Dear Ones,

As we approach the beginning of the program year, I am thinking about what this year might hold for us as a church community. Some plans are already in place: Religious education volunteers and Diane Melvin, our director of religious education, have been hard at work preparing curricula for the coming year. Most of our children will be learning about Jewish and Christian traditions in a way that is educational, inspiring, and based in our values. I have the schedule for who is leading our Sunday services largely set. There will be two music services, a poetry service, services put together in collaboration with the Social Justice Coordinating Committee and the Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression Multiculturalism Committee. Diane Melvin; Rev. Jill McAllister, our minister emerita; and Rev. Dennis McCarty, who was once an intern minister here, will all be preaching. I will be leading a sermon seminar for laypeople beginning in October—I hope some of you will be in our pulpit soon.

There will also be some things we cannot anticipate. This year, I am only sketching out worship topics a few months in advance, so I can respond better to what is in our collective hearts as the year unfolds. We’ll be trying some new things in worship, including a ‘reverse service’ where we’ll sing the adults out to go to classes and activities and the children will stay in The Commons for worship.
Two related groups in the church are working on other possible changes. The Widening Our Welcome team has spent much of the summer sorting everything you shared at the table conversations and will be bringing ideas about the future of Sunday services and other areas of church life to the congregation this fall. About 30 People’s people gathered on Saturday, August 25th to answer questions like ‘Who worships at People’s Church?’ ‘What is holy?’ ‘What is worship called to look like?’ ‘How does worship related to the mission of the church?’ Another small team is working to make sense of these answers and will be crafting a worship mission that will guide our future Sunday services. I am excited to see where our collective wisdom and collective energy might lead us over the next ten months together.

See you in church,
Rev. Rachel

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