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Consolidated Worship
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Harmoninzing Worship
Mood:  lyrical

One of the effects of combining worship among our churches has been to change the way we experience Sunday services. When there were four separate services, we were accustomed to the particular ways in which each of our congregations did the service.

With alternating combined worship, and with some folks finding it convenient to worship in the other parish, there are differences in how things are done to be adjusted to from Sunday to Sunday. This is also the case for our organist/pianist.

There have been requests for a greater degree of harmonization among our services, so that members and visitors can look forward to the same liturgy and pattern of worship on Sunday, whichever church they attend. We will also continue to celebrate both settings of the liturgy. Time will be taken to practice the "new" features of worship for each parish.

Subject to Council's approval, the following changes are proposed:

  • Following the prelude, the service will begin with the opening hymn, followed by the announcements, then by Confession and forgiveness.
  • Throughout the seasons of the church year, worship will alternate between the first and second settings of the liturgy in the LBW. Beginnning with the first Sunday in Advent, all churches will sing the second setting. Throughout Christmas and Epiphany, we will use the first setting.
  • The prayer introduced by Pastor Jean prior to the scripture readings will no longer be used.
  • On communion Sundays, St. John Oklahoma and Trinity will learn (with practice) to sing the "Lamb of God" in the version that is part of the service (during Advent 2007, p. 92 in the green book.)

Pastor Chris

Posted by trinity.dubois at 8:17 AM EDT
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Saturday, April 28, 2007
Mid-Point Review-Consolidated Worship Experiment
Mood:  happy
Topic: Consolidated Worship

The planned mid-point discussion of our consolidated worship services was held following the service at St. John, Oklahoma and St. Peter, Luthersburg on Sunday, April 15, 2007.

There was a generally positive feeling about what has ben happening as a result of this change. Things people liked include:

  1. More people in church.
  2. Easier to sing the hymns with more voices.
  3. Some people like the flexibility of being able to choose between the different times and locations.
  4. Increased fellowship as folks from the different churches have opportunities to visit with each other.
  5. A more up-beat spirit, more excitement in the air for Sunday services.
  6. Most people have been willing to give worshipping at another church a try.

While many good things are happening, there are also some significant concerns:

  1. Although there is much better attendance at the two churches where combined services are held, the total number of people in church is somewhat less than the total number of people who attended the four services.
  2. Some people don't like having to go to another church and would prefer the previous arrangement with supply pastors/lay worship leaders.
  3. The fear remains that some day, some of our churches may have to close.
  4. Reduced overall attendance may result in reduced giving.
  5. A few people have missed church due to confusion over when or where services were being held. It was suggested that our service times and places ought to be published weekly on the Courier-Express' church page.

Pastor's comments:

At this point in our trial period, I am cautiously optimistic. Many of the things I have hoped and prayed for to happen are happening. Folks have been far more willing to worship at different times and in "foreign" pews than I expected. But it remains to be seen whether we will wish to adjust to this "holy merry-go-round" for more than a few months.

I am quite aware of how reluctant people are to openly disagree or criticize in our small churches. I am thankful for those who honestly say what they think. This is good health for the Body of Christ and your pastor will not be offended!

As noted, our present worship has resulted in some drop in attendance as each week, some people who would have gotten to "their" church do not make it to either of the other services. This is not surprising, but it points to the challenge we still have.

For all of our churches to remain open we need to attract both new people and formerly active members. (Praise God for some families becoming active from our Rockton church family!). I thank God for the good things that are happening and for the spirit. I am confident that Jesus is blessing us. He calls us into His future with gifts of faith and hard work, of fervent prayer and common sense!

Pastor Chris

Posted by trinity.dubois at 7:02 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 29, 2007 8:01 PM EDT
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