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 St. Francis Listening Session

October 2021

On October 17, 2021, an open meeting was held after each service to discuss the state of the parish, discuss reasons for the present state, and brainstorm ideas for the future.  Between both meetings six people participated in the discussion.  As a starting point, we reviewed the Parish Life Cycle:  each participant placed a mark on where they felt St. Francis was on the cycle.  


  • 1 Vote for Stable, Healthy Maturity moving towards an Improvement Process
  • 2 Votes for Static Maturity moving towards an Improvement Process
  • 3 Votes for Decline
  • 1 Vote for Redefine and Development, moving from Decline back to Formation.


We then had a round table discussion about the factors that affect where St. Francis is on the cycle. 

  • We have lower attendance and participation in Sunday School.
  • Lower membership, particularly among younger people, is a Christianity problem.
  • COVID has impacted us.
  • We are a healthy, functioning parish.
  • We have a good spirit.
  • We’ve made some attempts at increasing membership
    • Trunk or Treat
    • VBS
    • Dinners
  • Younger generations are searching for meaning in life, and in many ways are struggling.  Church does not often occur to them as a source of meaning and purpose.  Sometimes they are drawn to things like motivational speakers, interest groups, and celebrities.
  • There is a gap between the amount of knowledge needed to appreciate a worship service in the Episcopal Church, and what exists in the general culture.  That gap is currently widening.
  • The culture has changed.
  • St. Francis is seen as having something to offer.  

Ideas That Could Make a Difference (With Votes):

  • Promoting Compline on Social Media (One Vote)
  • Conduct a Survey of the wider culture, asking what they are looking for in life. (Two Votes)
  • Holding Community Events (One Vote)
  • Conducting a Parenting Class / Ministry to reach out to young families (Five Votes)
  • Generating Good Memes for Social Media
  • Advertise with Signs: Missing Something?  (Two Votes)
  • Promote our Social Media Accounts
    • YouTube
    • Facebook (One Vote)
    • Website
    • TikTok – not currently offered.