Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Greetings! On behalf of your church council, I am writing to share two significant updates that came from our meeting on August 9th. This will be another lengthy message – as has so often been the case during the pandemic – but please do read it entirely. Feel free to direct any questions to me or to Laurie Miller, our council president.
First, as has long been anticipated, here is the plan for worship beginning September 11, 2022. We will continue with one service of Holy Communion on Sunday for this school year, with worship held at 10 am. Sunday School for all ages will begin at 9 am. After worship, a time for fellowship and refreshments will be held each week, similar to what we used to do between services.
Multiple factors went into this decision, but chief among them are our Sunday worship attendance and the number of people willing to volunteer for leadership roles in worship. At present, we do not have enough folks in church regularly on Sunday morning to justify two worship services, and we cannot sufficiently staff two services with the number of volunteers we have available. It may be that, by this time next year, our attendance will have increased and enough commitment raised to return to two services. Let’s pray that that happens! For now, though, this will be the plan for worship until next Memorial Day. The worship and music committee, and our council, will review this midway through the school year, and will share any updates with the congregation. We are also continuing to review the comments that were submitted along with the survey. Everyone who included those has our gratitude for your feedback.
Second, I need to share with you a decision that has been made regarding our annual Moravian Lovefeast. After a summer of prayer, research, and discernment, we have decided that the Lovefeast will not be held this year. We will still share Moravian sugar cake and chocolate milk during the coffee hour on that weekend, but we will not gather on the second Saturday of December for the Lovefeast.
As with Sunday worship, many factors went into this, as well. However, the most significant issue was the changing makeup of our congregation, and its impact on our ability to run this service. Over the past two years, many of those who helped make this service happen for decades have died, have moved away, or are no longer able to be as active in parish life. Attempts to get commitment for new volunteers have been unsuccessful. Since we no longer have anyone to run the children’s choir, we would miss out on that portion of the liturgy. Moreover, our adult choir is no longer large enough to carry the service alone. Rather than attempt to offer a modified version of the Lovefeast we all knew and loved, the council and worship and music committee thought it best that we savor the memories of Lovefeast as it was, and look to the future.
Beginning on September 11, 2022, we will gather for one service at 10 am. Sunday School for all ages will be held at 9 am. Then, together, we will move into the future, a future held in the hands of our loving, sustaining God. We have been through so much since March of 2020, and we have a lengthy road yet to travel, a road on which we all need each other. I’ll see you at the altar, and on the road of Christian life. Until then, remember the promise we’ve been clinging to throughout this adventure, that our story will end the same way it began – in the hands of God.
Grace and peace,