I am excited to announce that during the season of Epiphany (January 10 – February 7), we will be testing a unified order of service for our 9am and 11am services. We hope that following an identical liturgical order in both services will enable greater worship unification between our two services; make better use of our resources, such as paper; and provide more clarity for worshipers, leaders, and teams. You may notice some liturgical changes in both services, and we welcome your feedback. As we test this unified liturgy, please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may be wondering, why try to make the services the same? Or perhaps, why were the services different in the first place? The story behind the origin of our different services and why we are now seeking to unify them shares a common theme: a desire to welcome everyone through the doors of our church.
Almost ten years ago, on September 10, 2006, we made a move of faith and started holding two services every Sunday morning at Glenbard West High School. Though our attendance numbers did not dictate the expansion to two Sunday services, our hearts were stirred to create more opportunities to invite the community into the healing presence of the Lord. The Lord honored that intention and we grew by 30% in the following years. Then, in 2012, we found ourselves in another moment of Holy Spirit growth as we moved into our current home on Union Avenue. Our attendance jumped by 20% and we rejoice that our family has continued to grow steadily since then.
As we have grown, the differences between the two services produced problems for our leaders, teams, and attenders. A situation that was manageable at a size of 500 has not scaled well to our current size of 1100.
We desire for everyone to feel welcomed and equipped in any service at Resurrection. Over the last three years in our building, we have observed that attenders are choosing services based upon their length, time, and consistency. At present, our 9am and 11am service lengths can vary due to differences in their liturgies. These differences have presented challenges for our families and newer attenders. Secondly, we want to unify our church in their worship experiences on a Sunday morning. For instance, we’d like to see our entire church praying the same prayers and saying the same creed.
Finally,we are testing a unified service because the current model produces inefficiencies with our resources, our ministry leaders, and Sunday morning teams. Our ministry teams who serve on Sunday morning can find the differences between the two services confusing and difficult to manage. The paper and staff costs that result from different services are significant; the reductions that are possible through unified services would allow us to be better stewards of our resources.
So many of you sacrifice time and sleep to make Sunday morning beautiful and welcoming. We are so grateful for your support and enthusiasm as we work to improve our consistency and clarity in our services. Thank you for your commitment to Church of the Resurrection.