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April 23, 2021

Task Team Proposes Change in Sunday Schedule

So what comes next as far as worship goes? That’s the big question that the Worshiping Together Task Team (WTTT) has been wrestling with as it focuses on its job “to formulate a plan to transition back to in-person worship while maintaining an engaging online worship presence.”

The short answer is that we are going to adjust the start time of the Sanctuary service so that the same pastor can preach in all three English services each week. The Sanctuary service will begin at 10:30 so that the pastor can preach in the first half of the Morning Psalm service before joining the Sanctuary service to preach there.

“As we considered how to coordinate the online and live services, our previous preaching schedule became a stumbling block,” explained Pastor of Worship Don Fitzkee. “Getting all English services on the same theme each week solves some scheduling problems and makes it easier to coordinate.”

Previously, pastors preached the same sermon two consecutive weeks—alternating between traditional and contemporary services.

The new Sunday schedule eventually will look like this:

  • 8:00 Chapel Service
  • 9:00–10:00 Sunday School
  • 10:15 Maranatha Service
  • 10:15 Morning Psalm Service
  • 10:30 Sanctuary Service
  • 10:30 Praise Kidz

Media Manager Mark Myers then will take recorded portions of the Sanctuary and Morning Psalm services and produce an online service, which will be available by midweek. To learn more about the changes, see the related Frequently Asked Questions. Click here to read the full proposal.

As previously announced, the current Sunday schedule, which includes a single blended English service in the Family Life Center along with the Maranatha service in Spanish in the Chapel, is expected to continue until around Pentecost (May 23), at which point we transition back to multiple services.

The WTTT consists of the Moderator and Assistant Moderator, Pastors Misty and Don, music staff, and representatives from related Ministry Teams (Traditional Worship, Morning Psalm, Communication, Property).

Worship FAQs

Here are some FAQs about the proposal from the Worshiping Together Task Team:

Why keep the Morning Psalm service at 10:15 and move the Sanctuary service later (rather than the other way around)? We are seeking to revitalize our adult Christian education program. The extra 15 minutes will enable choir members to fully participate in Sunday school, rather than leaving early each week as they have in the past. Also, we felt that Morning Psalm, with its greater flexibility in the order of worship, would more easily adjust to having the sermon come earlier in the service.

How will staggered start times for worship services impact the Praise Kidz children’s church program? Praise Kidz leaders and related staff are in conversation about how to best address this while making sure our children still have time to be in the worship services.

Will Sunday school and Praise Kidz resume meeting in person as soon as multiple worship services resume? No. The related staff and lay leaders will determine when and how those programs begin to meet in person. The Worshiping Together Task Team is focusing just on worship plans.

Why don’t we just livestream one or more of our services each week so people can worship with us in real time on Sunday morning? We will continue to evaluate our online service and ultimately may end up livestreaming, but initially we believe we can produce a higher quality online service that represents the diversity of our church by using elements from various services. At present, we don’t believe we have enough skilled volunteers to effectively livestream two services. We continue to seek volunteers to operate sound systems, cameras, and projection.

If I attend Sunday school and then worship in the Sanctuary, what am I supposed to do with 30 minutes of time between Sunday school and the service? Visit. Eat a donut. Drink coffee. Use the rest room. Tour the church grounds. Eat another donut. Visit some more.

What else will change as a result of the new worship schedule? We will need to schedule pastors and others to greet visitors and regular attenders before and after services, since the preaching pastor will not be present at the end of the one service and the beginning of the other. How the pastors and others share worship planning and worship leading responsibilities also will need to be reworked. 

What won’t change? The pastors still will serve the entire congregation, taking turns preaching in all English services. Oh, and we’ll still worship Jesus!