At the last Gay Men’s Out, a member whose schedule has kept him mostly away from church said to me, “If Old First had an early morning service, I’d be there every week. I miss church. And I’m up early anyway.”
This reminded me of another member, someone we hardly see at all any more, who said he was mostly interested in the Scripture and what it means. Maybe a service like this could serve multiple needs.
Hmm… That got me thinking. Any such plans are something I want to work closely with the Worship Standing Leadership Group on. But before I even ask them to spend time on such a suggestion, I thought I’d float the possibility and see if it is of any interest to others… (Remember: there are always more good ideas than we can accomplish, but if there’s no one ready to help carry them out, as good as it is, it will just remain an idea!) And since it’s August, and hard to get folks together, I thought I’d try a link on the E-pistle first, and see what response I get!
So, here is what I was thinking:
What if we had a very simple service from 8:30 to 9 am on Sunday mornings, presumably in the Sanctuary.
It would include at least the Hebrew Scripture and New Testament Readings for the morning. We would also probably recite the Psalm responsively. There would not be a sermon, but I could prepare a way to initiate a brief time for discussion about what the readings mean to us.
There would be time for both personal prayers and prayers we pray together.
If there was music, it would have to be very simple. We probably wouldn’t have a musician, but we might be able to do a cappella simple musical pieces like we already know as the short responses from our 10/11 o’clock service.
Since this article first appeared there has been a significant interested responses. And some of the discussions have caused the pastor to realize it could also be a weekly opportunity for a simple communion service, a desire that many around Old First have shared for some time.
It’s started out an idea in your pastor’s head, but now others are thinking about it, and we’re beginning to have some discussion about it around the edges. The Worship Standing Leadership Group might now want to make this a topic for more formal discussion. Indubitably, it would end up very different by the time, if ever, we got to trying it.
But what do you think? Is it of interest? Would you or people you know be interested in such an early morning, brief service as an alternative on Sundays? Please let me know…