October 4, 2022
Dear Fellow Members of Eufaula First United Methodist Church,
There have been some recent conversations among members and the Church Council regarding making some adjustments to our services, specifically simply combining services to one time - at 10:00, with Sunday School at 8:45 (or 9:00). This is not a random, out-of-the-blue idea or whim, but something that some members are strongly in favor of and have been for a while. Admittedly, the 8:30 service is what got us in the door when we first moved to Eufaula. As a committed family who comes regularly to the 8:30 service, we have had to make the sacrifice missing other church members, the choir and the children’s moment. There are some benefits that I see as we consider next steps as we evolve, and the combined service will allow us do the following:
- Reunite as church family -- Prior to Covid, and now living with the changes Covid has brought, there is no doubt that our church membership and attendance have decreased. Imagine walking into a Sunday service as a new guest and seeing more empty rows than people. No matter how welcoming individuals are, empty rows are a challenge to overcome. But on the other hand, imagine walking in on Sunday to sanctuary full of welcoming people who are glad to see you and others. In addition, we have so many “regulars” in both services that as members we don’t even know or see each other. By having two services, we are splitting our congregation when we need to reunite and come together.
- Shared Services --
Music: We are so blessed with a wonderful music program with Dr. Parker and Ms. Ann. They have done an excellent job, but they are left with either doing two performances or having only half of our members getting to experience the beautiful music they produce. The choir is growing and developing, and wouldn’t it be great if we could all be a part of it?
Kids: If we only offer the Children’s Moment to one service, we are limiting ourselves. We are giving parents with kids only one opportunity to have the kids involved, and we are not welcoming and encouraging children to grow with God. With the small number of kids we currently have, it just makes more sense that the families are given opportunities to be together without having to make a decision and/or sacrifice. If and when we have more kids, it will allow us to have more opportunities do more things (i.e. Children’s Church). It also has our nursery workers work less hours.
I fully understand that everyone has their comfort zone and their reason for coming or not coming to church. I also understand that we can not make everyone happy and accommodate everyone’s individual schedules. However, I have talked to enough members of the congregation to know that we have a church family that is interested in this change. We have so much potential to do some great things. But we cannot do is be complaisant and just talk and pray without action. We are a church family and we all have to be willing to make some adjustments. If you have a strong feeling about this one way or another, please share with me (SPRC Chair 724-272-7612), Cathy Taylor (our Lay Leader 334-703-4848), or Pastor Alan (1-850-602-1938).
As a church our focus should be not about what time Sunday service is, but more on how we can unite to outreach to each other and our community. I saw a quote recently that read “We try to change without hurting people, but we are also hurting people by not changing.” All of us making a little sacrifice in order to share our resources and time will give us more opportunity to be and make disciples for Jesus Christ.