Maybe you have heard about the changes to the worship service this fall. Starting on September 8th we are proposing to change our Sunday morning schedule. You may have heard about it. You may have some questions, but I will try to summarize some of the questions I have heard and give some possible answers, so we can get a better appreciation for why it is being proposed.
What is being proposed for the fall schedule?
9:00 am Family Worship
10:00 am Education Hour
11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship with Choir
Why is this being proposed? The main reason for it is that it allows our church to grow more easily in spirit and numbers. Sadly, our population of younger families has been dwindling over the last 6-8 years. This year we have had very few children in attendance. Like many churches, we need to work hard to attract young families to come to worship.
But we have shifted our attention to a new program that seems to be attracting young families. Based on strong attendance on Christmas Eve and Easter for our Family Services, this year we have designed a Family Service at 8:30 on Sunday mornings and have attracted a steady group of families each week. The service has included liturgy for children, a story and time to learn some songs.
Why change this?
We can see that our children are out-growing this service. While they like the service they are also ready for Sunday School as many of them are in elementary school. The singing time is fun but it is not enough time to really teach music fundamentals that are vital to creating a true children’s choir. So we have designed a schedule that will allow families to attend the early service, and then the children can learn more about music and faith.
Here’s the proposed schedule:
Family Service 9:00 Chapel
Kid’s Choir 9:30
Adult Sermon 9:30 Chapel
Snacks and Coffee 9:45- 10:45 Monbleau Hall
Sunday School 10:00
Adult Education 10:00 - 10:45
Traditional Worship 11:00 What type of adult classes will we have?
Our fall class options are as follows from 10 - 10:45 am
Emerging Christianity - Doug Wheeler
Faith Fundamentals - God, Doubt, Faith, Worship - Peggy O’Connor
A Home for Faith: Encouraging Faith in your Family - Susan Cartmell
What leaders in the church have discussed this?
The Deacons are responsible for worship and they have discussed this change since their March meeting. At their May meeting they decided that it was something worth pursuing. One deacon said “This is vital to helping attract newer members and give them a good way to become integrated as the adult classes will draw an audience from those who worship at both services.”
What About Music?
Many musicians come a distance and having an extra half hour will be a lovely gift to them. When we discussed this with Fred, he was enthusiastic about having some additional time on Sunday mornings before the choir sings. Fred and I have both been concerned that there is not enough time between the services in the current schedule to accommodate the practices needed on Sunday morning. This shift in schedule allows more time between services.
What About Coffee Hour?
We may serve more breakfast food - coffee cake instead of cookies, for example. But the food will be out for an hour from 9:45 - 10:45. We hope this will encourage people to mingle, stay late after the early service or arrive early for the Traditional service or grab a snack and attend a class.
If you have questions we have not answered please talk to one of the church leaders - or to me. We are eager to hear your feedback.
Church Council Chair - Barbara Wellnitz
Deacons Chair - Linda Cacciapouti
Trustees Chair - Alice Drifmeyer
Like many of other churches, we know we don’t have all the answers. We are not trying to impose new things for the sake of newness. But we also know that our church will be enriched by new educational opportunities.We will be enriched by young children who grow up here learning about faith. We will be enriched by a diverse congregation of people of all ages who call this their spiritual home.