This wisdom was written by the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, who lived from 535 – 475 BCE. This is as true now as it was then, if not even more so – and faster.
This time of COVID has been one of much change and opportunity. Many of the dreams of this congregation that I heard during my first months with you were pushed into reality, such as live streaming services. We also have had more opportunity for intergenerational engagement with families at home worshiping and learning together.
Now that we are moving into re-gathering in person, how can we keep what we wanted and have come to value, and move into what comes next?
We are working hard this Summer to create multiplatform services that will be both in-person and live streamed, doing both as well as possible. I hope we will be able to do this by Water Communion on September 12. I expect we will also resume offering two services then so we can have plenty of space for everyone who wants to be in the Sanctuary.
We also want to continue to provide opportunities for people of all ages to worship and learn together in-person and on-line. In order to do this, we’re changing up our Sunday morning schedule a bit. This is what we’re thinking:
9-10 am First service (in-person and live streamed)
10-10:15 am Break/social time
10:15-11:15 am Learning Together (classes, groups; most in-person and at least one on-line)
11:15-11:30 am Break/social time
11:30-12:30 Second service (in-person)
This model of Sunday mornings is called “second hour” in some circles and is common practice in Mormon churches. We didn’t invent it, just noticed a good thing when we saw it.
We know from before COVID that Sunday afternoons were a good time for people to come together in groups when many people were at OUUC already. We know that it can be hard to return to OUUC especially during a busy week. We know that if can be hard for people who regularly attend one service to know people who regularly attend the other service. We think this model might help with those challenges.
Troy is working on choir schedule that is reasonable for singers and allows people in each service to hear their amazing music. Sara is working on classes and offerings for the second hour. The Board and I are considering how we can continue monthly Q&A session, so we have time to be in conversation. And Melanie Ransom is thinking about what may be next for her much-beloved Talk Show. We are all in discussion about how we can create a welcoming, inclusive, multigenerational space to worship, learn and grow together.
I’m asking that we try this model for the next church year and see how it goes. We’ll see what works and what needs changing. There will be plenty of experimentation in the days and months to come. After all, the only constant is change.
I welcome your comments, questions, and concerns. Please do reach out.
Blessings on your week.
P.S. I will be taking a bit of time away from July 12-25, so will be checking email when I return.