May Pastor’s Reflection (2016)

The Weaving Grows …

In my January newsletter article, I shared the following:

I have been thinking of how worship represents the heartbeat of our congregation. How we worship reflects who we are, our vision of faith and our passions for ministry.  As our worship identifies us, it is also the time our community comes together in gratitude to God, to be inspired and to grow deeper in our faith.   We use music, prayers, scripture and a message as our vehicle.  From time to time, it is important to take a step back and reflect on how we are worshipping and does t communicate who we are and allow us to grow as a community of faith.

We gathered in the latter part of January to reflect on our worship at Morningside with both surveys and times of discussion. The worship committee listened carefully and has been discussing the best way for us to move forward as a worshipping community. Both the worship committee and myself believe it will be best to have one worship service on Sunday morning. We realize that this change will be difficult for some and not of their choosing, we also know that many feel it is the right time to make this change. On May 15, we will begin our one service of worship at 10:00.

There were a variety of factors that went into the decision that were expressed through the surveys and discussion time. Here are some primary reasons for making this change.

*The desire for a larger attended service to provide the needed critical mass for a more energizing service of worship

*More voices for congregational singing and a general feeling of a congregation that is diverse and has a passion for ministry.

*The need to address the problem of being spread too thin on Sunday mornings. It has become increasingly difficult to find enough volunteers for the various responsibilities that need tended to for two services of worship including ushers, liturgists, technical staff, and fellowship time hosts. One service will allow more people to simply worship on Sunday morning and not have a “job” every Sunday.

*Address the desire to re-energize Adult Education on Sunday morning. There will be a better opportunity to have adult classes and forums on Sunday morning.

*The opportunity for our music staff and volunteers to work together and provide a diverse experience of music for worship. Our music will include traditional hymn singing and praise music with Joyful Noise along with Taize music, folk music with guitars, instrumental duets and ensembles. From week to week there will be variety so that each person experiences the music of their heart of faith along the way.

We believe that through this change, we will be better able to express who we are as a community of faith, our passions for ministry and we will enhance and deepen our worship experience at Morningside UMC.    Blessings, Pastor Wendy