As the congregation council reviewed the results of the worship times survey, it became clear that we need to do some more listening to one another as a community. Though 70% of survey participants favored moving to only one service on Sunday mornings, a significant minority of 30% prefer keeping the current schedule with two services. Council feels that more discussion of the pros and cons of changing our worship schedule is important.
For instance, some individuals with mobility issues (like arthritis) have voiced concern about being able to make it to an earlier worship time because of the difficulty of physical movement early in the day. Others have talked about our excellent music ensembles and worry that they will not have adequate opportunity to offer their gifts in worship with fewer services. We need to discuss important questions like this before moving ahead.
Council has scheduled several listening posts as opportunities for us to do that. We will sit in small groups around tables in the Parish Hall, with at least one council member at each table to facilitate the conversation. This is an opportunity to talk face-to-face about questions like:
If you are NOT in favor of moving to one Sunday service, what are the concerns that lead you to feel this way?
If you ARE in favor of moving to one Sunday service, why do you think this is a good idea?
If we move to one service, how would you feel about it regularly running longer than an hour (75 minutes?) in order to accommodate the participation of several music groups?
Evidence from our summer worship schedule (having one service at 9:30) and the experience of other congregations that have moved from two to one service, would suggest that TOTAL worship attendance may decrease, at least for a time. How do you feel about this possibility?
Please give these questions some thought and plan to participate in one of the listening posts. This is an important decision in the life of our congregation, so it is critical that we take the time to listen and to understand each other. Three conversations are planned at this time:
Sunday, June 16
Saturday, June 22 (after worship)
Sunday, July 21
(Sunday listening posts are after worship following the 75th Anniversary Summer Celebration)