Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your experience of our congregation! We estimate the survey will take 20-40 minutes to complete. This survey will help you, our congregational leadership, our Search Committee, and our future minister understand our congregation better. Responses to these questions will help guide cottage meeting discussions and enrich the narrative about our ministry context that the Search Committee shares with ministerial applicants.

The survey asks both multiple choice and open-ended questions and asks you to think deeply about your vision for our congregation and expectations for our next minister. This post includes all the survey questions so you may consider them in advance.

The raw data will be kept confidential. If a question makes you feel uncomfortable or too vulnerable, please skip it.  Please be as honest as possible. We are ready to hear what you have to say. A summary and analysis will be reported out to the congregation.

If you have questions or concerns, or if you did not receive the link to the survey in your email on Sunday, September 13th, please contact

Programs & Ministries

Below are listed ministries and programs of First Parish of Watertown. We want to know how these affect your life as a person of faith.

  • Sunday Morning Worship Service – in person & virtual services
  • Sunday Volunteer (e.g. chalice lighter, greeter, worship associate, musician, Social Hour host, welcome table, sound tech support, taking collection, etc.)
  • Band
  • Caring Circle (e.g. Meal Trains, giving/receiving rides)
  • Children’s Religious Education (e.g. teacher, mentor, student)
  • Choir
  • Committee Meeting(s), committee work
  • Families of Color Affinity Group
  • Fundraising (e.g. pledge drive, auction, Art Show)
  • Garden Guild & Grounds Cleanup
  • Governance (Parish Committee Meetings, Congregational Meetings)
  • Intergenerational Activities (e.g. game night, trivia night, Talent Show, Christmas tree decorating potluck)
  • Leading Lay Worship
  • Minister’s Office Hours
  • Social Justice Activity or Event (e.g. Mother’s Day Walk, Unity Breakfast, Grow Clinic collection)
  • Special Services (e.g. Seder, Solstice, Christmas Eve)
  • UUA District, Regional, or General Assembly
  • UUA Alternative Worship Service (i.e. Praise, CUUPS, etc.)
  • UUA Other Regional Offerings (e.g. workshop, webinar, learning circles)
  • Youth Ministry (e.g. youth group, events, Cons)
  • Zoom Community Check-ins
  • Other

On average how often did you attend or participate in each of these programs, ministries, and activities during the last year?
For each, select from Weekly, 2-3 times a month, Monthly, 2-4 times a year, Yearly, or Never

If you selected “Other,” please briefly identify the unlisted program(s):

Impact: looking back over the programs, ministries, and activities listed in the previous questions, please choose one (or two at the most) programs for your responses to the following questions:

Which program, ministry, or activity inspires you to stretch and grow?

Which program, ministry, or activity gives you the deepest sense of belonging?

In which program, ministry, or activity do you feel most Unitarian Universalist?

Which program, ministry, or activity gives you concrete tools to live a dynamic UU life?

In which program, ministry, or activity have you experienced transcendence?

Open-Ended Questions

What is your favorite thing about our congregation?

What do you perceive the top three functions of our congregation to be?

What do you perceive the top three functions of FPW’s minister to be?

Our Congregation

Consider our congregation – our members and friends – and its character and relationships. Leadership roles include Parish Committee, Parish Council, and church officers, as well as paid staff. These questions ask you to rank your agreement on a scale of 1 (Disagree) to 5 (Agree).

This congregation is generally open to change.

This congregation has a flexible enough structure to implement new ideas easily.

This congregation focuses on mission and the greater good, rather than the strong preference of some individuals.

I have concerns about our congregation’s financial sustainability.

There is a high level of trust in leadership in this congregation.

We have a core group of leaders able to lead change in a non-anxious way.

We do a good job of having difficult conversations and staying in relationship.

Our mission and ministry continue to adapt to changing conditions in the world.

Expectations of our next Settled Minister & Vision for our Congregation

Consider the following roles of our future minister and their importance in different contexts.

  • Pastoral Role – provides pastoral care, and, by example shows us how to care for one another.
  • Prophetic Role – helps us imagine our future and inspire us
  • Leading the overall strategy, planning, and programming of our congregation (“CEO” role)
  • Presenting inspiring and challenging Sunday services
  • Encouraging social justice programs
  • Developing volunteers and lay leaders
  • Fostering a sense of community
  • Supervising the church staff
  • Providing visible leadership in Watertown
  • Supporting families and multi-generational ministries
  • Teaching classes and leading workshops
  • Other: __________

From these roles:

  • Choose 5 roles for the minister that are important to you.
  • Choose 5 roles for the minister that serve the good of the whole congregation.
  • Choose 5 roles for the minister that will make the biggest impact on the next generation.

If you didn’t agree with something the minister said or did would you…

  • Talk with the minister immediately
  • Write a note/email to the minister
  • Write a note/email to the Parish Committee
  • Tell those in your circles
  • Keep my opinions to myself
  • Think it said more about myself and less about the minister.
  • Stop coming to church
  • Other:

It could become contentious if the new minister tried to change:

It could be unifying and energizing if the new minister tried to change:

My thoughts on the parsonage:

  • It is important to me that the minister lives in the parsonage.
  • It is important to me that the minister lives locally.
  • I want the best ministerial candidate, regardless of whether they choose to live in the parsonage.
  • I didn’t know we had a parsonage.
  • Other: __________


What is your age?

Which racial or ethnic identity/identities do you hold? Please check all that apply.

  • Asian/ Asian American
  • Black
  • Caucasian/ White
  • Latinx
  • Multiracial
  • Native American / Alaskan Native
  • Pacific Islander
  • Other: __________

Do you consider yourself part of a multiracial family?

With which gender do you most identify? Please check all that apply

  • Agender / Gender Androgynous 
  • Gender Queer / Gender Fluid
  • Man
  • Transgender
  • Two-Spirit
  • Woman
  • Other: __________

What is your sexual orientation?

  • Asexual
  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Heterosexual
  • Lesbian
  • Pansexual
  • Other: __________

What is your relationship status?

  • In a Committed Relationship
  • In Committed Relationships
  • Married
  • Separated or Divorced
  • Single
  • Widowed
  • Other: __________

Do you identify as having a permanent or temporary disability?

  • Yes, I have a disability
  • No, I don’t have a disability
  • Yes, I have previously had a temporary disability
  • I don’t wish to answer
  • Other: __________

What is the highest level of formal education you have completed?

What is your current employment status? Check all that apply.

  • Employed full time
  • Employed part time
  • Employed and looking for more work
  • Homemaker/caregiver/stay-at-home parent
  • Retired
  • Self-employed/freelance
  • Student
  • Unable to work
  • Unemployed and currently working for work
  • Unemployed and not working for work
  • Other: __________

Which of the following income categories best describes your total annual household income?

What is your current household annual giving pledge, whether you pledge as individuals or as a family?

What do you take into consideration when deciding an amount to give?

When was the last time you increased your giving to First Parish of Watertown?

  • This year
  • Last year
  • Two years ago
  • Three or more years ago
  • Never

What inspired an increase (or decrease) in giving?

On average, how long does it take you to travel to First Parish of Watertown from your home?

  • Less than 15 minutes
  • 15-30 minutes
  • 31-45 minutes
  • 46-60 minutes
  • More than 60 minutes

What is your relationship to First Parish of Watertown?

  • Member
  • Friend
  • Visitor
  • Staff
  • Child/Youth

How long have you attended First Parish of Watertown?

  • Less than 1 year
  • 1-2 years
  • 3-5 years
  • 6-10 years
  • 11-20 years
  • More than 20 years

Besides this congregation, are you a member of another congregation? Please check all that apply.

  • Member of another religious community
  • Member of Church of the Larger Fellowship
  • Member of another UU congregation (other than CLF)
  • Member of a UU Covenanting Community
  • None
  • Other: __________

What is your faith background?

  • I was born into the Unitarian Universalist tradition
  • I attended a UU congregation during my childhood/teen years
  • I was unchurched
  • I was raised in another faith, but unchurched as an adult
  • I came from another faith tradition
  • I grew up in an interfaith family

How many years have you been a Unitarian Universalist?

  • Less than 1 year
  • 1-2 years
  • 3-5 years
  • 6-10 years
  • 11-20 years
  • More than 20 years
  • I do not consider myself Unitarian Universalist.

How would you rate your spiritual life?
Rate on a scale of 1 (Spirituality is not important to me at all) to 5 (Spirituality is integral to all I do).

Do you have a regular spiritual practice?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

How many children under the age of 18 are there in your family?
If other adult family members are filling out a form, too, please choose one family member to count the children.

  • None
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5 or more
  • Another family member is answering this question

If you have children under the age of 18 in your family, please check all that apply.

  • All the children are in the house full time.
  • Some of the children are in the house part time.
  • All the children are in the house part time.
  • It’s complicated.
  • Another family member is answering this question.

If you have children under the age of 18 in your family, how many are currently participating in the Religious Education program at First Parish of Watertown?

  • None
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5 or more
  • Another family member is answering this question.


What brought you to First Parish of Watertown?

What keeps you here?

Why should our future minister consider joining FPW specifically in the next chapter of our journey?

Are there questions we missed, but should have asked? What questions (from this survey or other) would you like to discuss at an upcoming cottage meeting?

Thank You!

Again your Ministerial Search Committee and Parish Committee thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your experience of our congregation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Beth or Kate at

Search Committee
Website | + posts

The ministerial search committee is charged with finding the next settled minister of our congregation, to begin ministry in August 2021.  The committee members are Judy Kamm, Kyle Morton, Kate Hanson Plass, Ben Jerome, Silke Plesch, Beth Tappan-deFrees, and Will Twombly.