Worship Wondering

Dear Service Selectors:

It’s been a few months now since our Sanctuary Choir Director, Jason Fahrenbach, expanded his repertoire to include leadership of our Praise and Worship Team and became FPCLG’s Director of Music Ministry. The response from both the musicians and the Community Service attendees has been enthusiastically positive, and to my knowledge, the Sanctuary Choir has not felt older child neglect in the transition. To my ear the music in both services is beyond magnificent; we are blessed with many gifted volunteers and professionals who inspire our voices and hearts in divine worship.

There are now two of us who weekly experience both Sunday morning services, and on a rotating basis, our Ruling Elders serve as Session Representatives, enduring the same sermon not once but twice. Their presence is a reminder that we are one congregation presenting diverse expression of our character, timing and style. Occasionally you’ll find a first service regular in a second service pew, blaming oversleep or a late Saturday night for their atypical participation. The opposite also occurs when Sunday schedules intrude on participation in later worship. I must confess that if I had to choose, I’m not sure which service would be my preference. I can only say that if you’re in a worship rut, I invite you to occasionally shift your worship time and see how the other half celebrates.

The downside of multiple worship services is, of course, separation of the flock. Like different lunchtimes at the school cafeteria, connections and friendships develop around shared schedules, but we, too, have all-inclusive assemblies and pep rallies, like the last Sunday in February when we share a single worship service at 10 a.m. in preparation for our Annual Meeting. I have also been told the advantage of single services is a fuller Sanctuary, but living into the architectural aspirations of FPCLG version 1963 is, for me, a low priority.

Which brings me to my musing: I wish we worshiped more.

As with past Lenten seasons, we will provide a mid-week addition to our worship schedule, beginning with Ash Wednesday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary, and then services of Communion and meditation the following five Wednesdays in our little Ashland Avenue chapel. I love these services. They are quiet and intimate; they are sacrament rather than sermon-forward, and Henry is as brilliant on our little positive organ as he is on the grand Aeolian-Skinner.

I’ve been musing over the possibility of bringing this service into the rest of the year as a supplement or occasional alternative to our Sunday morning experiences. My interest is not broader appeal for larger total attendance, but an additional way to express the many facets of our shared Christian community. I’m also not of the if you build it, they will come mentality; that only seems to work if you’re appealing to the underserved audience of deceased baseball stars.

I know it is a little atypical of me to use this Monday Musing space as an opportunity to reflect on in-house business, but I’m wondering if others share my muse for midweek worship. So, if you were reading today hoping to have some grand reflection on history, word derivation, global politics or my Omaha childhood, I apologize for this little inside baseball reflection.

Promising bigger ideas in future posts, I remain,

With Love,
Jonathan Krogh
Your Pastor