We are trying some new things in our 8:30AM Sunday time at church. Here's some thoughts on Lenten Plans from our Deacon Chairman, Dane Vose. These are his thoughts for our deacons.
"Steve sent out an email today about “40 Days of Prayer”. In it he asks you to join in Worship and Reflection during Lent at the 8:30 am special Fellowship / Bible Study sessions. These sessions will be done only during Lent in the Chapel in place of the usual 8:30 service. Please go to his blog at
Skim through the text to get a feel for the background....
As you probably know, the 8:30 service has been lightly attended for a while. More than half the regulars at that service left for a variety of reasons. I've been spot checking attendance for the last couple months and see there now are only around 8 or 10 regulars. While I have seen as many as 20 attendees, Julio mentioned to me there was one service where there were only 5 folks in attendance. So, some have been wondering for a while whether or not we should have the first service at all. We've always concluded we didn't want to drop the service and alienate anyone, and, in fact, we really would like to build up to three Sunday services, not drop back to one. Nevertheless, the current situation at the first service is not good. “40 Days of Prayer” can be used to reconstitute the first service and get attendance up to the point the group can be self-sustaining. That is, they will be able to supply things like ushers, worship assistants, scripture readers and Communion servers from their own ranks. However, I don’t think that will happen unless content is changed to something attractive to more people. What do I mean by that?
Well, the components of the first service are the same as the second, with the choir downsized to the quartet. With the same content, there is no reason for anyone who is happy in the second service to go to the first. The changes Steve is talking about during Lent would turn the first service more into a fellowship/bible study group, but it would retain some of the popular components of a regular service. Furthermore, rather than a passive audience, there would be much more interaction between the members themselves, and the members and the Pastor. I ask you to look at this as a kind of experiment that will give us time to assess what does work, and what doesn’t work in reconstituting the first service. At the end of Lent, we will assess what happened as a group, keep what worked, and discard what didn’t work.
Our job as Deacons will be to help Steve sort out the results. Since we can’t do that if we don’t show up, I’m asking you to do several things.
- Please make time to attend as many of these special Lent sessions as you can. I know the format may seem a bit uncomfortable to some of you, but please give it a try. We are a good cross section of the Congregation, so our honest thoughts on how the process is (or is not) working will be very meaningful.
- Please feel free to share your candid thoughts with Steve or me as this experiment proceeds. This will help us make “mid-term” adjustments.
- Finally, I would like to call a short meeting of the Deacons just before the 2/13 Committee meetings to review this and answer questions. Let’s meet in the Lounge at 6pm. If you can’t make it due to work or something else, I understand and will fill you in on what happened. I’ll remind you of the meeting time again as we get closer.
So that’s it for now. Thank you for thinking this over, and please send me any thoughts you might have. We have an opportunity to support our church program during the early hour on Sunday and I think it’s exciting to try out new ideas."