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Saskatoon 2002 evaluations in

   

October 21, 2002

Winnipeg, Man.—Planning an assembly that pleases most of the people most of the time is a huge project. This year, over 200 volunteers from Mennonite Church Saskatchewan contributed to the effort. Thank-you!

Judging from the evaluation responses, both volunteers and staff did a generally satisfactory job of planning and carrying out the assembly in Saskatoon. Forty-six per cent responded with an overall event rating of “very good”. An additional 46% gave an overall rating of “good”. (The rating options included very good, good, fair, and disappointing.)

Fifty per cent rated the presentations as “very good”; 44 % rated them as “good”. Praise poured in for the morning worship times presented by Simply Superb, a music and worship group from Superb Mennonite Church that delivered contemporary versions of Jesus parables complemented by original music in a bluegrass style. Regarding the reporting times, one evaluator in the 31-40 age category wrote, “I think the ‘reporting’ times were exceptional. I appreciated the integration of information, visual, theme humour etc.” A nearly universal criticism was the lack of time available for discussion.

The Special Features heading of the evaluation received the highest ratings: 65% gave the special features category the top rating of “very good”, and 28% rated special featues as “good”. These included Making Peace with the Land (a pre-assembly mini-conference addressing the farming crisis from a faith perspective), Seminars, Minister’s Conference, Youth and Young Adult programs, and the Prairie Festival (an informal intergenerational evening featuring live music and square dancing).

Some reviewers resented sharing time between the minister’s conference and the Making Peace with the Land event, and noted the absence of promised child care; others said Making Peace as too “pro-organic” and encouraged planners to consider a wider range of dialogue. But a significant number commended the guest speakers at Making Peace with the Land.

Accolades for the Prairie Festival came from all categories up to age 60. Comments included “Keep doing this!,” “The intergenerational idea was great and it was fun square dancing and just having good conversations with others in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.” Seminars received mixed reviews, while Young adult activities were noted as being virtually absent.

The facilities section of the evaluation also received good ratings: 61% rated Circle Drive Alliance Church as “very good”; 35% rated the facility as “good”.

Assembly 2003 is scheduled for St. Catharines, Ontario, July 9-13.