I have been asked, why are we changing the service times? Here's what is behind these changes.
We are moving from offering three services on a Sunday morning to offering two. To accomplish this, we are NOT just combining the 9:15 and 11 am services and leaving the 8 am as is. Instead, we are planning to offer two modified services on a Sunday morning, one at 8:30 am and one at 10:30 am.
It is important to know that this was a decision of the Liturgical Arts Committee after much deliberation and analysis of various options. Members from all services and areas of the church, representing the breadth of this parish, have been called to serve on this committee. Members of the committee are Gillian Bloom, Stephen Boothroyd, Kathleen Dow, Leslie Flynn, Pam Gaudio, Lisbeth Louwrier, Brenda Morgan, Susanne Reul-Zastre, Bill Ross, and I.
The new times will help everyone recognize that there will be some gentle changes to what they have been used to. In other words, the 8:30 am will not be exactly like the 8 am has previously been. In turn, the 10:30 am will not be the same as the 10 am. The 10 am has always been a compromise service, never fully embraced by either group. Worship at 10:30 am aims to be a life giving service in its own right, with new elements that will focus on the experience of newcomers, and improve their engagement during the service. It is important to note that we are not changing the overall structure of the Eucharist and still will hold to the traditional form of Gathering, Word, Meal, and Sending that you are used to and as it has been celebrated since the early church. What does change is how the structure is celebrated and expressed so that people may be invited to deeper engagement and participation in the service. We are not changing what we believe, but seeking to interpret our classical structure of worship within a changing world that thirsts for meaning. Or to use a common colloquialism – we are not throwing the baby out with the bathwater!
The new times also make us look at what we are doing with fresh eyes. As we move forward, new ideas will occur and be encouraged. For example, how do we want to involve children in the services and what are the needs of the families that attend? How do we want to have fellowship before or after each service? Should coffee be in the church or between services?
What I do ask of each of you, as we have patiently journeyed with each other these past five years, is for your continued trust. Change brings with it some anxiety. I recognize this. As we continue forward, I ask for the continued trust you have given me when I started with you five years ago. We are in this together, we journey together, we pray together, we worship together.
In Christ’s love,
The Rev. Daniel Fournier+