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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Creating a vital snapshot of Presbyterians

Presbyterian Panel selecting new survey respondents

December 17, 2017

Did you know that Presbyterians are more willing than Americans in general to pay higher prices for environmentally friendly products? Or that one-third of Presbyterians belong to a congregation that is trying to become more racially and ethnically diverse? These are just a few of the things learned from Presbyterian Panel surveys.

For over 40 years, the Presbyterian Panel has provided a way to listen to Presbyterians and to collect information about their general practices, beliefs and opinions. Results from the Panel also help guide PC(USA) policy formation, program development and evaluation.

A representative sample of nearly 2,000 Presbyterians (members and pastors) serve on the Presbyterian Panel for a three-year period and respond by mail and email to questionnaires four times a year.

(iStock photo)

“The Presbyterian Panel helps church leaders know who Presbyterians are and what they think and do,” said Deb Coe, coordinator of Research Services.

This winter, the PC(USA) Office of Research Services will use scientific methods to select a new group of panelists to answer questionnaires for the 2018–2020 Panel term. A representative sample of Presbyterian congregations will be asked to help Research Services by following a provided set of instructions to select potential panelists from their congregation. Ministers will be randomly selected from lists maintained by the Office of the General Assembly.

Coe said participating in the Panel is an opportunity to help the Presbyterian church. “The Panel is an opportunity few people have; even though we are sampling several thousand people, that is a small proportion of the entire church,” she said. “We hope that every Presbyterian who is invited to be part of the Panel will prayerfully consider this unique opportunity to serve the church.”

Coe also encouraged congregations that are contacted to participate. “It requires some work, we realize, but cooperation by congregations is essential. We can’t do our job of ‘listening to Presbyterians’ without their help.”

The names, addresses and responses of panelists is confidential, Coe said. The information is used only by the Presbyterian Panel for data collection and statistical reporting.

Click here to learn more about the Presbyterian Panel, see examples of survey topics or find results from previous Panel reports. For questions, call 800-728-7228, ext. 2040.

Angie Andriot, Special to Presbyterian News Service

Today’s Focus:  Presbyterian Panel

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Kristine Baker, PMA
Zenia Baker, FDN

Let us pray:

Gracious God, we are honored to be part of your amazing story of birth and new life. Allow us to be open to you and your guiding Spirit. Amen.

Daily Readings

First Reading Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Psalm 126:1-6
Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Or alternate Second Reading Luke 1:46b-55
Gospel John 1:6-8, 19-28