Lies. . . Damned Lies. . . And Statistics Unitarian Universalist Style. . . Some Facts About The Faith Communities Today (FACT) Study Statistics
Actually all that that FACT survey data *really* shows that it's quite a bit easier for the 900+ *tiny* congregations of The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ to register a 10% attendance increase than it is for the usually significantly larger congregations of "mainstream" denominations to have one. And dare I point out that the attendance increase percentage for Evangelical churches is only marginally lower than that of the UUA yet Evangelical churches individually and collectively have vastly higher attendance figures to begin with? It should also be noted that the UUA's own certified congregation statistics show that many UU churches have only one-third to one-half of their official adult membership attending Sunday services which suggests that on any given Sunday only 50,000 to 80,000 adult UUs bother to attend a Unitarian Universalist church service. . .
You said it Peter, Unitarian Universalism is "a tiny, declining, fringe religion" and no amount of manipulation of church statistics is going to change that any time soon. . . In fact, even if the Unitarian Universalist Association Of Congregations miraculously tripled its adult membership by persuading those 500,000 or so somewhat mythical Americans who choose to identify themselves as being Unitarian Universalists in U.S. census data etc., but who do not actually belong to any bricks & mortar UU congregations*, to become a signed-up member of a UU "church", Unitarian Universalism would still be a tiny fringe religion, albeit no longer a declining one for the time being.
In fact the high percentage of UU congregations reporting "lots of new volunteers" *could* very well be an indication that many of the "old volunteers" are simply no longer capable of participating in church life because they are too old and frail, if not quite literally "corpse-cold Unitarians". . . I certainly see plenty of evidence of this phenomenon at the Unitarian Church of Montreal whose membership has been "aging and dwindling" for well over a decade now. "Lots of new volunteers" does NOT equal "lots of new members", or even significantly increased church attendance, it just means that different people take over the work of the old volunteers who are no longer able to volunteer their services to their "church". According to this quite realistic scenario a smaller percentage of UU congregations reporting "lots of new volunteers" might actually be a healthier statistic. . .
The sad fact is that these Faith Communities Today (FACT) study statistics *may* well be announcing the death knell, or at least further decline, of The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ rather than being any indication of its real or *imagined* potential to somehow be magically transformed into "*The* Religion For Our Time" as per your UUA presidential campaign slogan which, quite frankly, is as beyond belief now as it was back in 2008. . .
So just where *is* your 25 year plan for transforming The Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ into "*The* Religion For Our Time" Peter?
I never saw it, and I don't think anyone else did either. . .
* Including BTW the UUA's largest virtual congregation known as "The Church Of The Larger Fellowship" which these alleged or self-professed non-churchgoing "UUs" *could* join easily enough if they bothered to choose that UU fate. . .