The Voter’s Meeting discussions regarding service times have been ongoing since 2014 and the difficulties of making that change and discerning the right changes were defined. At the May 2016 Voter’s Meeting, we were asked, “Why are we continuing with 4 services?” and a copy of our response was posted to the new website. In December 2016 we addressed this in conjunction with a comment and recommendation regarding the need for volunteers for various aspects of worship and again the response can be found on the website. As we continued to look at this issue over the past several months it became clearer that while there is no easy solution, a change was needed.
A number of options were considered, but ultimately, two presented themselves as the most workable weighing in our volunteer needs, teaching needs, worship needs, maximizing the worship experience, maximizing our opportunities for fellowship, and what would cause the least amount of disruption. This choice was not only identified as the highest preferred option by members, but also as the best means of serving the needs of the community and guests. Pastor Fay referenced that only 32% of our community defines themselves as Christian, 23% attend services and 17% find faith important. Clearly the mission field has plenty of work to attend. The two most workable solutions were posted on the survey to get the maximum amount of return comments and learn where the pulse actually is at this time. We had the largest response to a survey in years and the choice favored is the one chosen. It was intentional to not offer a variety of choices as we learn very little from multiple choices and the others were not the best choices to serve all the needs that have been defined.
While the Board of Directors did not discuss the parking lot issue raised, it has been discussed by the staff. It would be wonderful, and an answer to prayers, if parking was our issue but we will emphasize the use of Lincoln School and parking on Cunningham if able and we will watch how this all works.
We have modified our summer worship times for several years so we know what we know about the summer months. We need to implement these changes for an entire ministry year to determine just how this works. We are not averse to adapting to what we learn and changing, but only if we don’t find that this change serves the needs defined above.
Finally, it was indicated that the change in service times does not work for all of our volunteers in certain areas and we may lose some of them. There is an opportunity for everyone to find a place as servant hearts to serve the Lord with passion in some capacity at Prince of Peace and we need all that can serve to serve. That personal service needs to come from the heart. We have people who have told us that it will be easier to serve as a volunteer, and others who have indicated they will need to find out how they can serve differently based upon the change. We know that we will be placing less demands of time on our existing volunteers who serve in our worship experience – i.e. altar guild, communion assistants, worship hosts, worship coordinators, sound booth techs, musicians, Connection Center hosts, coffee service, etc.
In the first 6 months of Prince of Peace’s history attendance, went from 6 to 150. That means that those six each brought 25. We all need to extend a hand and a gentle nudge for a friend, family member, a neighbor or an acquaintance to join us in worship at Prince of Peace on Saturdays at 5:00pm; Sundays at 9:00am or 10:30am. Let’s all pray that the next question we address is “The sanctuary is full so when are we adding a service back?”