Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday 2006

Today is Good Friday. I remember all the years of my childhood when everything stopped about 3pm in the afternoon. Most everyone found their way to a Church for a somber hour with the song, "Go to Dark Gethsemane" as the closing song. Then the rest of the day was spent in a quiet, medatative mood. Of course waiting for the anticipated Easter Morning and it's powerfull uplifting message.

I go to a Lutheran Church where on Christmas Eve we sometimes have 470 people scrambling for seats. Weekly averages run in the 120-150 range depending on the season. Yet last night at the Maundy Thursday service there were hardly 50 people in the congregation. Then 14 or so in the choir. It was a wonderful service with the theme being Holy Communion. It was well worth my time both in the experience of remembering the events of Holy Week, AND in the learning details and history about Communion.

So the question is not why didn't these people come on this important religious day, but rather, what can we do different to encourage more people to attend? In what way can we make attending on a more than 30% (average) basis more of a desire? I guess we could do seminars on solving these problems, but it makes me sad to see the efforts put in to deliver a service. By the organist, the choir, the minister, the cleaning staff, the secretarial staff that puts together the bulletin and service sheets. I'm sad that folks who identify as being members of our church both don't attend regularly AND don't tell us why they don't.

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