I have been wondering since I arrived here what to do about the fifth Sundays of the month. The practice I inherited was to have a joint service of all the churches in our group. Since there are four “5th Sundays” in a year, it was easy to rotate these joint services among our four churches, so each had one.
I had mixed reactions to these services. It was great to have everyone together. On the other hand, we never have as many people at the one service as we do in the four separate services. Also, I don’t like closing churches on a Sunday morning. What if a visitor shows up? And we already close some of the churches when we have special services during the year, such as the Harvest Festivals and the Christmas Carol Services.
Some people on the Vestries have said the same. And on the Vestries, we have also talked about the possibility of evening services.
So here is what I am going to try out: On the 5th Sundays, each church will have Morning Prayer (thanks to the services of our Lay Readers!). In the evening, we will have some kind of special service. It might be in one of the churches; it might be in the Rectory. It might include an activity and/or refreshments. It will be a way for us all to get together, in a different way than we do on Sunday mornings.
The next 5th Sunday is in two weeks, 30th August. That Sunday also happens to be the last day of Heritage Week, an island-wide event sponsored by the Heritage Council. So we will have a songfest at 5.00pm at St. Nicholas Church, Adare, which has been the beneficiary in the past of grants from the Heritage Council.
The theme of Heritage Week is Ireland’s Industrial and Design Heritage. This theme suggests to me the idea of “work,” so the theme of our songfest will be “The Work of the Church.” What is it that the church is meant to do? What is our particular work? There will be different areas, such as worship, service, and fellowship, with a song representing each one. It is posted on the Heritage Week website HERE.
Come and sing!