Sorry, I am a little late with this week’s post.
Memorial Day weekend is definitely the start of the summer season.
Last summer we decided that we wanted to continue doing message series through the season, rather than concede the whole summer. But, we needed a plan that provided me with some weekends off, for vacation as well as study for future series. We experimented with two concepts. One was a freshly recorded video of a previously presented message series. The second was a live presentation with Tom and Chris helping out several weeks. We presented these messages at the end of Mass so as not to introduce Liturgical irregularities.
Both were a reach for us, and offering the message after communion defied the common wisdom that Catholics leave after communion. We learned a lot last summer and continued to challenge our congregation to be open to new and different approaches.
The first concept, the video presentation, was great for helping us prepare for the video venue at Crowne Plaza. The exercise taught us that putting a quality weekly video presentation together was a big project. But for that very reason it didn’t actually help reduce the summer work load.
The second concept, live presentations after Mass, worked better because the weekends I wasn’t speaking, I really was off. It was also good practice for Tom and Chris to continue to grow as speakers. And, wonder of wonders, most people (not all, by any means) stayed around to hear the message, which is an encouraging sign of congregational maturity.
That second concept is the one we are repeating this summer, beginning in two weeks. We will be offering two different series. The first is a walk through the Creed, looking at what we say we believe as well as how we actually effectively live what we say we believe. The second series, taking us through August, is a Bible series, largely intended to spark people’s interest in Bible reading and study. We are focusing on battles in the Bible, which should be interesting and fun.
Other activities this summer include Vacation Bible School for kids, several student programs, and a new summertime weekend schedule that will lighten the load for all of our staff and volunteer ministry staff.
Around the campus this summer we will be undertaking some improvements and upgrades in technology (ever a work in progress) and elsewhere as well as the painting and cleaning projects that are always saved for summer.
Personally, I will be taking time for study and preparation for next years series. I will be vacationing in Avalon in July and I will be traveling to Haiti to take a look at our options for a parish mission-partnership there. Brian Crook, who is becoming our new Missions Director, will be going too.
Should be a great summer.