Oh, What a Meeting!
On August 14th, some 30 people gathered after church to discuss how we would like to proceed with worship at the Coop in the fall. We had a great discussion about the future of worship in general and then divided into two groups of “traditionalists” and “non-traditionalists” to ponder specifics about a traditional and non-traditional worship service.
Two questions we asked at the beginning, related to our overall ministry, were:
- Which of our current ministries are centered on helping our current people encounter God’s loving embrace and grow toward union with God?
- Which of our current ministries would appeal to people not in the church at this time?
While it was very easy to agree that our worship services, and a number of our outreach ministries are very good at feeding the souls of our current members, we realized that only the outreach ministries had a chance of being activities that non-church goers might want to participate in. This is in keeping with outside research that shows younger adults are not that interested in Sunday morning worship services as a primary avenue for engaging their spiritual lives. This led to a lively discussion of what other ministries might be more engaging for these non-church going folks. Stay tuned for those exciting things.
But back to worship! The traditionalists have taken a major step forward with their suggestion that we have one traditional worship service that blends both Methodist and Lutheran traditions together. This is in contrast to alternating the Methodist and Lutheran worship styles every week. They also specified the pieces of that worship that they would like to see blend together. This is fantastic! It is a real opportunity to design a worship service that is uniquely ours. And the other piece that everyone agreed on was that this every Sunday worship service would happen at 9:00 am, beginning September 11th in the Sanctuary. I am really excited to work with people on this new/old proposal. Check out the other blog post by Susan Dehm which has more details on this new traditional service.
The conversation about a second Sunday worship was more wide ranging, and didn’t come to any firm decisions. There is concern (mostly on the pastor’s part) that we no longer have a critical mass of people to consistently make a second service feel vibrant and Spirit-filled, especially if we have that service in the Great Room. While we have a good group of folks who attend the Celebration service, a number of them attend only once or twice a month. In the end, however, there was still a lot of hope expressed that we continue to have a second service on Sunday mornings, at least for the immediate future.
We did come up with four options to consider for the future though. These were:
- Keep two Sunday morning services, one traditional and one Celebration type service. Also have once a month or on special Sundays a joint service.
- Eliminate the Celebration Service on Sunday mornings, and perhaps do a celebration service at another time.
- Do a Celebration service on Sunday mornings that is lay led. This might even happen at the same time as the traditional service.
- Do a Celebration service only once a month, or maybe on the fifth Sundays and special occasions.
So here’s the take-away: for the fall we will have one fantastic traditional worship every Sunday at 9 am, and we are still discussing what to do with the Celebration service. To round out these discussions, we will have another meeting on Sunday, August 28, from 12 to 2 pm. Traditionalists need to work on the nitty gritty of the new service, and non-traditionalists need to come to some consensus on the Celebration service. I hope as many people as possible can attend. If you can’t, please take the opportunity to leave any comments on this blog page.