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Change in Fall Service Times and Sunday School

By July 20, 2023No Comments

Beloved St. John’s community,

As you know, we are experimenting with different ways to help our community’s operations and practices better align with God’s mission, which includes meeting people as and where they are. Based on some of the feedback we’ve gotten from the Sustainable Mission Team activities, such as the June 11 Adult Forum and the seven different “3D Mapping” exercises gleaning information from you, and after lengthy discussion among staff, we’ve decided to experiment with changing the service times in the fall, as follows:

From September 10 – November 26:

  1. 9am will shift to 10:30am. This service uses expansive liturgies from around the Anglican communion and mostly contemporary piano music.
  2. 11am will shift to 8:30am.  This service uses the Eucharistic prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, and includes mostly pipe organ 1982 hymnal music.
  3. Sunday school will now occur during most 10:30am services, not in the period between the services. Heather, Chad and Wendy will provide more information to families with young children, including scheduling for children’s choir performances during worship services.
  4. Children’s Chapel will be offered during 8:30am only. Given that we will have Sunday School during the 10:30 service, we do not also need Children’s Chapel then, but it will happen during the earlier 8:30 service.
  5. Nursery will continue to be available all morning, during both services.

Why are we making these changes? These shifts are based on consistent feedback that neither the 9am or 11am service times are ideal for some of those who attend. We have also observed that newcomers tend to come to the 11am service, which tends to be smaller without as many families, and we’d like them to experience the full range of vitality that exists within the St. John’s community.

Will these changes continue after November 26?

Not necessarily. Once we get into the new rhythm of services, we will be reaching out to ask you all for feedback about the changes during October and November. What works? What doesn’t? How do these changes support the whole community to connect with God and one another?

After reviewing this feedback, we’ll decide whether to continue with the new service times, or go back to the old ones, as of the first Sunday of Advent, December 3. 

What are we asking of St. John’s members?

This is a great opportunity to practice openness, patience, flexibility and a positive attitude, recognizing that all of our needs and preferences are different. Let’s try this and see how things go! Our initial reactions may change over time.

Feedback during this experiment may be constructively shared with Lisa Wiens HeinsohnRex McKee, or Rena Turnham. Please be thoughtful, specific and constructive with your feedback. There will be a period of formal data gathering regarding member experiences so everyone will have a chance to weigh in. We are excited to see how the Holy Spirit is continuing to move among us for life, vitality and helping us to embody Jesus’ Way of Love!

In Christ’s love,