The calendar for the coming year is filling up fast. With the Sunday of September 13 we are kicking off lots of familiar functions as well as beginning a season of new items on the schedule.
That evening we will renew our alternative service for meditation and contemplative prayer using the the form for compline from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer, Night Prayers. No other church in town offers this sort of opportunity for quiet, deep prayerfulness.
I apologize that the lateness -- the service begins at 8:00 PM -- of this makes it inconvenient for some. The hope is that those for whom Sunday morning precludes any sabbath rest may find a small dose of it in the silence and closing darkness.
If you are new to this practice, do not fear. We will take the rest of the month to get -- back for some -- into the habit of 20 minutes of silence. For "Night Prayers veterans" be ready for some changes that will allow visitors and newcomers options as they become accustomed to this unique liturgy.
Tuesdays will continue with our gathering in a Public Service of Prayers for Healing -- at 7:00 PM during Daylight Savings Time and 5:00 PM when we're on Standard Time. We have tweaked the liturgy (somebody warn the Altar Guild!!) so that more occasions will be observed in Holy Eucharist.
The biggest change to our living week to week will be in how we begin to use Wednesday nights. It's so big we're beginning BEFORE Ministry Fair Sunday. Each of September's 5 Wednesdays at 6:30 and two of the Sundays (September 20 and 27) following worship we'll gather for conversation, prayer and pot-luck meals to look ahead in hope of discerning even more of what God is calling our beloved community to become. Under the title Food for the Journey the September sessions will fill the space opened by last year's Dinners with Dann.
After September we'll continue to use Wednesdays in a variety of ways:
Advent-ures will meet more frequently this year and use Wednesdays for many of their meetings.
We'll be hosting community meetings under the banner Civil Religion and inviting our neighbors to join us and our elected officials for sharing and mutual support. That schedule is still developing.
On other occasions we'll just turn on the big TV and watch a family friendly movie or one that might generate deeper questions and discussions.
So hold on to you hats! Its going to feel like we are about to run down the road we've been walking up to now. Ready, Steady, Go!