The worship task group met again on April 15, and this time we discussed a proposal for an order of worship for our 10:45am Sunday worship service.
This proposal is based on maintaining the current overall structure (gathering, listening, giving thanks, and being sent), while improving flow and disrupting patterns of "too much predictability."
We recommend that the Passing of the Peace be replaced with an informal greeting at the very beginning of the service.
The Scripture reading that informs the Children's Conversation should actually take place while all children are in the sanctuary. When appropriate, a very accessible translation (other than the standard NRSV) can be used or storytelling can take the place of the reading.
We encourage the formation of a diverse group of lectors, i.e. people who lead prayers and responses, read scripture, etc. The members of this open group love participating in worship leadership, they are willing to develop their skills, and they understand the importance of practice. We believe that a web page with simple instructions, e.g. for how to introduce a scripture reading or how long to pause between two readings, would also be helpful.
We strongly recommend that Ministerial Interns participate in all aspects of worship leadership.
Diverse musical styles should be included in every worship service, and "special music" like harp, flute, guitar, violin, viola, trumpet, etc. should continue to move from "only occasionally" to "just about every Sunday." Selection of music, songs, and hymns, as well as their place in the service must always follow the overall theme or design of the service rather than random patterns.
Several members of the group commented on the section headers (The People Gather, The People Listen, etc) as being more engaging and action-oriented than the current ones.
After our conversation, the emerging proposal looked only slightly different, but the comments and recommendations are essential pieces of whatever may become final.
At our next meeting, we will discuss the current Sunday morning schedule.