Hey Harvest Community!
These last couple of months have seen us as a church begin to explore gathering outdoors together. Those gatherings began twice monthly with a high priority on fellowship, celebration and taking the Lord’s Supper. The immediate nature with which COVID hit our community requiring quarantine and isolation lead us to discern the need for community, proximity and celebration as of highest importance while ensuring a full sermon was available each week online. We, as a pastoral team, are now thrilled to move the Word into a more prominent and central location in our gatherings as we move toward a more complete and full worship service in our outdoor environment.
In that regard, we want to make you aware of some shifts that will begin this coming week in both our outdoor worship gathering experience as well as the online liturgy experience:
1. The gathering will move from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. While the overall layout and flow of the in-person gathering will remain the same, the implementation of a sermon element (we trial ran a version of this on Sunday 9/20), will extend the time a bit. We invite you to use the openness of the field, the playground, the wooded area, etc as needed to enable your family and kids to be a part of these gatherings.
2. We know that for families, especially with small kids, extending this time may feel difficult for some. As a means of minimizing added stress/burden, the sermon portion of the gatherings will be at the beginning of the gathering, with the heavier singing and music portions being at the end. We hope this layout will make the gatherings as fruitful and accessible as possible, and we will be reflecting and retooling our approach as we go to make these gatherings as maximally effective as possible.
4. With the shift of focus toward expanding and developing the outdoor, in-person gatherings, we will shift energies away from the online liturgy experience. One big piece of that shift is that the gathering will be live-streamed for viewing on the website at 9:30am and will then be available to view later in the day on Sunday. In addition, rather than the full video liturgy being provided online, a print-version PDF of all songs, Scriptures, etc will be provided along with a video of the sermon should you choose to walk through that liturgy personally instead of participating in the in-person gathering or viewing the full online livestream.
We are thrilled that the Lord has led and allowed us to take these next steps toward expanding our gatherings together as we move toward a focus that prioritizes the Word in our gatherings. Indeed, it is the Word of God, dwelling among us richly that will grow, sustain, nurture and unify us as a community of Christ followers! We believe the best days are ahead and encourage you to both engage these gatherings yourself and invite others to come along as well!
We can’t wait to see you Sunday!
For the Harvest,