Monday, January 28, 2008

Pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator

So it is official. Our church has decided to say "Screw you, John Wesley!" and has now whole-heartedly embraced the "contemporary" "Praise" style of worship. I suspected this was coming. Almost exactly a year ago, we had a meeting where it was revealed that we didn't have enough money to last more than a few months and that we didn't have enough members to sustain our church. They were going to add a "contemporary" service. Fine. Many of us were pissed (particularly our friends Mary and Todd who unfortunately have since moved to Mexico so could not express outrage with me at the latest development), but we were told this was the way to get to the "unchurched". The folks that apparently had never been to church and were scared by things like the liturgy and "churchwords" and God, I guess. No one has yet explained to me satisfactorily why these people are choosing the United Methodist Church, known for their hymns and traditions (and food!), over some crappy nondenominational "praise" church in a strip center, but whatever.

Yesterday we had another town hall meeting and we did better last year. And based on the results of the worship survey they'd conducted that only 60 of us had filled out, they had decided to move the "praise" service to 11am and move the "traditional" service to 9am. I don't know why they don't just drop the UMC designation entirely and just forge out on their own. The pastor and our lay leader (both people who I really dearly like), kept insulting everything that I consider wonderful about the United Methodist Church. My great-grandfather (not that I knew him), was a Methodist minister, I grew up in and was confirmed in the United Methodist Church, and when I sought out a church to raise my daughter in, it was United Methodist all the way. I want my child to grow up with the same traditions and experiences I did as far as attending church. I was so upset after their announcements and insults that I left because I was about to start crying. I was like, "we're finding another church, this is ridiculous, blah, blah, blah", but Tim talked me off the ledge in the car (he often talks me off the ledge). We're now faced with the decision between: a) going to the 9am Traditional service, which means early rising for all, but on the plus side means the rest of our morning is free, b) going to the 11am "Relevance" service, ear plugs in hand, or c) finding a church who respects United Methodist traditions and has a traditional service at 11. Luckily they aren't switching the services until March 8th, so we have some time.

1 comment:

Mindy said...

I know how you feel. Our church has a "no dress code" dress code. Its like an advertisement to come in your PJs. I come from a strict Southern Baptist background and one simply does not wear shorts to church. I simply cant get my mind around it, but then again, I cant seem to find any other church that is as open about their finances (a big problem, you can imagine)Maybe I should convert and get over it.