Summer services

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Tabitha

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What does your congregation do in the summer? Anything different?
 

Tabitha

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We do nothing different but being a tourist town we have more visitors.
 

Jae

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What does your congregation do in the summer? Anything different?

We're considering doing an outdoor music service - and a church picnic - this year. We also have a VBS. Beside that - it'll be business as usual. I might try to take our art ministry out into the community too - to do some painting and-or sketching at the local park.
 

Lastpointe

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Our service is similar, no choir generally , just soloists. We have lemonade on the lawn instead of coffee and a one room school house style of sunday school. Our minister takes one of the the months off and we use lay preachers or our assistant minister generally
 

Mendalla

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We put our chairs in a circle and use a format based on a pair of UU small group ministry books entitled "Evensong". Rather than a sermon, it's usually reading from a common bowl, meditation, and some discussion framed by a bit of music. Minimal singing since we don't have our pianists in the summer. All lay-led since the minister takes both his vac and study leave in the summer, though this year he won't be back and we will be lay-led going forward. Our current minister has accepted a call in Minnesota and we aren't replacing him due to fiscal concerns.
 

Pinga

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Summer services used to be held in the hall rather than the sanctuary, with lemonade on the front lawn. They were often done by guests or layity, and shared services with other congregations.

Not sure what is happening at the congregation this summer.
 

Mendalla

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What is reading from a common bowl? Never heard of that before. :confused:
You have short verses or quotes related to the theme on folded slips of paper in a bowl or other container. The bowl is passed around and each person takes a slip. Then you go around the circle and each reads their slip.
 
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Jae

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You have short verses or quotes related to the theme on folded slips of paper in a bowl or other container. The bowl is passed around and each person takes a slip. Then you go around the circle and each reads their slip.
Nice. Thank you for your response Mendalla. Maybe I'll try that some time in the future. My wife and I are going to be teaching Sunday School for a couple of months. Maybe will try it then. In university we did a somewhat-similar exercise called a - "snowball fight." We each wrote an encouraging thought down on a piece of paper - crumpled the paper into balls - gathered in a circle - threw the balls at each other - and read aloud what someone else had written. Really quite effective.
 

Greywolf336

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Our Minister and the Presbyterian Minister close to us share the summer services. If ours is on vacation in July, than services are done at the Presbyterian Church and vice versa.

This year a group has started what we're calling "Summer House Church" as well. We have a person or family who is willing to have us to their house that week and one volunteer who is moderating (not necessarily the same as the house owner). We're meeting every other week, sharing a potluck dinner and then spending some time discussing a scripture or video etc that the moderator chooses. It's been really fun, something I really needed since I haven't been attending services for a long time now.
 

revjohn

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We will have the majority of our services provided by a member who is in the discernment process. It will help us to see what rough edges might exist and it will help her to get some experience.

We will have one service led by some of the Caribbean workers who are working on the farms in the area.

Usually the choir takes responsibility for a service which puts a heavy emphasis on our hymnody.

If all goes according to plan I'll be back on the Rock.
 

Beloved

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We used to do joint services with other local denominations, but haven't for a few years now. We used to switch to a 10:00 a.m. service instead of 11:00 a.m., but we haven't done that for years. I liked the switch to 10:00 a.m. I didn't mind getting up early, and I liked being done church earlier as summer Sunday afternoons seemed to contain company and it was nice to get home earlier.

We don't do anything special in the summer. There is no Sunday School. The minister usually takes some holidays so some of our services are led by lay worship leaders.

We do switch to a "generic" bulletin for the summer instead of a bulletin designed for each week.
 

Mendalla

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My family's UCCan used to move the service earlier and have it lay-led for the part of the summer when the minister took his vac (I did three services myself). Later, we had a minister who was around more in the summer and a second minister who could take some so the lay-led aspect kind of fell away. No one in my family is affiliated with that church anymore so I'm not sure what they do now.
 

crazyheart

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I have always wondered why summer is different. Of course people are on holidays but this is usually 3 weeks at most. What about the rest of June. July and August?
Where do you think God spends the summer?
 

Tabitha

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One of the churches I used to attend in Edmonton switched their summer services to Sun. evening. It was great. You could go away for the weekend and still go to church when you got back. We even used to bring friends with us.
 

Mendalla

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I have always wondered why summer is different. Of course people are on holidays but this is usually 3 weeks at most. What about the rest of June. July and August?
Are your referring to why churches do things differently or why people do things differently?

The answer to the former is because of the latter and because clergy and church staff are entitled to vac just like everyone else. If a church has multiple clergy, then things may change less but there are still many churches that do not.

As for why people do things differently, it is because, at least here in the Great White North, summer is the season when the weather is amenable to being outdoors, whether it's weekends at the cottage or playing outdoor sports or lounging on the patio/balcony. Church, with odd exceptions, is an indoor activity.

Your three weeks at most for vacation is a little deceptive, too. Each person/family may be taking a different three weeks. Some may take three weeks at once while other may take them spread out. Some may not only take off for their vacation block, but may also take off for weekends, esp. the long ones. All of these explain why the drop in attendance is spread out over the season and why it happens overall.

Where do you think God spends the summer?
This assumes that people are not experiencing or serving God if they are not in church. God is not in church any more or less than he is in anywhere else. God is in all places and all times. Therefore, God is not experienced solely in church. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that one does not need a church at all to find/experience God. It is just one place to do so. I do think that being in church, if church is being done right, makes one more mindful of spiritual matters like God but our churches are places for us to gather, not the dwelling place of The Divine as ancient temples were held to be in some cultures. In the end, we are in a world where it is not the job of the people to go to church, it is the job of the church to give people a reason to come. Whether that is good or bad is a whole other discussion.
 

Beloved

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Can't figure out how to quote crazyheart's post above . . . re: June, July, and August . . . where is God in the summer?

Up here, when summers are short people disperse to their cottages, are having company, go away, etc. And for many, especially those with families, church just isn't a priority.

Although I am in cottage country I generally go into church every Sunday. But I'm thinking that is more because of my responsibilities at church each Sunday, rather than feeling I really need to be there. To be honest, if I didn't have to be, I would miss more Sundays than I do.

God spends the summer everywhere :).
 

Beloved

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One of the churches I used to attend in Edmonton switched their summer services to Sun. evening. It was great. You could go away for the weekend and still go to church when you got back. We even used to bring friends with us.
I see . . . it is the "reply" button.

One of the churches I attended as a child had a Sunday service at 5:00 p.m. - that was good.
 

crazyheart

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[QUOTE

God spends the summer everywhere :)

.[/QUOTE]

just testing
 
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