There is a question that has been asked on and off again over the last several years. The question:
“Is it time for our congregation to have one worship service instead of two?”
For at least five years now we have had one worship around 9 am during the Summer months. It is great to have everyone together in one worship - we sing louder, we see people that go to the other worship time, and we get to worship as a larger group. It is good, then, to ask - why don’t we do this all year long?
The question is put out to you to pray about, discuss and wonder about the possibilities. Maybe we could try something new in January or maybe we will find that what we are doing is what we want to continue doing. Please pray, wonder and discuss. Talk to Pastor Liz and/or your council members.
Beginning September 30 we will have two worship services. 8:00 at the white church and 10:30 at the brick church (with Sunday School in between).
Things to consider if we go to one worship:
Time. During the Summer it is easy to have one worship because we do not have a Sunday School hour. 9:00 am is a little late for our early risers and a little early for our late risers (and just about right for the inbetweeners!). If we have one service, what time would work best?
For some having worship at 8 am is a great way to start the day and the week - you get up and go to worship and then have plenty of time take full advantage of the Sabbath day - visiting, catching up on work around the house and having some much needed family time. For others having worship at 10:30 means that there is enough time to get up and get everyone ready without rushing around - it is a way to begin the Sabbath day restfully.
Space. We have two beautiful sanctuary spaces. The brick church sanctuary is more spacious while the white church sanctuary is more intimate.
The white church sanctuary is often the space we use for special services like Christmas day and the Mid- Week Lenten worships and the brick church sanctuary often is the space we use when there is one worship. Both spaces are used for weddings and funerals.
If we were to have one Sunday worship service year round - would having all or most Sunday worship services at the brick church be honoring both sanctuary spaces which have been dedicated for the purpose of worship?
On one hand, the white church would be used for worship for Sunday School and confirmation, Lenten mid week services, Christmas day and wedding and funerals. On the other hand, that is not the same as weekly Sunday worship.
Mission. In what ways does the number of worship times further our mission to reach out to others in need - loving God with all our heart, soul and mind as well as loving our neighbor as ourselves?
Having two services gives people more opportunities to find a time and space that works for them - we are being more accommodating. Smaller groups can mean that there is more time to really talk to each other.
Having one service means that we have more people gathered at one time - people tend to attract more people. It can be easier to sing and participate in a larger group. One worship also means we get to be all together every week (not divided into two groups).
Sunday School is an essential part of who we are and how we grow and develop faith. Worship and Sunday School are both parts of our Sunday mornings. Taking Sunday School into consideration, there are many time and space configurations. So please pray, discuss, wonder and play with the possibilities - who knows where God might lead us!
It might be that after we open up the conversation, we come to the conclusion that having two worship services from Rally Sunday to Mother’s Day and one service from the Sunday after Mother’s Day to Cheesefest is a way to have the best of both worlds - or - who knows maybe we will try one worship year round for a while. The conversation is open, please join in!