Size of UU Events

What are the biggest UU events numerically?  I feel as though there is a natural limit at which point our numbers often plateau for most events.  Here are my initial thoughts: GA has grown to average 4,000-6,000.  The only other UU event over 1000 I’ve heard of us SUUSI (Southwest UU Summer Institute).  Several UU camps I think are over 300, including PNWD Eliot Institute, but most I’ve heard of are in the 100-200 range.  Opus & ConCentric have averaged about 150 and 100 respectivelly for 7 years.  The DRUUMM Annual Conference has had about 60 the last 3 years.  I heard the LREDA Conference has topped out once at 200.  Most UUA Affiliates seem to have annual events of less than 150: UU Musicians, UU Christian Fellowship, YRUU.  Who else eh?


9 responses to “Size of UU Events

  1. We had about 140 people at the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship Convocation this past May. I bet future events may draw even more folks. But 150 or so isn’t all that impressive, I’ve been in UU churches that draw that much to Sunday services.

  2. when I was in the JPD-YRUU in the late 90’s, we used to have cons every few months that were pretty huge, always between 50-150 attendees.

  3. I’ve heard tale that district youth cons can be quite large – 300-600 kids.

  4. We used to have spring and fall YRUU cons in the Michigan District that were between 100 and 140 people (usually maxed at 120, because of the facilities).

    The size of the event is, I believe, directly proportional to the feeling of community in the group being served. Why aren’t YRUU cons in Heartland as big as they were? Chiefly because they are being run by a group of people that rarely meet more than every 8 weeks, covering a “large” area. We (the Michigan YAC) used to meet at least once a month, and covered a smaller group, thus could work more pastorally with the community therein.

    I have other ideas on this Joseph… enough so that I’m going to post something in my blog tonight about it.

  5. OH! We had ComboCon in 2000 that gathered 185 youth, plus some extra adults. There hasn’t been a con in the Heartland district since that’s gotten even half that.

  6. The largest YRUU con ever in the PNWD was around 200 during my years there (85-02). There was a young adult con that had 85 in Seattle in 1998, the year before Opus came to the PNWD. This was larger than most Opuses.

  7. The last young adult conference for the Pacific NW District was 90 (give or take a few) this past Spring. It was held in Seattle. We are gearing up for high numbers again this Fall – it will be held in Portland, Oregon.

  8. If the question is, what is the natural size that UU groups plateau, then also consider that there are a number of churches where there are over 1000 members. When I was minister in Ann Arbor, we often would have over 400 in worship on a Sunday. It does take clarity of purpose and a leadership that is comfortable and confident about their leadership to sustain a larger group of UU’s though.

  9. I think that there is a natural plateau for affiliate organizations, but I’ve been impressed with the turn out for some of our UU networks that don’t have paid staff.

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