Answer: It all goes back to the Church Assessment Tool (CAT). When members of Holy Cross were asked about priorities the first ranked response was “Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.”
To this end, the staff and the worship and music committee have put significant energy and thought into how to make worship more hospitable to families.
HCLC has resumed providing a children’s message in both Sunday morning worship services. Also consistent with the priority on families and children we are committed to keeping worship to an hour. This is respectful of families with small children. It also gives those who are teaching Sunday School adequate time to get to their classes.
Over the summer, worship consistently ran an hour and fifteen minutes. In order to get worship to an hour we have taken the following actions: we begin announcements before the prelude, Pastor Kleiber has shortened her sermons, and we have eliminated one of the appointed readings. We also made the decision to go to communion by station because that reduces the time needed for communion. For those of you who miss a quiet moment at the altar, please feel free to go to the rail for a moment of prayer after receiving communion.
While we know that some are disappointed by these changes, please also know that we did not take these decisions lightly. To the best of our ability, we are trying to implement the congregational priorities identified in the CAT survey. We appreciate your support and understanding. We will continue to evaluate the changes we have implemented and will adjust as necessary. If you have ideas or suggestions that will help us make worship more hospitable to families with children and youth, please do not hesitate to speak with the staff or the worship and music team members.