A few weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility of shifting our third morning service on Sundays to begin at 11:15. This change provides more time for Christian education for children, youth and adults. We have been listening carefully to your feedback. After much prayer and deliberation, we (clergy, lay staff, ministry leaders, and vestry) have decided to adopt this change beginning September 18, when we return to our schedule of three morning services plus 5:30 Celtic service and 8:00 Compline.
Most of you that voiced opinions about moving to 11:15 have been enthusiastic. The fact that our children, especially, want MORE time to engage in their learning and faith exploration is wonderful. Some of you had concerns and asked that we consider an option that would give more time but would not change the timing of the third service. We did look at other options, and there are a variety of factors that made the 11:15 shift the best one. I am happy to discuss more.
In addition to the added time for education (a solid hour, plus time for transition), we will not feel as rushed on Sunday mornings. I hope to have more chances to interact with parishioners. I think there will be other, unexpected benefits if we look for them. God only knows, and with God, there is always the possibility of grace and growth with any change. I know there might be potential drawbacks, but I encourage us to look for the opportunities.
On a slightly different note, I want you to know that we are well aware of the challenges related to parking. We have a great relationship with our new Foode neighbors across the street, and yet the reality is that more people will be vying for the existing parking spots. We are looking at this issue and will have more to say about possible solutions. In the meantime, we celebrate the good problem that there are lots of people who want to enjoy downtown Fredericksburg. I know that many St. Georgians will likely wander across the street for a bite to eat. My hope is that our open doors and welcoming atmosphere may entice some diners to cross the street the other way, to come and see what God is doing in our beloved community. Keep an eye out and greet one another with joy and love.
Your brother in Christ,