Friday, February 22, 2013

CAT analysis: please do one more survey

Last fall, we had a terrific response to our parish survey. (The data, which were presented at the Annual Meeting, will also soon be posted on the website and the blog.) Now, our Interim Dean, the Very Rev. Rebecca McClain, asks us to complete one more survey! This is a standardized questionnaire, called the Church Assessment Tool (CAT) , which is
a simple instrument that provides profound insight into our common life. The CAT generates what might be called "witness data" - the perspectives, experiences and aspirations of the members of the Body of Christ, allowing us to see the underlying patterns that manifest the health of the whole community. Like a CT scan, the CAT provides a whole body image of our community.
We know you're asking, How does the CAT differ from our Parish Survey?
Our survey asked your opinion on very specific questions, and provided room for your comments (all of which were read very carefully!). Significantly, it was characterized by specifics: both in the types of questions, and in seeking your precise, individual opinion.

The CAT analysis is complementary. Although it's a multiple choice survey, it actually provides a more nuanced response with open-ended questions about who we are and how we view ourselves, spiritually and otherwise.  There is a little bit of overlap in the demographic questions, but overall the questions in the CAT will ask you to prioritize in ways that the survey did not.

This tool will reveal underlying patterns that are not apparent in the more concrete responses of the parish survey.  The additional data will be tremendously helpful to your search committee moving forward. Importantly, this tool also compares our responses to other Episcopal churches.

And most significantly, this is designed to  allow us a sense of where we are as a community --not just where we THINK we are.

Will you help us out one more time?  Members 16 and over are asked to take the survey;  paper copies will also be provided for those who prefer non-digital.  It will take about 10-15 minutes.

Our thanks!

--Susan Forsburg, for the Profile Committee

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