Preface: Last summer Pastors Cathy and Doug Johns participated in 21 group listening sessions. The conversations shaped the Vision 2015 document that was presented last October. Areas of focus were shared including the formation of a marketing team, a team to re-vision Nast Community UMC, and a team to study and evaluate our current worship offerings, seeking ways to reach more people for Christ through worship. The Worship Task Force has submitted their recommendation to the Servant Leadership Board. The Worship Planning Team, consisting of our lay and clergy staff with music and worship responsibilities, has endorsed this recommendation. Three additional sessions were held for input, one for choir members and two congregational worship conversations for input. The feedback has been positive and several important gleanings were discovered through these meetings. This article is a response to questions that arose during those gatherings:
Who is the new service trying to reach?
People who do not currently attend church or Hyde Park Community United Methodist as well as people who formerly attended our Blended Family Worship service which was cancelled in April. People of all ages are invited and welcome. We are hopeful that the new service will attract young adults and young families.
Why is this needed?
The worship task force discovered a 20-year difference between the average age of the person who worships within our walls and the average age of people who lives within two miles of our congregation. We want to share Christ’s love with our neighbors and truly be a community church.
How will we invite new people to attend the service?
The marketing team, which has been formed to share the Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church story, is exploring creative ways to announce this new worship offering. One key strategy is to describe each worship service effectively on our website so that guests know what to expect prior to their first visit.
What time will the new service meet? What will be the new Sunday morning worship schedule?
Worship @ 11 is the current working name of the service and it will take place at 11:00 am. The Sunday morning design of worship for 8:00 and 9:30 am will be unchanged.
Where will the new service be held?
The sanctuary. It is a beautiful, unique space in the city of Cincinnati. This also sends the message that our congregation is serious about the new service.
Will there be screens at the service? How will this affect the sanctuary?
The integrity of the sanctuary is an essential value. We are exploring the use of screens that would be both retractable and invisible when they are not in use.
What style of music will be a part of Worship @ 11?
A worship team, composed of instrumentalists and vocalists, will bring leadership to the service. Contemporary Christian music as well as fresh arrangements of traditional hymns will be included. The style of music will fit the acoustics of the sanctuary while expanding the range of ways we worship at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church.
When will the new service begin?
Our hope is mid-fall, somewhere between late October and mid-November 2015.
Will there be one sermon for the day or different messages?
We value being a unified congregation. The lead pastors will preach the same message each Sunday although it will be delivered in a more casual format at 11 am.
What staff and teams will be needed?
We plan to hire a part-time staff member to be the Coordinator of Worship @ 11 and Technical Support. It will have no effect on this year’s budget. Teams of greeters, ushers, tech support and hospitality are valuable and will be needed to support the new worship experience.
What are the next steps?
The proposal for the new staff person will be approved at the July 13 Servant Leadership Board meeting and the position will be posted. A Worship @ 11 team is forming to help implement the new service.
How can I find out more?
The full report and proposal are available in the church office. Please contact Lindsay Garrison who will be happy to email you an electronic copy of both the work of the task force and the proposal: email@example.com.
Who will answer my questions and concerns?
Please contact Pastor Cathy or any member of the Worship Task Force.
How can I help with Worship @ 11?
Please contact Pastor Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-871-1345.