Note: This section was created on 2015 December 29. It began with the data collected from Visitor Sheets dating from 2015 back to December of 2013. New sheets will be added for both future and past dates.
The Membership Team has two primary responsibilities: to collect information on all people related to Mountain Light UUC and to record attendance. This section is for utilizing the information that we collect. Herein, you will find a number of reports, accessible from the right-hand menu.
Being UUs, it would be unfathomable to think that we all agree on the specifics of any one topic. That is certainly true in regard to what terms we use to designate individuals that we encounter in the course of our ministry.
Visitors become friends. Friends become members, and then some members become inactive. Sometimes we call these inactive members, friends, too. For that matter, just when does a person become a friend, instead of just a visitor? (See Core Attendance below.)
When working with data, one needs to be as precise as possible, in order to best manipulate it. So, before we begin offering reports, it becomes necessary to define our parameters. Therefore, for the purposes of organizing the data in a multi-use capacity, this collection will use the following status definitions:
- (S) speaker guest invited to give presentation
- (V) visitor 1st or 2nd time guest
- (F) friend 3rd or more time guest
- (A) active a voting member or soon to be (see Bylaws)
- (I) inactive a non-voting member
- (D) deceased a member who has passed away
- (Y) youth any person attending who is under eighteen years of age.
Guests: This group consists of all attendees who have never joined Mountain Light UUC.
Speakers are invited guests who visit for the sole purpose of giving a sermon or some other presentation. A speaker who visits to attend another person's presentation is still listed as a speaker in the database but is counted as a visitor or friend in the attendance for that day. (Member-Speakers are counted as members.)
Visitors are guests who are attending for the 1st or 2nd time. The reasoning is that only attending once or twice is not a commitment to friendship. Most visitors fall into this category, which makes it easier to block them off from long-term trends, making reports more useful.
Friends are guests that come back repeatedly. Three times visiting is the arbitrary marker this collection uses to code such individuals. Some of these individuals are seasonal residents and are often members of UU congregations in other cities. Some visit only once a twice a year, but come year after year. (After an absence of one year, friends may be removed from some on-going reports.)
Members: This group consists of all attendees who have joined Mountain Light UUC. That is, they have signed the membership book at some point in the past. This does not include those who signed by mistake. (Apparently, some people thought it was a guest book.)
Active members are essentially voting members, meeting the requirements designated in the Bylaws for Mountain Light UUC. However, for classification purposes, a friend who signs the membership book or an inactive member who wishes to be listed as active is immediately switched to active (a) status, even though they may not be able to vote until after a set number of days.
Inactive members are non-voting members. They fall off of active status when they do not attend in a six-month period (with some exceptions). An actively attending member may also request to be removed from the active roster for personal reasons, in which case, they immediately are listed as inactive (even if they attend more frequently than some infrequently attending active members).
Note: Some inactive members move away. Some are still around. For that reason, I prefer to always refer to them as members when they visit (rather than friend), since it acknowledges their history with Mountain Light UUC. This courtesy has led to reactivation to active status on occasion.
Deceased members are members who are known to have passed away. Of course, some so-called inactive members may have passed away, too, unbeknowst to us.
Youth: This group consists of all attendees who are under eighteen years of age. Whilst it is possible to subdivide this grouping into something similar to Visitors, Friends, Active members, and Inactive members, the numbers have been too low to be of much use.
The concept of core attendance was created to better reflect expectations and trends. The Core attendees group is made up of Active and Inactive members and Friends. These are individuals who are or have in the past regularly attended and, therefore, can be expected to behave in certain ways, such as in appreciating the service and giving their time and money.
Visitors, Speakers, and Youths are generally less predictable and can wildly inflate counts. Furthermore, they are less likely to give of their time and money and are, in fact, often representative of expense rather than income (albeit welcomed).