Did you know that every week it takes about 50 hours of staff and members’ time to plan and share a Sunday Service? Our Staff Worship Team meet every Tuesday afternoon to creatively brainstorm and finalize the formation of our Sunday Services. In addition, the Worship Committee meets once a month (with many other conversations behind the scenes) to plan other worship services. Both groups spend their time putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Sunday Service, often looking ahead several months to plan other services as well. It is a true joy for me to work with both the Worship Committee (Laura Kasprow, Chair; Sue Schaedler; Kathy Helmrich; Roy Ogren; Suzanne Carlson; Cynthia Goetz; Jere Armen; and, Chris Jennings Penders) and our Staff Worship Team (Martha Wells Hoffman, Nate Pawelek, Amy Buckley and Nick Stanford)!
It should then come as no surprise that here at SUUS, we have a strong commitment to provide a service every Sunday of the year, especially for any visitor or newcomer who may drop by in search of inspiration and community. That said, the calendar schedule for this particular December has not been kind to us in terms of scheduling worship services. We faced a difficult dilemma in terms of meeting all our shared worship goals.
To start with, this month has 5 Sundays. The addition of a Christmas Eve service in the evening, would require planning for 6 worship services. Further, the provision of two services on the day of Christmas Eve, would place the services in competition with each other, resulting in lower attendance at both, and thereby reducing participation in these services. The reason we come together for worship in general, and in this holiday season, in particular, is to be together.
Mindful of our limited resources, our need to care for one another and the needs of this congregation as a whole, Rev. Jeanne and the Worship Committee discussed this dilemma in several meetings and circumstances. In the end, our compromise solution for this particular year only, is to move the entire Christmas Eve service ahead six hours to our Sunday morning worship time. We will start with our traditional “shout out” Carol Sing at 10:00 am, followed by the Worship Service itself at 10:30 am, and thereafter by a “Christmas Treats” reception.
We know that changing the time of the Christmas Eve service does not suit everyone. In truth, it’s not our first choice either. But, for this year, let’s once again gather together to celebrate the coming of Christmas in song, word and food on Sunday morning. What matters now and always is that we are together.
Laura Kasprow, Worship Committee Chair
Dan Brill, SUUS President