A year ago, as we resumed operational control of the church property at 2344 Center Street, the Session decided to schedule a contemporary-style worship service at 9 am and a traditional-style service at 10:30 am each week, more or less matching the worship practice in recent years for the congregation. However, the Session also wanted to take the opportunity to consider a wider range of possibilities in light of the worship trends in worship and broader church life, and explore what might be the best strategies for this congregation going forward.

Therefore, the Session created a Worship Task Force that would study those trends and consider them in light of our particular history, context, and opportunities. In that work, the Task Force has not only been addressing the questions of worship style (contemporary vs. traditional vs. “blended”), but also the broad range of styles and trends within each of those categories and beyond.

As part of that work, the Task Force wants to specifically hear from those for whom contemporary worship styles are particularly meaningful. To that end, later this month we will be holding a “Worship Conversation” immediately following the 9 am contemporary service on Sunday, January 27 in the Kirk Center. The Rev. Sue Bennetch will be preaching the services those days, which will allow me to moderate the conversation while the traditional service is conducted as usual. Members of the Task Force will be present as well. We will talk briefly about some of what we’ve been learning and discussing about contemporary worship, answer questions, and listen to feedback about the current service and ideas for the future. We’re doing this so that the Task Force can incorporate this input into its final recommendations to Session.

So, if contemporary worship opportunities are particularly important to you, I urge you to note this event on your calendars and make a special effort to come and participate. If you are someone who prefers traditional worship but are interested in these issues, rest assured that there will be other opportunities in the near future to engage on these questions that will not require you to miss a traditional service; the goal here is simply to give the Task Force the best chance to hear from people who primarily worship at 9 am.

Finally, if you are someone who generally attends the 9 am contemporary service but cannot be present on January 27, you can always email me any thoughts or questions you have and I will pass them along to the Task Force. I continue to be thrilled with the progress we have made as a congregation over the past year, and am excited as we consider ways in which we can further enrich the worship life of our church!

Grace and Peace,