365: Worship

Posted on July 21, 2014

365 days. 8,760 hours. 52 weeks. 12 months. All of these equal 1 year. Less than a year from now Sunrise, a campus of Castleton United Methodist Church, launches as a new, stand-alone United Methodist church. July 1 of 2015. In this post I’ll be describing what our Sunday morning Worship looks like as Sunrise moves towards its eventual end and beginning as a new church.

For the past four years Sunrise has had 1 Sunday morning worship service at 10am. We label the style of this service as “blended” because we have a choir, sing hymns, and have a band. There are elements of “tradition” within our order of worship but I purposefully keep our worship flexible enough to move things in and out from week to week. Here is the framework our order of worship is built around:

Opening songs from praise band (typically 2)
Prayer of Gathering
[Children’s Moment 2nd Sunday of each month] Welcome & Announcements
Song of Prayer (typically a hymn)
Prayer (always includes Lord’s Prayer)
Offering (choir anthem/special music/instrumental)
Sermon
[Communion 1st Sunday of the month] Closing song (praise band)
Benediction

In 2014, through 6/13, we have averaged 105 in worship on Sunday mornings, which does not include the 25 (on average) involved in our Children’s Ministries at the same time. Our attendance has been up each Sunday compared to the same Sunday last year except for 5. If our growth trend continues, I anticipate starting a second service on Sunday mornings at the turn of the year.

I do not anticipate the launching of the new church will impact Sunday morning worship that dramatically. About a year ago, I was contemplating what it would like to move toward a more contemporary style of worship but the consistent feedback of new individuals and families made me rethink that direction. The overwhelming response was how much these individuals and families enjoyed the “blended” style of worship with a choir and full band. Given that we continue to grow, I thought it best not to mess with it. I envision the second service, if needed, will be determined by growth, not style. The services will mirror each other and both be “blended” in style, the same service with 2 different times.

I’ll be interested to hear your questions or thoughts if you have any. The next post will be discussing our current programs and what future offerings might be.