We are not going to make it to church this morning. I feel somewhat bad about that. I also feel that it is partly the fault of my church. Today we start our summer service; we go from having 2 church services to one.
During the non-summer time of the year, we go to the 10:45 service. Some weeks, we barely make it to that service on time.
Now our summer service start time is 10:00. I'm sure we will make the adjustment, but we're not successful today.
I wonder why churches scale back in the summer time? I might try a different approach. In the summer, I've often felt that I have more time. It stays lighter later, and I feel like I have more energy. The tourists have gone home (in South Florida, our tourist season lasts from January to mid April, depending on weather patterns in the north), so it's not a hassle to drive. If I had kids, in the summer, many of their activities would dry up: no sports, no theatre, no test prep.
I'd be happy to devote some of that time to church, but often churches have scaled back their activities to just one service. I understand that in the past, people perhaps went on long vacations, and a church couldn't count on them being in town. Surely those days are over.
As I think about Confirmation and how Confirmation competes with so many other activities during the school year, I wonder if it might not make sense to move Confirmation to summer. Sure, there would be a week here and there where each kids would miss a session because they went on a trip, but it couldn't be any worse than during the school year. Could it?
Yesterday I read an article in The Washington Post which made a compelling case for year-round school. I could make a similarly compelling case for year-round church. Why interrupt our spiritual formation just because it's summer? Why not offer even more activities? If we do a better job of spreading out our activities across a year, maybe our church leaders, both rostered and lay, might not arrive at summer so exhausted and depleted--and for that matter, we could say the same for congregations.
feeling the feelings…
8 months ago