Dear People’s People,

As we prepare for the beginning of the church program year, I wanted to let you know about two changes to your Sunday morning experience: the end of routine announcements during the service and the beginning of worship circles for children and youth.

We will be ending routine verbal announcements in our services—and communicating this information in other ways. The announcements disrupt the flow of the service. I suspect they aren’t a great way to communicate information. We are going to try a few new ways to communicate with one another instead.

Screens are being installed in both the entryway and the foyer. On Sunday mornings, they will display information relevant to the day and announcements of upcoming activities. We will also more regularly use the screen in The Commons for announcements. We will also have an insert in the Order of Service. Additionally, the staff and I will create an announcement video on Wednesday afternoons that we will share to the church website and Facebook page, to reach the auditory and visual learners among us. We will still, of course, be communicating information through this newsletter and our weekly email.

If you would like your church-related update, event, or service opportunity included in our weekly slides, video, email, or other means of communication, please send the relevant information to Chris, our office administrator, at or 269-375-3262 by noon on Wednesday. I am eager to see if these changes help us communicate better. This is all an experiment. If we find that this new way of communication doesn’t work for us, we will try something else or reintroduce routine announcements in the service.

One reason to make this shift is because we are starting worship circles for children this fall—which means not everyone in our community will be in The Commons to hear the announcements. Most weeks, some of our children and a few adult leaders will begin their Sunday morning with a short worship service in Room 9. For most of the year, children in grades 3 through 6 will have their worship circle on the second Sundays of the month, children in kindergarten through second grade will have their worship circle on the third Sunday of the month, and children in our nursery and preschool class and their families will have a worship circle on the fourth Sunday of the month. Because September has five Sundays and special services, the K-2 worship circle will gather on September 22 and the preschool and nursery worship circle will happen on September 29. Of course, participation in these worship circles is optional. If your family would prefer to be in The Commons for the beginning of the service, you are welcome to do that. We are also launching a monthly youth worship service for high-school-aged youth that will begin on September 15. I am still recruiting volunteers to help with these services. Please contact me if you would like to participate.

I am hopeful that these changes will better help us get closer to realize our mission to be a beloved community embracing and serving our diverse world.

See you in church,
Rev. Rachel

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