents suggested that better lighting in the church and an in-person choir would add to the accessibility and spirituality of in-person liturgies. The greater physical labor required of community members to run in-person liturgies compared to Zoom liturgies was also noted as a concern.

These results will form part of the community discussion planned for next Sunday’s Listening Night, on 12/18, following the Share the Word liturgy on Zoom. The Board and LitComm thanks all who participated in the survey.