Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
There has been discussion at various times over the last twenty years (at least) about having one Sunday morning worship service instead of two during the school year at Trinity. (At First Lutheran, one worship service year-round was the tradition for a long time.) Trinity has had two worship services from September to June because we could have two services. Two services provided more worship options for people; we had enough people to make two services sustainable; we had volunteers to serve in various ways; we had two Praise Teams. The traditional wisdom was that when a congregation moves from two services to one service, attendance decreases, so we did not move in that direction.
However, it is not so obvious now, post-COVID, that two worship services on Sunday mornings is the best choice for Trinity. Like almost every congregation in the United States, COVID has accelerated a decline in attendance at Trinity. Even very large churches are having fewer worship services in 2022 than they did in 2019. After discussion and prayer, the Worship and Music Committee decided that we would try an experiment in September and October 2022. We will have one worship service at 9:00 AM and Sunday School and Bible Study from 10:00 -10:45 AM. This is an attempt to bring more people from the congregation together for one worship service with higher attendance and more energy. This is an experiment. We will ask for feedback in late October and then decide if we should continue with the new schedule. Some might wonder why we didn’t simply ask people if they wanted to try a new schedule before we made changes. The answer is that thinking about a change is different from trying something new and then evaluating it. If we never try anything new, we will not know if there are ways to improve. We have not changed the worship schedule in more than twenty-five years. If the experiment does not produce good results, we do not have to stick with it. But trying seems like a responsible choice.
We ask that you give this change a chance. We will have to change in many ways in order to serve more people and bless our community more effectively as we move into the future.