Significant changes on the horizon
On Sunday we all worship. On Monday the Elders meet one week, and the Board another week, and on the first Monday each month the men meet at Boscos. Tuesdays are for movie lovers and the women who gather in the Serenity Circle. Some people still remember when Wednesdays were church nights; folks didn’t even put it on their calendar, it just went without saying. But the times they are a-changin’ and so are we. Scheduling our life together has become an art like juggling (although some would say it’s more like a nightmare). Our calendar apps are great, but finding time to simply be together has become more and more difficult for families, friends and congregations.
Our congregational leadership wrestles with these questions all the time, and over the summer they have pondered and discussed a scheduling proposal that emerged from a set of observations:
- We want and need more opportunities to simply be together and get to know each other.
- It's increasingly difficult for us and our families to commit to Wednesday nights as a church night.
- Having the Chancel Choir practice on Sunday mornings means people have to choose between singing in the choir and participating in Christian education.
- We tried squeezing Children’s Choir rehearsals between Sunday school and worship; we know now it’s not a good idea.
- Only a small number of people worship at 8:30 a.m., but we invest significant staff time in that service.
The Sunday morning schedule the leadership developed with the staff looks like this:
- 9 a.m. - Children and adults gather in Sunday school and other groups and classes to learn and grow together.
- 10 a.m. - All gather in the sanctuary to worship God.
- 11 a.m. - Members, friends and guests go downstairs for coffee and conversations (folks gather to talk with the preacher about the sermon; people make lunch plans; occasionally we have a table reserved for guests who are curious about Vine Street; we may have brief presentations about things like summer camp or the current season of the church year, etc.) while the children meet in the choir room to sing with T.J. and Katie.
- Noon - Time to go to lunch and enjoy the sabbath rest of Sunday afternoon.
Wednesday night continues to be available for book groups, Bible study, prayer groups, dinner groups and other gatherings with a focus on learning, growth and friendship.
Thursday night (or another weeknight the choir members will agree on) is choir night for adult singers, a.k.a. Chancel Choir rehearsal.
Our congregational leadership recommends that we switch to this new schedule on August 31, Labor Day weekend. They see great potential in these changes to help us grow as a community and they invite and welcome your questions and comments.
We will gather in the fellowship hall on Sunday, August 10 and 17, following the 10:45 worship service, to answer questions and address any concerns you might have. On both Sundays, following the 8:30 service Thomas and/or Greg will also make time to talk about these changes in the chapel. Of course, the staff, the Elders and Board leaders are available every day to talk with you on the phone or in person and to answer your emails. So, take another look at the proposed schedule, think about the possibilities and pray, and let’s talk.