Semi-Programmed Worship Planning Committee
Annual Report, July 2014

Submitted by David Woolley, Committee Clerk

Committee’s Charge: The worship planning committee attends to the organizational needs and general well-being of semi-programmed meetings for worship. We handle the practical matters of inviting and scheduling speakers, musicians, closers, and microphone carriers. We also regularly consider the overall experience of the worship meetings, and make adjustments as needed to guidelines for closers and speakers. Our goal is to help create an atmosphere of quiet reflection and spirit-led ministry. In all of this we try to exercise discernment as to the Meeting’s spiritual and worship needs and the gifts of individual members and attenders.

Committee members: Dave Bostrom, Linda Coffin, Joanne Esser, Clifford Goltz, Marilyn Johnson, Sarah McClellan, and David Woolley. Pat Jones usually attends, also.
We hold committee meetings every other month (six times a year).

Challenges:

1. People come to Meeting with a range of expectations.

2. There is an inherent tension between planning and leaving room for the unplanned. We strive for a balance.

3. The period just after we have closed worship with a handshake is a particularly challenging time. There is a tendency for people to feel it’s a time when they can stand up and say anything to the entire room. We don’t want to be too rigid, but we want to be respectful of peoples’ time. We set aside some of this time specifically to give attention to visitors. We also allow for some announcements, although we would like most announcements to be made through the bulletin and hope that spoken announcements will be few and brief. We ask people to let the closer know in advance if they will need to make an announcement.

4. Planning the summer schedule of blended unprogrammed and semi-programmed meetings has been challenging, especially in handling the closing of meetings, since there are differing traditions about what happens during this time. It has really pointed out the need for regular communication with the unprogrammed care committee.

Accomplishments:

We have held meetings for worship every Sunday for the past year, and for the most part, people who have participated in them seem to have had good experiences.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our meetings for worship in the past year. In particular: Frank Bacon, who has made improvements to our sound system, regular musicians Kathy Webster, Nancy Lichtenstein, and Dave Bostrom, all of our scheduled speakers who have taken time to carefully consider what message they will bring to the meeting, people who have acted as meeting closers and microphone carriers, and everyone who has contributed through spoken ministry or simply through their presence and silent meditation.

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