At the September meeting of the Church Council, I brought up the possibility of changing our Sunday morning worship schedule. We’ve done this over the past several summers so it’s not entirely new, but making such a change would come with some upsides as well as some downsides. Our worship attendance has gotten smaller over the past ten or more years. Given the large worship space, we enjoy, having 100 to 150 people at each worship service still leaves many open seats and empty spaces. Holding one worship service each Sunday would provide the opportunity for more of the whole congregation to be gathered at one time and the adult choir would be able to be present at all the worship services instead of being shared across the two services. The major downside would be losing the choice of worship times.
Since I brought this matter up at the Church Council, it has been discussed informally in some of the Sunday School classes, the Education Committee, the Sanctuary Choir, and the Worship Committee. PLEASE NOTE: NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE TO CHANGE THE SUNDAY WORSHIP SCHEDULE. There isn’t even a specific plan under consideration at this point. Much more discussion is needed in order to learn the various pluses and minuses involved in making any sort of change.
In my opinion, there are several things that we would want to preserve no matter what.
- We need to have a separate time for Sunday School and worship.
- We need to preserve time for fellowship and conversation in the Fellowship Hall.
- We will need to make sure that the schedule will allow us to continue to offer ministry to the Grateful Hearts members.
- Each worship service we offer should include hospitality, music, a message and welcome that new guests and current members will want to return to each week.
In the coming weeks and months, there will be various opportunities for you to share your thoughts and ideas on this matter. This will be a forum for discussion, a congregational survey and the presentation of a specific set of plans for your consideration. As we go along, you can also send your thoughts directly to me at RevSteve@calvaryumc.org. Whatever will be decided –whether to stick with our current plan or introduce some changes– will only come about after there has been careful listening and considerable prayer.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Steve Larsen