Dear Third Family,
I'd like to draw your attention to some exciting developments regarding changes in our Sunday morning worship services. The worship committee and our church leadership have prayerfully decided that beginning June 14 we will move to three services at 8:45am, 10:00am, and 11:15 am, all in the sanctuary, all with a common style and format that draws from band, choir, brass and organ. We believe that this change will promote greater unity, excellence, hospitality and mission in our church community. Please watch the video below for more of the explanation and heart behind this change, or scroll down for the key points of my full Letter to the Congregation.
Let's support each other in unity and love as we anticipate this transition.
Peace of Christ,
Key Benefits of our New Schedule:
UNITY: In this season of change we want to put a high priority on unity in our body. This plan brings greater unity so that we are all worshipping together and being formed spiritually together in the same way. Rather than being gathered around various different music and style preferences, we will be gathered around the good news of the gospel in a common form.
EXCELLENCE: This change will allow us to avoid dividing our resources the way we have to do now with two concurrent 11:15 worship services. For example, we will be able to elevate the excellence of worship across all services by drawing from the best of both traditional and contemporary arts and musicians. This change will also allow the preacher to be fully present and not have to cut short the sermon and run to the next service–a change I am particularly excited about!
HOSPITALITY: This change will help make worship attendance more balanced across all three services. Additionally, it makes the best use of our limited church facility for hospitality and spending time with one another, especially as we are able to open up the Fellowship Hall on Sunday mornings for...fellowship!
MISSION: This change represents a new attitude in how we approach our worship services. Instead of only considering how we can attend to various stylistic preferences of Third members, we can now consider how our unified worship may become accessible and fitting for the unbelievers and outsiders in our surrounding community. Indeed, our worship services will be a visible example of the way Jesus brings together people of many generations, cultures and backgrounds.
Challenge and Promise
As we move to this new plan, you may initially find certain elements of the change to be challenging. If you are used to worshipping in the Fellowship Hall, it will be an adjustment to worship in the Sanctuary. If you are accustomed to worshipping in the Sanctuary at the 11:15 service, it will be an adjustment to have a band helping lead the service. But by bringing our diverse preferences and desires together in worship, we are putting a higher value on loving one another than we are on our individual worship preferences. In this way, we are moving away from being consumers (loving ourselves) and more toward being worshippers (loving God and one another). This kind of love and unity will require sacrifice on all our parts, but as Scripture exhorts us, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).
These are exciting times for our church family! We are strengthening our unity, growing our community, and moving out in mission. Will you pray that God continues to do his powerful work among us and through us?
Sunday Morning Schedule
beginning June 14th, 2015
8:00 - 8:20 Prayer and Communion in Room 101
8:45 - 9:45 Worship in the Sanctuary
9:45 - 11:30 Fellowship in the Fellowship Hall
10:00 - 11:00 Worship in the Sanctuary
10:00 - 11:00 Discipleship Classes for All Ages
11:15 -12:15 Worship in the Sanctuary
Our new schedule more fully reflects the guiding principals that align our services with the heritage of worship we've received from Scripture and the traditions of the Church, while also helping us welcome those who are seeking Jesus today. Click to read and reflect on our Worship Values.