FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK

Task Forces Update

Back in the July and August Newsletters, you may have noticed the announcement about Task Forces forming to take a look at the Contemporary and Traditional Worship Services. In September, the Worship and Music Committee adjusted the Sunday morning schedule for the fall season, and the Task Forces began to meet and discuss possible changes within the services themselves.

Conversations with the Task Forces have been impressive. Each group has approached their discussion with intent, focus, and integrity. Both teams began with the data collected from the Worship and Music Section of the CAT Survey completed by the congregation last spring. This feedback has helped to focus the discussions and decide how we might update or adjust our worship services.

I myself have learned a lot about how the different parts and styles of LCOR’s current worship services were decided. Some things began with the pandemic, some were recommended by an individual or group, some are a bit of a mystery. It’s amazing to hear the origins of these practices, and to realize again and again how everything we do—no matter how long we’ve done it that way—was once new. We’ve had great conversations about each part of the worship service, why it’s there, and how it might be reimagined, retained, or adjusted to bring a renewed energy to worship.

You may have noticed a few small changes being tried out in the Worship Services already. In the Contemporary Service, the Gospel Reading and Sermon are now given from the main floor rather than up in the chancel. In the Traditional Service, the congregation has started communing by table, and the Eucharistic Minister has moved to the chancel for the service and led the prayers as well as the dismissal in addition to serving Communion.

These changes are ones that the Task Forces recommended based on feedback from the CAT Survey combined with evaluation and discernment done by the group. While the changes so far may seem small, there has already been feedback from people in the congregation who have noticed. As the Task Forces continue their discussions, more recommendations both big and small will be forwarded to the Worship and Music Committee.

I’m excited to see where these conversations lead us.