Twelve Important Reasons to Report Annual Church Data

This week, I’d like to introduce you to The Rev. Phiwa Langeni, Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement with the Center for Analytics, Research & Development, and Data (CARDD). They are the Founder of Salus Center, Lansing, MI’s only LGBTQ resource and community center. Additionally, Phiwa is a speaker, writer, transitional coach, and the owner of a few small creative businesses.


Just in time for Yearbook data collection season, CARDD is pleased to reveal the updated reasons it’s important for churches to report their annual data! Not only have we simplified the reasons and reconfigured the layout, but you may notice we’ve added a twelfth reason this time around. Can you figure out which one?

Alright, I’ll spare you the suspense and tell you: Covenant. It’s such an important feature of who we are as a denomination that it seemed right to begin the list with it. I also want to highlight a tangible effect of you reporting your data throughout the year by sharing how we came to add this twelfth reason.

In addition to reporting data for the Yearbook, CARDD sends out a Supplemental Survey that allows us to ask more robust and nuanced questions about the previous year (this will be even more essential as we continue to navigate a global pandemic) to give us a fuller picture of our UCC identity. From last year’s Supplemental Survey, several of you included ‘covenant’ in your answers about why your church reports annual data. It made too much sense to leave it off this list.

Thank you to all of you who carve out the time to report your data! While every bit of shared data cannot always translate into swift and visible action, I hope this brief example helps you know that we do see and hear you, and your voice truly matters in the telling of our collective story. The CARDD team is tremendously honored to be able to capture these snapshots each year so we have a record of our journey that benefits us today and the many tomorrows yet ahead.

Wild blessings!

12 Important Reasons to Report Annual Church Data

Covenant

Cultivating UCC covenantal relationship with other Local Churches, Associations, Conferences, and National.

Updates

Updating your church’s contact information in the UCC Yearbook & Directory, Access UCC, and on Find a Church

Trends

Contributing to denominational trends in the annual UCC Statistical Profile, which tracks overall membership, ministerial compensation, and church finances over time

Resources

Helping your Conference, Association, and/or National understand your congregation from a statistical perspective in order to better provide appropriate support and resources

Voice

Determining number of delegates your Conference can designate for General Synod, which is one of the essential ways your voice is heard on important issues

Guidelines

Assisting with benchmarks to determine appropriate church staffing configurations and compensation guidelines from the ministerial compensation data you provide*

Recognition

Supporting and reporting your church’s OCWM and special offerings allows Conferences and the National Setting to recognize and thank you on behalf of the wider church and to encourage future support

Research

Enabling CARDD to conduct statistical analyses that contribute to important research for all mainline denominations e.g. some of the research reported on CARDD’s weekly blog

Contributions

Calculating dues, or apportionments, that your church gives to your Association or Conference

Funding

Receiving funding from the National Setting? If so, annual reporting helps ensure continued financial support and is usually a requirement for grant-receiving churches

Verification

Seeking loans through the Church Building & Loan Fund or Cornerstone Fund? These entities view annual statistics for verification and clarification of information provided in the loan application

Archives

Creating a historical statistical record for your congregation that will long outlive current generations and that historians will be able to learn from in the future

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