Dear Friends in Christ—
This week, I turned on the air conditioning for the first time. I purchased bathing suits for my
kids. I can feel it all around me: summer is coming, and we are changing gears.
Typically, that change happens at church, too, as we prepare for a summer worship schedule.
But how will the summer schedule work now?
We established our current schedule as a temporary pilot for the 2021-2022 year. We’ll keep it
through Shrine Mont in September. But we need to look more carefully and intentionally at
Sunday mornings to make sure that the pattern of our life together meets our needs.
As worship team leaders, Stephanie Reed and Kemp Williams will be heading up this effort.
They will be connecting with key stakeholders: worship ministries (altar guild, choirs, acolytes,
ushers, livestream, lectors, LEMs, and LEVs), education ministries, the fellowship team, and the
nursery. Of course, we’re all stakeholders in the end. Every one of us who sits in the nave
cares deeply about what Sunday morning looks like.
Last summer, when we first looked at changing our schedule, I discovered that Sunday morning
is a delicately balanced game of Jenga. Tug at one element, and the whole thing becomes
unstable. The task is far more complicated than it looks.
We also need to factor in the changed realities of this time. Like most churches in the US, our
in-person Sunday attendance is 60-70% of our pre-COVID numbers. That may still change, but
given where our world is with the pandemic, we need to assume that what we have now is our
baseline to work with and build from.
I know many of you felt loss when we moved to one choral service at 10:30. At the same time,
the change brought us some blessings. More of us attend worship together. A single choir is
stronger. La Gracia worships in the nave. One of the things that delights me is watching our
youth—who have been in Sunday School together—go
straight to church and sit with each other for worship.
Wherever we go from here, there will be change—which means there may be more loss. But
there will also be new hope, and new gifts, if we open our eyes for them.
I encourage you to reach out to Stephanie and Kemp if you have questions
or feedback. They will be working between now and the end of June, and we hope to be able
to announce our new schedule in July.
Please also reach out to me if you have questions. I’ll be glad to hear from you.
Yours in Christ,