From the Minister's Study
Back to the Future
An article by Rev. Julie, Brian Mitchell and Leigh Hoftiezer
As you heard if you were at the annual congregational meeting, UCN is trying something new next year. So far, we are calling it Back To the Future. We are going to try gathering for worship at one time, once a month. What this means is that on the first Sunday of the month, we will have one service at 10:00. This is a bold move. Some might even say it is a risky move that might in fact confuse people. Perhaps they are right, but your board of trustees, your minister, your current president, and your president-elect think that it is worth the risk.
We believe that the benefits outweigh the risks. Coffee-in-the-middle is wonderful and it has provided some fellowship and connection opportunities. Worshiping together once a month will, we hope, increase our sense of connection with each other and expand our sense of identity as members of Unitarian Church North. This will be so important, as we prepare to do more congregation-wide social justice work with poverty in Ozaukee County. So, we think it is worth exploring this option.
We have looked at attendance patterns here, at neighboring churches and national trends. These days, most people on average attend church twice a month. What that looks like at UCN is that some of our services are sparse. This sparseness does not lend itself to feeling connected to who we are at our fullness. At the same time, our attendance is strong enough that we would not be able to go back to one service every week comfortably.
The mark of a healthy organism, an organization and of a church, is that it is open to trying new things and evaluating them. This is what we plan to do throughout the upcoming year. It is a bold and somewhat unconventional approach, which is intriguing to us. Most importantly, we want to hear from you as you experience this in your lives.