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FAQ - Fall 2017 schedule changes

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Apr 11 in E-Press
April 6, 2017

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions re: Fall 2017 Schedule Changes

The Worship Ministry Team, and the full Session are leading us to a revised schedule for Sunday mornings at FPCH, starting September 10, 2017.

The basic schedule will look something like this:
          830am Contemplative Worship Service, Wylie Chapel
          930am Campus Wide Sunday School Hour- all classes
                    (Children’s Sunday School & Choirs are working on details)
          10:30am Fellowship in the Garden area
          11:00-12:15 Worship in the Sanctuary
1)    Is this a sudden decision?  Not at all. The Worship Ministry Team (Mac
Heald and Nancy Norris are the elders on it) has been researching and discussing it monthly for at least a year.  Many conversations have taken place. The Worship Team initiated and guided Session discussion. And we have experimented quite a bit already with different worship styles. For example, we have had combined worship services in the sanctuary for the last two summers. And we have taken advantage of special days- Annual Meeting Sunday, Celebration Sunday, Easter, Christmas, New Year’s, etc- to combine worship styles for the last several years.
2)    What are the main reasons? The big question...with several answers.
-Community. For the last six years we have worked very hard at creating opportunities that bring people together across all sorts of boundaries. We are not a huge church, and we are very multigenerational. Thus, Lenten Groups, Wednesday worship times, Fun Days in Griffith Park, etc. have tried to facilitate interaction.   But all the good mixing together reverts on Sunday morning when people separate again for worship- mostly but not totally by age. This schedule lets us be together. And also allows a common gathering time in the garden for everyone.
-Space. We have a very large sanctuary. Both the 930am and 11am service
barely make a dent in a huge room. The critical mass of having 500 or 600 people in the space together instead of 200 or 300 spread across two services creates a much livelier worship atmosphere.
-Intergenerational- this is the church we are today, in 2017.  Many of our young adults love being part of intergenerational worship, and appreciate elements of traditional worship. Many older folks love seeing families and young adults in worship. Even more people have enjoyed the wide spectrum of music that occurs when we combine.  Having all the age groups together is a huge blessing. Most churches are either all young people, or all older. The new schedule would also encourage children, youth and parents to be in worship together- something we believe in.
-Proactive Change- Times have changed, the U.S. culture is different, and going to church is increasingly an intentional choice rather than a normal thing for people. Hollywood Pres, like many churches, is not as large as it once was. Making changes that fit who we are now, and the people God has brought here is being proactive. Waiting until a service dwindles to nothing will put us in a reactive mode that is far more difficult.
3)    Will the worship service just be the 11am contemporary service with a
couple hymns added to it?  No. This would be an entirely new service which
would utilize Cathedral Choir, Band (sometimes even together!), organ, bells, children and youth choirs, praise songs and hymns.  We have had similar services on Annual Meeting Sundays, and Easter morning for the last six years.  Services would vary from week to week, as we have a wealth of worship leadership possibilities!
4)    Are finances a factor in this decision?  Not at all. There has been no
discussion about changing our financial investment in worship or staffing.
5)    The 830am service will stay? Yes. It will still include the Lord’s Supper
each week and be contemplative in nature.
6)    Why do Sunday School at 930 and Worship at 11 instead of vice versa?
The logistics involved with changing families, children, youth and choir schedules would be extremely complicated, and strain our volunteer resources.
7)    Will there be problems with parking or classroom availability with the new
schedule?  We don’t anticipate that. One thing Hollywood Pres space!
8)    Does anybody else do Sunday mornings this way?  Absolutely. Many
many churches have a “common learning hour” across campus, and gather for worship together.  In fact, we recently learned that churches like Solana Beach Presbyterian (San Diego) and Lake Avenue (Pasadena) have taken similar steps in combining worship to incorporate all sorts of styles.
9)    Are all the details worked out?  Not yet. There is a lot of work to be done,
and various decisions that groups can make this spring and summer.  The new schedule could open new possibilities for people attending classes, or serving in children’s ministry who have not been able to before.
10)   Is this a big deal?  On the one hand, Yes. As we know, all change is difficult
and sometimes brings a sense of loss. It will require flexibility and some schedule adjustment from many of us.  On the other hand, No. Historically, the Hollywood Pres schedule has changed a number of times in recent decades. We’re still here!  In the larger scope of the problems of the world, and the kingdom of God...whether we have worship at 11 or at 930, or which hour a class fairly minor.  And our leadership believes any negatives are far outweighed by the benefits of
being together in new ways, and in worship.
          The bottom line- Our leadership enthusiastically feels like this is the direction God is moving our church at this point in time.
11)  Who can I talk to for more information?  The Worship Ministry Team consists of: Elders Mac Heald and Nancy Norris, Ambar Sabino, Worship Coordinator Brooke Coxon, Lindsay Beck, Tim Hodgin and Pastor Dan.  The elders on Session, and staff members who attend Session meetings are also good contacts.
Elders:  Brad Campbell, Maria Fee, Lee Finch, Linda Garberson, Dave Hanson,
Mac Heald, Eleanor Herbst, Jonathan Kim, Andrea Knox, Nancy Lusk, Bob McAdoo, Nancy Norris, Jeff Pirtle, Bob Reed, Louis Rinn, John Safoyan, Christina Valentine, Kimi Walker.  Clerk Sarah Berry.  Pastors Dan Baumgartner & Joel Larson.
Staff: Bethany Corey, Brooke Coxon, Courtney Moore, Amie Quigley, Jourdan Turner, Nick Barrett.

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