UUCA – Report, Long Range Planning Committee Report (Feb 1967)

Feb 1967

Committee Purpose

A. General

The Long Range Planning Committee was organized as a committee of the Board with the general charge of forecasting the needs of the congregation, in terms or programs, staff, facilities, and finances beyond the current year, and to develop plans toward meeting the defined needs.

P. Specific

The immediate charge of this committee as based on the apparent continuing growth trend of this congregation and the obvious need to provide different and additional means of accommodating future growth by the beginning of our next program year.

The committee has undertaken to develop possible alternatives to a degree that they might be here considered by the congregation for a decision as to the proper direction the church will take as we meet these requirements. It has been the effort to include the implications of these alternatives, in terms of program, staff, facility, and finance.

C. Membership

This committee is composed of the 1st Vice President (Chairman), the minister, the President, 2nd Vice President, the R.E. Director, Finance Director, and the Chairmen of the ad hoc committees– Growth, Program Study, and Priorities.

II. Possible Alternative Methods for Handling the Growth of This Congregation and Extending Unitarian-Universalism in Atlanta

A. General

The following alternatives are developed considering:

  1. The effective use of staff and facility, including maximum utilization of our existing facility.
  2. Financial implications during this period when a high percentage of our operating budget is allocated to fixed expenses.’
  3. Providing opportunity for all possible extension of Unitarian-Universalism in Atlanta.
  4. The means for meeting the needs outlined in a way that would provide opportunity for meaningful Unitarian-Universalist program in Atlanta.
  5. Financial implications or any autonomous group being established at various points in time.

B. Description of Alternatives

1. The Establishment of Fellowships (Decision point #3)

a. Assumptions

(1)  Fellowships would most likely be comprised of a small group during its early period.

(2)  The location of such fellowships would most likely occur in areas surrounding the city of Atlanta itself on the north side.  This is consistent with the knowledge that potential Unitarian-Universalist are most likely in population areas of above average income and education level.
b. Possible Course of Action
The establishment of fellowships can be encouraged at all times and receive the support of the Board of this congregation and its standing committees.
c. Implications
The establishment of fellowships experienced in other cities implies that this could not meet the need of handling the immediate population and continuing growth rate of the church.

2. Creation of a New Congregation in Central Atlanta (Decision point #3)

a. Assumptions

(1)  The assumptions including location, accessibility etc. could be the same as in the off-campus third service alternative.

(2)  The number of people attracted to a new society and program is undetermined at this point.
(3)  The establishment of a new society might most expediently serve the extension of Unitarian-Universalism in Atlanta.
(4) The professional staff and volunteer committees could be made available to a new society establishing itself on a consulting and/or participating basis.
b. Possible Course of Action
A meeting could be called of those interested in a new society from which a steering committee of those participating could be established. This committee would determine direction, program, location etc.
c. Implications
(1) Although no direct cost in the sense of expenditure would necessarily be incurred by this congregation, the cost would be in terms of pledge loss. If, for example, fifty average pledges comprised the new society and were replaced in this congregation through growth with thirty-five new pledges, the receipts from pledges would be reduced by a net of $12,000
(2) As can be seen from the attached chart of population growth (annex 1), this would be an absolute net loss if the new society was established in September 1967. Although it would not appreciably effect the population of this congregation and its concomitant needs, the later this society would be established, the less the financial implication because of the number of new pledges which represented by growth which would be off-setting. Thus, this is certainly not the same cost picture if it were accomplished in September 1968.

3. Expanding Existing Physical Facilities to Accommodate Growth (Decision point #5)

a. Assumptions

(1) The adult capacity is limited by our existing sanctuary which does not lend itself to economically feasible expansion. This sanctuary will house a mean attendance of 400 per session, considering our experienced deviation from the mean.

(2) Mean attendance is 90% of membership.
(3) Church school attendance averages 90% of adult attendance. The church school facility will accommodate a mean attendance of 290, based on a 15 per cent average. Thus, the church school can accommodate a mean attendance which would be expected with a mean adult attendance of 320 per session.

(4) The existing facility will accommodate a membership of 1000 with three sessions.
b. Possible Course of Action
(1) A balance could be provided by either adding to the existing facility, building a youth building at the end of the parking lot, or by some other means providing eight additional class rooms and one additional assembly room.
(2) Class room space could be leased in a neighboring building.
c. Implications
(1)  The cost of implementing form of expansion of existing facility would mean a capital outlay in excess of $100,000. This would be an addition to the operating budget of approximately $12,000 per year.
(2)  Expanding the facility would mean that the church school could handle the children that would attend a session with an average adult attendance of 400.
(3)  The balanced facility would comfortably accommodate a membership of 1200 with three sessions.

4. A Mid-Week Service in Our Existing Facility (Decision point #8)

a. Assumptions
Based on the experience of the Seattle and Pittsburg congregation, it was determined that the most successful type of mid-week program would:
(1)  Be family oriented haying adult and R.E. programs
(2)  Have general program appeal
(3)  Include supper for participants
(4) Begin as early as possible (6:30) and end promptly at 8 P.M.b.
b. Possible Course of Action
(1)  An adult program that could range from a service essentially identical to that held each Sunday to an informal and less structured type of program with lay speakers. This could be set-up by existing church committees.
(2)  A mid-week assembly steering committee could be appointed from members who would attend this service. This committee would determine type of program, direction, etc. Additional committees pertinent to conduct of the service could be appointed. However, members attending this assembly would participate in regular standing committees of this church and their functions.
(3)  The A. E. Program could be:
(a) A program similar to that on Sunday
(b) An experimental program tailored to mid-week
(c) A totally different program directed by a sub-committee composed of members attending this service.

c. Implications and Advantages

(1) Some of the advantages to members attending such a program would be:(a) Time of service, leaving weekends free

(b) Closer family experience
(c) Possibly greater participation in group programs

(2)  The cost implications  this type of program would be no more than that necessary to support this many additional members under any set of circumstances.

(3)  This program would require the attention of the minister and/or the ass start.

5. Sunday A.M. Third Service (Decision point #8)

a. Assumptions
(1) This would be a structured service with both adult and youth program.
(2) The service would be essentially the same as the other two provided on Sunday morning.b.
b. Possible Course of Action
An early service could be scheduled for 9 A.M. followed by services at 10:30 and 12:00 for example.
c. Implications
(1)  A third service in the morning which would probably require rescheduling the times of all three services.
(2)  The cost would be simple that involved in a Sunday morning program, ie, music, etc.

6. Sunday Evening Third Service (Decision point # 8)

a. Assumptions
The assumptions would be the same as for a Sunday morning service.
b. Possible Course of Action
The two Sunday morning services could remain as they are and a Sunday evening service scheduled at 7:30 P.M.
c. Implications
(1)  Cost would be the same as for a third Sunday morning service.
(2)  Other Sunday evening activities would have to be rescheduled to other evenings during the week.

7. An Off-Campus Third .service (Decision point 19)

a. Assumptions
(1) A facility in an area centrally located in the city and accessible to potential Unitarian-Universalist, the extension of Unitarian-Universalism might be best served while the immediate growth problem is met.
(2) An off-campus group might most expediently become autonomous and establish a new society. The mission of extending Unitarian-Universalism would mean that we would provide every opportunity for this to happen at the earliest time deemed advantageous by the group itself.

(3) An area meeting the above requirements of location might also simultaneously provide the means for performingmworthwhile public service activities. Such programs might include:
(a)  The establishment of an information center
(b)  Reading room and agency referral center

(4) The area considered most likely to meet the above requirements is the general 10th Street area. Location defined as being bounded by 14th Street, Charles Allen Drive, Ponce de Leon, and Spring Street.

b. Possible Courses of Action

(1) Leasing a seven day a week facility which would accommodate an adult assembly of approximately 100. Eight church school rooms and space for an information center, reading room, or other public service program.

(2) Leasing a one day a week facility such as that at Clark Howell School.
(3) Leasing a one day a week facility such as that at Clark Howell School in combination with approximately 500 square feet of permanently leased space in which to conduct one of the public service programs outlined.
c. Implications
(1) The cost of a seven day a week facility would be approximately $7,000 to $10,000 per year in addition to whatever cost would be incurred for the service of additional members.
(2) The cost of a one day a week facility would be approximately $1,500 per year.
(3) The cost of the possible combination of facilities would be approximately $4,000 per year.
d. Advantages
(1) Providing this course of action might best serve to extend Unitarian-Universalism in Atlanta and provide the basis for productive Unitarian program in the community.
(2) This area might serve Ansley Park residents, minority group residents south of North Avenue, as well as being centrally accessible to the city in general.
(3) it is this alternative that might most easily give rise to a second society of meaningful size.

The program provided and its requirements would be as in the case of a mid-week service above. Again an off-campus assembly steering committee could be established at the appropriate time, comprised of members who would participate. The direction and content of the program could be determined by this committee.

III. Basic Assumptions and Recommendations

A. Assumptions

It seems to the committee apparent that we:

  1. Recognize that any alternative that might be accepted by the congregation would not serve to decrease the ministerial work­load nor reverse the membership trend and thus would make explicit the need for additional professional staff.
  2. Recognize the inevitability of the growth of this congregation to a membership in excess of 800.
  3. Recognize that an active summer program will be desirable and therefore probably instituted.
  4. Recognize that the establishment of fellowships would appear to be concomitant of any other course of action selected rather than an alternative.
  5. Recognize that the establishment of a new society would be most economically feasible to this congregation and the society if effected by September 1968.

B. Recommendations

Based on the above assumptions, the committee recommends to the congregation that:

  1. A committee be established for the selection of an assistant minister with consideration toward employment or this person for the next program year.
  2. The installation of central air-conditioning for part or all of the building should be considered if financed by a type of bonding program recommended by the Special Gifts Committee which would not encumber the operating budget of the current or immediately succeeding fiscal years.
  3. All possible alternatives developed by each of the Study Committees be presented to the congregation for consideration and decision.
  4. Our goal is to stimulate the creation of a new congregation in the fall of 1968.
  5. The growth requirements be met in the Fall of 1967 by adding to the number of services.
  6. With respect to the type of service, the decision be remanded to the congregation without recommendation. This excepting a recommendation against planning for more than one additional service.
  7. The, board on recommendation of the R.E. director and committee regulate RE enrollment for each service.
  8. In the event an additional “on campus” service is selected, that the money which would have been incurred off campus be used to enrich the program of this congregation.
  9. In the event an “off campus” is selected that it be with a one day a week facility.

Archivist: Click to display the Decision Schematic Diagram and other report attachment.

Physical Archive: Northwest   Box: 01   Folder: 01
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