The Saturday Service will begin its summer hiatus on Memorial Day weekend — the last Saturday Service for this spring will be on May 20 at 5 pm. Saturday worship that evening will mark the end of an intentional season of discernment for the Saturday Service. Attendance on Saturday evenings generally fluctuates between 15 and 25. We know that Jesus said “wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” We also understand the reality that no congregation has unlimited resources, so good stewardship involves sometimes difficult choices about when and how talent (volunteer as well as staff) and treasure are used most effectively to help fulfill our calling. It was hoped that attendance at the Saturday Service would increase throughout this past year, and along with more attendance — more participation, enthusiasm and leadership from the congregation. It was not a given that the Saturday Service would continue beyond this church year, especially if the aforementioned hopes were not realized. Were they? Yes and no. Attendance might be slightly lower. But enthusiasm, participation and leadership have grown and become more embedded in that worship group.
Moving forward, the Worship Commission has decided to provide more opportunity for conversation about how the Saturday Service might best live into its future after this summer. These conversations / meetings will be scheduled over the next three months. They will be facilitated primarily by Paul Sanner with continued and abundant guidance from our pastors. Participants can expect general conversation about worship practice and meaning, an invitation to read and review what others outside of PCW have considered and written about worship, and specific planning for our Saturday Service experience.
Here is a preview of possible talking points:
- Two words that are often used to describe the Saturday Service are intimate and informal. It’s smaller size might make it more comfortable for congregation members to “step out of the boat” and into more active leadership in worship. During Lent, we heard stories of faith journeys told through our pastors. What if you shared those stories with each other, directly, live and in person?
- The Saturday Service is sometimes labeled “come as you are.” God loves everyone of all sorts and conditions, so all of our worship is really “come as you are.” A circle is a wonderful, intimate and informal shape. No beginning, no ending. A circle automatically fits whoever is present. More people? Bigger circle. Fewer? Smaller. No one in front or behind. What if we worshipped occasionally in a circle in the Fred Christian lounge?
- What constitutes “welcoming” worship?
PCW is blessed to have be able to offer four separate (although not entirely “distinct” from each other) worship opportunities during most of the year. Imagine a PCW world in which all of our worship services are such awesome-moving-transforming (but also different enough)–God worshipping experiences that finding time to attend church twice in a weekend would be a welcome bonus in life. That idea seems rather distant from the busy realities of early 21st Century suburban life, but over time, who knows? That PCW world just might begin with more exploration and shepherding of the Saturday Service, from all of us.
All are welcome to join the conversation. Stay tuned for times and locations!