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By now I am almost certain that most of you know that this Sunday, August 17th will mark the beginning of a new time format for worship.  There have been articles in the newsletter and the bulletin insert in every issue for about two months.  The task force assigned to study the worship hours did a very thorough job of examining all of the possibilities and we are ready to go forward.

 The response to these announced changes in times has been very positive.  However, as you probably realize, we won’t really know how the changes are being received until we put them into place and see how they function.  Please know that David Diebold, our Minister of Music, and I will review them very carefully every Monday.  We will solicit feedback from the other clergy.  We will listen to and ponder every comment, positive or negative, as we move forward.  The task force will be reviewing the new times and formats at three-month intervals in order to consider any renovations that may be necessary. 

 We are very hopeful that these changes will enhance and strengthen the worshipping life of our congregation. We cannot say for sure but we also believe that the new times and the formats will open the way for new growth.  I had a conversation today with a young father who is very excited about attending the 9:00 a.m service with his family.  They are also planning to attend Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.  I am hopeful that this is evidence that our Sunday School ministry will be strengthened also.

Change, even good ones, can be stressful.  There are almost certainly issues and concerns that we have not yet identified.  Routines and habits that provided a comfortable zone are now going to be adjusted and that lack of familiarity can lead to stress.

However, change can also be a time of growth and expansion. It can be a time when faith is increased and new life is encouraged.  Change can and really should be an opportunity for seeing the world with a new angle of vision.

I’m looking forward to this new beginning.  I’m trusting that an open and engaging spirit will allow us to discover new ways to encounter the ancient, yet timeless, news of God’s love for all.

Grace and peace to you,