Sunday Morning Schedule Shifts beginning Sunday, Sept. 11

As we launch into our new program year, the Sunday morning schedule and some of our practices will experience some changes.


We will continue offering two worship services on Sunday mornings. They will begin at 8:30am and 10:45am respectively. Expect worship length to run closer to an hour in length as we expand opportunities for our congregational song, incorporate some new elements for families, and offer communion distribution each week. Your offerings will continue to be received in the plates at the doors or online. Each worship service will include a celebration of the Lord’s Supper (communion).

Communion Distribution

This should be familiar for those who worshipped with us prior to the onset of Covid-19. Following the prayer of thanksgiving, hearing the words of institution, and reciting the Lord’s Prayer, our volunteer communion servers will come forward and create two serving lines across the front of the sanctuary. The two lines will be separated by a table that will feature a plate of gluten-free bread, a basket of sealed elements (wafer & juice), and a basket of fruit snacks. The pastor(s) and servers will be offering torn pieces of bread, and a chalice for intinction containing separate sections with wine (red) and juice (white).

The ushers will invite worshippers forward in turn to join one of the two lines. As you approach the table, if you prefer gluten-free bread and/or the pre-packaged meals, please pick them up yourself. Those selecting the pre-packaged elements should just hold onto them while they hear the words shared by the servers, waiting to open and consume the elements until they have returned to their seats. Those preferring regular bread will receive a torn piece placed into their hands. Then you can elect to dip the bread into the wine or juice. Or, as you hear the invitation, just acknowledge the cup and consume your bread without dipping it into the chalice. Return to your seat by the opposite end of the row from which you approached.

Children not yet communing are welcome to grab a package of fruit snacks from the basket on the table prior to receiving a blessing from the pastor or server.

More Volunteer Opportunities

It takes a healthy crew of volunteers to keep our Sunday mornings flowing smoothly. Consider how you might be willing to become a part of it all. Contact the office if you would be willing to serve in one or more of the following ways:

  • Sunday Volunteer Coordinator – recruits, schedules and monitors all of the variety of volunteers (listed below) using our online scheduling platform.
  • Readers – sharing the daily scripture passage and/or other public speaking leadership.
  • Ushers – insuring worship participants find a seat and have what they need, directing the flow of communion distribution.
  • Greeters – welcome visitors and regular attendees at the door and orient newcomers to the building.
  • Communion Servers – sharing the elements as participants come forward.
  • Communion Setup & Cleanup – generally one volunteer sets out the needed elements and then refreshes after the early service; a second volunteer cleans up after the later service.
  • Audio & Video Support – push the buttons and make all the magic happen from our A/V station.
  • Coffee & Hospitality Support – make sure we’re well supplied with coffee, lemonade and treats through out the morning. Here again, one volunteer sets up and refreshes while another cleans up following the later service.

Sunday School Included as a Part of Worship

In our on-going commitment to make our worship experiences meaningful for participants of all ages, we’ll be experimenting in the months ahead with a variety of elements specifically intended to target our youngest members and their families. One notable change will be the shifting of specific faith formation activities for children from the time between services to a time during the later worship service. Beginning Oct. 2, during the 10:45am service, children will be invited to leave the sanctuary just prior to the sermon with members of our Children’s ministry team. They will gather in the narthex for a guided exploration of that day’s featured Bible story. These activities will conclude just prior to the time in the worship service when we receive our offerings and prepare for the celebration of the Lord’s supper when children will rejoin their parent(s) in the sanctuary. This in-service children’s ministry is designed for children up to 4th grade.

Note: 5th-8th graders will have opportunities to gather weekly on 1st & 3rd Wednesday nights. Confirmands will meet 1-2 times per month on Sunday afternoons. 9-12th graders will still be gathering with Julene from 9:30-10:30am on Sunday mornings (check with her for details). Regular events for families, middle schoolers and high schoolers are also being planned – be sure to stay in touch.

Meet Melanie Hill, our Interim Director of Children & Family Ministry, during a fun meet & greet activity on Sunday, Sept. 18 from 10-10:30am. Activity details are under wraps but we know that chocolate will be involved.

Sunday Forum

For the month of September, Sunday Forum will take place in the sanctuary and will be available remotely via Zoom. We hope to have some upgraded technology installed in the Reception Room by the beginning of October so that the Forum will most often be offered in this space. Sunday Forums will start at 9:30am in September and at 9:40am beginning in October. Sunday Forums will return beginning Sunday, September 18 and offered every Sunday except on the Sundays when their are Intergenerational Events planned. The schedule of upcoming Sunday Forums is available here.

Intergenerational Events

One Sunday each month we will gather as a community of all ages to explore and practice our shared lives of faith. These intergenerational events will take a variety of forms but they are wonderful opportunities to see God at work right in our midst, shaping us to be the church God is actively imagining. Our first Intergenerational Event happens on Sunday, Sept. 11 as we mark “God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday” by offering participants multiple ways to become God’s active presence in the world. Several “activity stations” will be set up in our gym (and outside) for you to engage. You may choose to participate briefly at each station or just settle in to one for the time you are present. Here is what we have planned:

  • Assemble newborn kits to be donated to our partners with Global Health Ministries;
  • Tie fleece blankets to be donated to one of a variety of partners serving our neighbors in the Twin Cities;
  • Create fall-themed “Thinking of You” cards to be shared with our neighbors in supported living and the homebound in our midst;
  • Care for creation by going on a liter patrol, picking up trash in Central Park and our adjacent woods.

If you have ideas for future intergenerational events and/or you’re interested in helping to plan them, please contact the office.

Fellowship & Hospitality

As volunteer support is available (see above), we hope to continue providing a self-service coffee, lemonade & water station for those present on Sunday mornings. We also plan to offer a variety of pre-packaged healthy snacks. Our historical “cookie ministry” continues on hold until someone can be identified to serve as a coordinator. In the meantime, we’re exploring the possibility of serving donut holes from The Donut Hole.