This is an important and exciting time in the life of our congregation. And I want to take a few moments to share some changes that we hope will improve the experience of “church” as we move toward the future.
1. Enhancements to our worship service
a. Beginning the first Sunday of October, the 10:30 service will have a greater variety of music. Praise Team will teach and lead some new songs, in order to help us connect to the Lord through music. The 8:00 service will have songs chosen from the hymnals.
b. We will open with a song, and close with a song. This will help center us in God’s presence at the beginning of worship, and send us out with joy at the end. This new sequence also conforms more closely to historical patterns of Christian worship.
c. Beginning this month, we will have Communion twice a month, on the first and third Sundays. This will provide more opportunity for people to receive the Sacrament – especially those who don’t come to church every Sunday. John Wesley strongly encouraged us to receive Holy Communion as often as possible, to be strengthened by this very important means of grace.
d. Announcements will move to the end of the service, just before the blessing and closing song. This means announcements must be short and to the point. Please submit longer announcements to the office. These will be printed in the bulletin and shown on PowerPoint. We will provide bulletin space for that to happen. There will still be adequate time during worship for announcements that need to be communicated verbally.
e. Because of these changes, the ushers will pass around the sign-up clipboards during the worship service at an appropriate time. This means sign-up sheets need to be self-explanatory.
Worship Team will provide an overview of the new Order of Worship on September 25 at both services. They have been hard at work this summer to improve our worship service so that we can connect to God even more.
2. More small group opportunities
One of the key drivers of congregational growth is small groups. To support this growth, we will now offer three small group opportunities per year. In addition to Adult Sunday School, we are offering a 12-week class on Revelations in the fall and a Lenten study on the Psalms in the spring. We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities to grow together in the Lord.
3. Increased activity surrounding the new sanctuary
This year the Building Committee will be refining the sanctuary design and continue fundraising. In October we will roll out a new Stewardship Campaign for the General Fund, which supports our core Christian ministries, and the Building Fund. A letter will be mailed soon with additional news and information. Look for this communication and take the time to read it; there is much good news to share.
With all growth comes change, and we should be prepared for the adjustments and discomfort that accompany new initiatives. With the Lord’s help, and our faithful and mature participation in the decision making bodies of the church, I trust we will emerge from this time of change as a healthy, joyful Christian community - one that helps members and guests Find God within and Reach Out beyond to serve our community.
See you in church,