The Sunday Sample

Date: Sunday 16th April

Locations: Bracknell and Watford

Special occasion: Easter Sunday

Speakers

Myself and Tony Heath spoke in Watford and Bracknell respectively. A change from the normal service pattern happened in both locations. In Watford we had a story instead of the sermon – with the children holding up pictures they had coloured as part of the reading. In Bracknell the communion followed the sermon and Peri read the lyrics of a song instead of the congregation singing as bread and wine went around. Children were very visible in both locations. The Wakefield family all spoke, read or prayed in Bracknell – very encouraging for us all to see.

Today’s lesson: vary communion presentation more.

Music

Both services started close to on time. We prayed together in both locations before starting. We sat in a circle and used song sheets in Watford instead of PPt. Not sure if this made much difference. The singing in Bracknell went very well. It was noticeable that some older hymns went downs well with a segment of the congregation, who sang more lustily than at other times.

Today’s lessons: include some hymns more often in Bracknell. 

Connection

As noted above, hymns made a difference for some. The physical holding of pictures helped the children connect with the story (see below).

Today’s lessons: consider the preferences of different parts of the congregation more carefully when planning a service.

Other Matters

  • Watford: we’ve done story sermons with the children in the past, but this one might have been the best so far, and I think it was because the children had pictures in their hands and felt like part of the story. The tactile nature of the pictures they’d coloured in gave them skin in the game.

Last week I said we would prioritise:

  1. Think through chorus repeats and write them down – went better
  2. Fewer chairs – forgot
  3. Start on time – done

This week I’ll prioritise:

  1. Think through chorus repeats and write them down – again. Need to establish the habit.
  2. Add a hymn to the service in Lower Earley
  3. Start on time

Let me know your ideas. You can leave a message here, or send me an email: mccx@mac.com.

God bless,

Malcolm