Sunday, January 18, 2009

We don't do that here ....

Ever hear that from people in your new church? I heard that when I joined Stodgy Presbyterian a few years ago. For that pick anything that you've seen done at previous churches.

I've already mentioned a few things in previous posts, and since I've not had a chance to think about a full topic for my next post, I'll just stream of consciousness about what I've been told we don't do.

We don't do liturgists! When asked why, I'm told that well, we had them before, but people stopped doing it. Looking deeper into why they stopped doing it, turns out that the person who did the scheduling either rolled off Session, or just quit doing it. In either case, no one took over the scheduling, nor the advertising for volunteers. Of course, this leaves the pastor having to do everything during the Worship.

However, this is going to change, as the new CE director wondered the same thing. She brought it up at a staff meeting, the pastor had no objections, so today there was a blurb in the bulletin requesting volunteers for liturgists. So, in the next few weeks, I may be opening service with a Call to Worship.

We don't do Monthly Communion! We've never done it that way before!! In fact, the history of this place shows that at one time they did do monthly communion, but for some reason (probably too much trouble setting it up), they reduced the number of times they do communion to once a quarter, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Christmas Eve, and so on.

When asked about how the General Assembly a few years ago encouraged increased celebration of the Eucharist, I'm told, yeah but .... (and then the person trails off) so it does seem that it was too much trouble.

Too much trouble ... the same reason I get for why we don't have people in the congregation serve as ushers instead of just Deacons and Elders ... the same reason we don't do Wednesday night fellowship or worship (too much trouble to attend) ... the same reason they won't come to an Alpha Course ... or Lenten Bible Study ... or any home bible study ...

And they wonder why the church is dying ... literally ... we lost two this week to the Church Everlasting. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples ... Jn13:35a . Unfortunately, disciples are not what we have at SPC, just members in another country club .

And so it goes ...


  1. John 13:35a is the verse I always go to when I talk with people about how we are supposed to *be* the church - if that makes any sense. Also anytime there's been a conflict.

    We celebrate communion monthly. In response to the GA recommendation about more frequent communion, I suggested during Advent two years ago that we celebrate weekly the four Sundays of Advent. The response? "Well, we think it will make it less special if we do it more often." I had to bite my tongue from replying, "Dave tells me he loves me a few times a day, and it doesn't get less special the more he tells me." Finally, this year, I appealed to "can you just do it for me, because I want to have a sense for what it's like to celebrate communion weekly." The worship committee and Session agreed, and they rotated the set-up - which isn't a big deal for a church our size. People seemed to like it .

    About the set-up - I was the chapel assistant one year at seminary, and one of the duties was to prepare communion for each Friday's communion service. Even though it meant getting up a lot earlier than normal, I loved preparing the elements and setting the Table. It was such sacred time.

  2. I will have to go back and write a post on the one "magic bullte" besides Jesus - desperation.

    Desperate people do desperate things. Contented people do nothing.

  3. I see what you mean. They're so content they don't need to learn more, they don't need to help invite people to the church so it will grow and continue on.

    Its all about their contentment.


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