Our mission is to “grow disciples who make a difference.” In other words, we exist to help everyone to find new life in Jesus and to grow deeper in their faith as they trust Him more and more.

In order to better serve our congregation – and those not yet part of our congregation – FUMC leadership has decided to move our Thrive contemporary service from Sunday evening to Sunday morning. Such a change will require us to adjust the start times of our traditional service and Sunday School classes.

Effective January 8, 2023, our new worship schedule will be:

  • 10am: Traditional worship in the sanctuary
  • 11am: Contemporary worship (Thrive) in the MMC gym
  • * Sunday Schools classes will meet on a class-by-class basis (flexible times)

Frequently Asked Questions

We appreciate all the responses on our surveys. We were glad to see several themes that arose in the comments which reflect our values here at FUMC. In conversation with the Staff and the Worship Planning team, here are our responses. Please direct follow-up questions to Pastors Bruce or Jamie.

  1. Question: Why wouldn’t we move the current traditional service (10:45am) to start at 8:30am as it did pre-Covid?
    • Response: This was the first option we considered. While we realize that many would like a return to the 8:30am slot, we have families with children who would appreciate a later time for traditional worship. Also, most visitors will visit between 9:30am-11am, so a 10am start time fits in the optimal visitor window.
  2. Question: Why not put Sunday School between the two services? Wouldn’t that encourage Sunday School attendance from both services?
    • Response: Related to the first question, this was the first option we considered. However, our Sunday School attendance by our younger families over the past 10 years indicates that the preferred discipleship times for children are (a) during the service and (b) on Wednesday evenings. In other words, even years before Covid, our children’s and youth Sunday School classes had been minimally attended.
    • For adults, our current Sunday School classes will meet at 8:45am (or later, if desired). In addition, new Sunday School classes could be held during either of the services for those attending the other service. For example, a group could attend the 10am traditional worship service and then meet for Sunday School at 11am.
    • Finally, having both services back-to-back opens up options for unity services that are not possible with our current schedule.
  3. Question: What about children’s discipleship with this proposed format?
    • Response: Actually, this new format provides for more options and flexibility for discipleship. The new plan is for children’s Sunday School to be held Sundays at 8:45am. In addition, Children’s Ministry will offer discipleship offerings (e.g. Uptown) during both the traditional and contemporary services. We will, of course, continue discipleship offerings on Wednesdays for all ages.
  4. Question: What about the meal served at Thrive? What impact will this have on those in our community who count on that meal?
    • Response: This new schedule actually puts our meal at a consistent time with the lunches provided by MadisonHome throughout the week. Currently, the dinner prior to our contemporary service (at 5:30pm) is the only community meal served in the evening. And this meal is the only one served on Sunday, to our knowledge. On the other six days of the week, the meal is at lunchtime. With FUMC serving a noon lunch, we align with the community schedule.
  5. Question: Why not serve the lunch first and then have our contemporary service, Thrive?
    • Response: For several reasons, we feel that it’s best to end our worship offerings by noon. Serving lunch first would push the end of Thrive into conflict with other activities. Many younger families have children involved in sports leagues that begin on Sundays at 1pm. So by ending at noon and then offering a lunch, we help those families with their schedules.
    • With respect to our community members, many of them arrive early to our meals which means they may actually experience more of the Thrive service than they do currently.
New Sunday Worship Schedule: Effective January 8 (and the FAQ)
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David Alexander
David Alexander
2 months ago

Love it that we are making changes for the future after these years of COVID.
However, we would like to return to the “old-days” schedule. It was very successful for many years & had many positive aspects.
a. Having the Sunday School between the 2 services has many benefits. Don’t believe the idea or concept of “separate” Sunday schools is a good idea. No one ever meets anyone else “outside” their group (no cross-mingling between service attendees).
b. Parking will become an “issue”….may not be initially, but once the services begin to grow, the overlap will cause some consternation.
c. For Men’s Ministry events (Pancake Breakfast, Chili Lunch), the “old” schedule was the best for a variety of reasons (smell, catching folks as the come or go, etc).
d. We do need to take actions to “grow” a younger crowd (families with children); they have “left” our Church and we need them to grow and for our future!

Again, a step in the right direction. Obviously, a PLAN is better than NO PLAN…..

Bruce Nettleton
Admin
2 months ago

Thanks for your input, Dave. The Sunday School puzzle was thoroughly discussed. At the end of the day, with engaging young families as our primary concern, the difficulty of attending at an early hour had to become the driving factor. The perception that young people automatically prefer contemporary worship seems to be becoming more and more faulty. We needed to provide both a traditional and contemporary worship alternative in the mid to late morning slot, with children’s discipleship taking place concurrent with those services to meet the needs and preferences of the folks we are trying to reach.
The idea of “mixed” Sunday School groups is attractive, but reality is that “birds of a feather flock together.” Almost all of our Sunday School classes are made up of people that have essentially the same preferences.
I hope you’re right about parking becoming an issue! That will mean we’ve been successful and have a new logistical puzzle to solve!