We're making room!
Beginning January 6, 2019, Foley UMC will be offering three traditional worship services at 8:15, 9:45, and 11:15 every Sunday morning.
Why are we adding a service at this time? Two main reasons.
Our leaders--our staff, key ministry leaders, and Church Council--all believe God is leading us to this step at this time. We deeply desire to be obedient to God's leading and to do what he wants.
Secondly, our 11:00 service is full. For 15 months, the average attendance has plateaued around 130 people. We could feasibly put more people in the room, but when the room reaches about 75% of capacity, it begins to be difficult for people to consistently find a seat. Guests who may feel awkward about coming into a sanctuary for the first time anyway may stop coming if finding a seat is difficult. When the only consistently vacant seats are the front rows or available by crawling over people, it is time to create more space.
We are very excited about making room for visitors and for families who have quit attending because of space or scheduling difficulties.
Our approach as a church is to "Arise and Try" three services from January 6 through Easter. We will monitor and evaluate it and determine if it the right direction for our church at that time. Please make this a matter of prayer.
The three services will be essentially the same in format with all three continuing the traditional worship style that we have now with some slight variations in each time slot. Our worship director, Tyson Reed, is planning for us to serve Communion every week in a contemplative service at 8:15; the 9:45 slot will be a laidback traditional service utilizing some trios, ensembles, and other special music as part of worship; and the 11:15 slot will most nearly match our current 11:00 service with the Chancel Choir singing in a classic Methodist traditional service. The Scripture and the sermons will be the same at each service.
If you currently attend the 8:30 service, we are asking that you come 15 minutes earlier. If you currently attend the 11:00 service, we are asking that you come 15 minutes later. We would also like to ask about 50 people from the 11:00 service to Arise and Try the 9:45 service for this period of time (January through Easter). This will make room for growth and guests at all services.
We would especially like to ask those who aren't in a Sunday School class or the choir to consider worshiping at 9:45 for the first 100 days of 2019. Arise and Try a new time!
There will be minimal effect on current ministries:
KidsQuest--KidsQuest will continue to be offered at all three service times (15 minutes earlier at 8:15 and 15 minutes later at 11:15).
Sunday School--Sunday School will continue at 9:45 exactly as is. The only change is that two new classes will be offered at 11:15 for those who attend worship and/or serve at the earlier time slots.
Greeter Team--The Greeter Team will continue to operate during all three service times. Ministry leaders will be in contact with you to confirm your time slots.
Prayer Team--The Prayer Team will continue to operate during all three service times. Ministry leaders will be in contact with you to confirm your time slots.
If you serve in another area, you may contact your ministry leader with any questions.
Below are a few frequently asked questions:
Q. Why are we adding a service when there are still empty seats?
A. We are thinking about guests. Most visitors come to the late service and there is simply not room for families to sit together on many Sundays. Research suggests that churches quit growing once a service is consistently 75% full. We have seen this happen in our 11:00 service.
Q. What if this doesn’t work?
A. We are trusting that it will, but we are taking the same approach as a church that we have been taking as individuals over the past year...we are going to Arise and Try! Our plan is to try three services from January 6 through Easter. At that time, we will re-evaluate and decide if it is the right direction for our church.
Q. Will all three services be the same?
A. Not exactly. While the Scripture, sermons , and most music will be the same, each service will be designed a little differently. Broadly speaking, each will be a traditional worship service, but with some variations.
Q. What service will the choir sing in?
A. The Chancel Choir will primarily sing in the 11:15 service.
Q. Will any of the services offer contemporary worship?
A. At this time, our focus will continue to be on excellent traditional worship. We foresee the day, possibly in 2019, when we will begin a contemporary service.
Q. What about Sunday School?
A. The current adult classes will continue to meet at 9:45. We are excited to say that there will be two new classes that will start at the 11:15 hour to give a SS option to those who attend one of the earlier services or serve during the 9:45 hour. For example, you could serve in KidsQuest twice a month at 8:15, attend church at 9:45, and go to Sunday School at 11:15.