Town Hall Meeting June 4th
The Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses have been discussing the pros and cons of combining our 8:30 and 11:00 worship services into one service over the summer. We will have a “town hall” type meeting during the 10 AM hour on June 4th to discuss this further with all who can attend. Childcare will be available for children infants through age 3. Sunday School will reconvene on June 11th instead of June 4th.
We acknowledge that the number and time of worship services are not sacred, but want to make sure that, if we are making changes, we are doing it for the right reasons. Below are some of the benefits we have discussed, potential drawbacks, and a possible schedule.
Some benefits of one service:
- One 90-minute service may accomplish our purpose for worship more effectively by allowing more freedom / time in the worship service for singing, for testimonies, mission updates, prayers, and other elements along with the preaching and sacraments.
- One service would allow for planning to not have to be so tightly scheduled in order to fit all the elements into 80 minutes or less, the current requirement for the first service in order to allow adequate time for Sunday School.
- One service may allow for more time and emphasis on discipleship that takes place in the Sunday morning classes for adults, youth and children.
- From a resource standpoint, one service would be welcomed by members of the praise team, children and youth ministry staff, ushers, greeters, elders and deacons currently serving in both services.
- Also, at a time when our church has experienced some disunity, one service may help us move toward greater unity as a church.
- Elders and deacons feel that one service is always the ideal unless and until limited space demands two services. We are currently averaging about 200 in the first service and 150 in the second before the children leave. Combining the two services into one would mean we would still be at about 65% capacity in the lower level of our sanctuary, not counting the balcony.
- Summer attendance is generally a little lower due to college students going home and other members traveling more.
- Trying one service during the summer months would give us 10-12 weeks to see how such a change is received.
- We would plan for a congregational meeting for September 20th to hear more from members and determine if we should continue with one service schedule into the fall or return to our current schedule.
- Our human nature is sometimes resistant to change, so communication and transparency on the right reasons for change is important.
- One service will likely require more parking on the side streets since the parking lot may fill up (New City in the past had an agreement with Parkridge Hospital to use their fenced-in parking lot that is two blocks away.)
- A few members may still feel hesitant to be in large crowds (though the balcony could still be reserved for seating for any who feel the need for social distance.)
A possible schedule:
- 9:00 – 10:30 AM 90-minute worship service
- 10:30 – 10:50 AM 20-minute fellowship time with coffee, drinks, snacks
- 10:50 – 11:40 AM 50-minute discipleship / Sunday School classes for all ages
We want to hear from our members and regular attenders. Please plan to attend the 10 AM meeting on June 4th, and feel free to reach out to me or Pastor Kevin by email or phone with any questions or concerns. Also, please be in prayer for the elders and deacons as we depend on the Holy Spirit to guide all our deliberations and decisions.
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