Jonalu’s Journal – July 2018

Perhaps you’ve noticed we’ve tried some different things during Sunday morning services.  We had some testimonials about how and why people are active in the world.  We had a band do special music one week.  We had a flower ceremony where we created a piece of art with our flowers.  We had an activity as part of the reflection on blessing, where we wrote to someone who had blessed us.  We had a call and response song that was sprinkled through the service, instead of doing all verses at once.  And, outside of services, we have added sharing some joys and sorrows (with permission) on the list serve.  Soon, we will be using a new audio-visual system in the sanctuary.

Our Sunday Services Committee has been dipping our toe into multi-sensory worship, finding ways to make Sunday services more diverse, welcoming people with different styles of learning and ways of connecting.

In May, I shared with you some of the feedback that came from our feedback circle.  Since then, we have more information from the survey the Two Services Task Force did.  Overall, those who responded to the survey are pretty content with our current format, though hymns, the story and readings did not receive strong support.  Performed music is really popular!  There is some sentiment that a shorter, one-hour service would be enough.  The Sunday Services Committee will be looking at all of this, as we move forward learning more about how to be more effective for more people.

As part of that effort, we are putting together–and invite anyone interested to–a workshop on July 28 at the UU Fellowship of Topeka.  Both Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, their minister, and I attended an intensive workshop by worship designer Marcia McFee.  We want to share some of what we learned about how to better integrate music, video, story, drama, and art into our Sunday morning experience.  And we’ll do it experientially.  Talk to me or Katie Kingery-Page if you want to know more.

In the meantime, let me share what I think our Sunday mornings together are about.  I know the word “worship” is controversial.  Rather than adoring some deity, I believe worship is considering what is worthy of our attention, and maybe even our devotion.  My hope for each service you attend is that in some way it helps you consider what you feel is worthwhile in your life, that it helps you in some way to live a life that is better, deeper, and more meaningful.

That, to me, is the measure of success on Sunday mornings.

In faith and freedom,


P.S.  I will be on vacation July 17-25.  In case of emergency, our Office Administrator Sue Turner and Chair Jessica Sievers will know how to reach me.  Have a great summer!

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