Our first "Church without Walls" Will Be Sunday, 10.23

Our first "Church without Walls" Will Be Sunday, 10.23

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this posting, the time for our “Church Without Walls” Event has been changed to begin at 10 am!

Old First is heading out. Covenant Ministry is about nothing if not getting us out of our comfort zone… even getting us out of the buildings that inadvertently come between us and the world.

So the Revitalization Task Force has challenged us to take a big leap of faith, and leave the property on a Sunday morning…

No, not permanently. For now, just this one Sunday, October 23. Instead of worship service at the church, we are all invited to go out together in service to the wider world.

Here’s how it will work:

Old First members will have a “work Sunday” helping to clean at:

the Samuel Playground and Recreation Center
2501 E. Tioga
Philadelphia, PA 19102

We’re still figuring out what exactly our cleaning assignment will be– just the playground outside or inside the rec. center too? But we are assured that there is cleaning to be done. And, not that we are a particularly dressy congregations, but this is definitely a “work-clothes,” dress down kind of day.

We will begin our morning early, at 9, with breakfast and coffee on site. A few of us will have gone up earlier in the week with invitations to the neighbors to join us for breakfast and, if they wish, to help clean.

The Revitalization Task Force will be getting all the work/cleaning supplies we need. (Of course, if you have a favorite pair of work gloves or something like that…)

We are asking if everyone else could bring something to share for breakfast– donuts, a coffee cake, fruit, juice and cups, a thermos of coffee.

We’ll fill up, and serve as hosts for any neighbors who show up. We will ask someone from the rec. center and the neighborhood to introduce us to the area, and their hopes and the challenges they face.

Then we will get to work. We expect to be working until until about 11:30.

At that time, we’ll clean up and do some sharing on what the service meant to us and to the community, what we learned, and what the experience makes us want to do next. Michael has devised a way for us at the end to do that interactive reflection right there on the corner of the cleaned up playground (or wherever else we will fit). It will include scripture and prayer. Maybe Julie will even lead us in a song. A bit of church in the open air…

There will be a service in our sanctuary, albeit in an alternative style, for those who wish to for worship. Michael has asked the Rev. Gary Halstead to lead worship back at Old First for “our remnant.”

We believe that children of all ages will be welcome at this site. But we will also offer childcare at church. (Sunday School, Confirmation Class and Adult Forum are being cancelled on Oct. 23 for our “Church without Walls” excursion.

We also need to figure out if we need or want to be carpooling. If you are interested in coming to the church instead of going directly to our service site, please let the church office know.

As we get these details clarified and ironed out, we will be providing updates here on the website. But how much fun it will be to do an Old First field trip and service day all in a Sunday morning…