Weaving the Web: One service, at your service?

Two Town Halls have been held to gather people’s thoughts about switching to one Sunday service year round. About 20 people have weighed in, either by attending one of the Town Halls or by sending me an email, and the strong feeling is for one service (at some time earlier than 11). If you also have an opinion (we are UUs, after all!) and haven’t shared it yet, please do, by email or by using the survey linked below.

Also, if you do like the prospect of one service, you probably have thoughts about the big question--what time?–and other considerations. Those who were in the conversations raised two issues related particularly to children, their families, and the fantastic volunteers who provide their Sunday program:

  1. Two services make it possible for teachers to be with the kids and also attend the service. With only one service, how will we staff Sunday School while also giving our volunteers time away from the classroom?

Cat and I have talked about this at length. Two things we can do to address it are for us to increase the number of intergenerational services, so that the children are in the full service about once a month; and for Cat to lead a Children’s Chapel, also about one Sunday a month. That makes two Sundays per month when teachers can be in the Main Hall instead of the classroom. We have other possibilities as well.

2. Many people of all ages favor a single service so that all generations and family types are together. This is wonderful to know. Some parents wisely ask: will this hold true, or will my child be shushed and asked to be . . . well, not such a child?

Cat and I have talked about this too, and about the fact that children are not short adults. They have different developmental needs, including spiritual needs, and a service with children in it is a little noisier, a little more disorderly than one with only adults. If hearing is an issue for you when there’s a bit of toddler babble in the room, we hope the T-loop in the Main Hall will make up for it. Also, Cat has plans for a “prayground,” a play space for kids right in the Main Hall, with quiet things to do that will help children of all ages and inclinations to enjoy the service. And of course, we will incorporate more stories! The children of UUCPA are the future of our faith, and we want them to associate their childhood congregation with warmth, acceptance, and encouragement.

We are the villagers who are raising the next generation together. We can each do something to help tomorrow’s adults look back at their childhood at UUCPA with deep affection and appreciation. What will that be for you?

Please fill out that quick survey here.