Woody Allen said that 90% of life is showing up. If that is true about church as well, then we’re not doing so great. Suffice it to say that worship attendance has been less than stellar as of late.
(FYI: this is not a guilt trip thing. I don’t do guilt. I think it’s a terrible waste of time and an often destructive force. This is just an it-is-what-it-is kind of thing.)
When life gets difficult and time seems short, we often see worship as the thing we can skip order to catch up, but in truth, worship is the last thing we should let go of when life is rough. I realize that there are sick kids and infirmed parents and late nights and work obligations. My own husband won’t be in town for worship for the next four weeks. Stuff happens. Know that if your life seems particularly stressful right now, you are in good company.
But part of our commitment as members of a church is regular participation in worship. At the core of who we are and what we do is Sunday morning worship. Worshipping together connects us as a community and transforms us as individuals.
We are a small church. When there aren’t many people in worship, it changes the whole tone of the service. People don’t laugh as much—or at all (yes, we’re that kind of church. We laugh). It’s difficult to hear anyone singing (not our strong suite). Visitors get the impression that there’s not much happening here, when, in fact, there is quite a bit happening here.
I believe that everyone involved at First Pres wants to be part of a church that makes a difference on the corner of 4th and Maple. We want to be a part of transforming lives. We want our own lives to be transformed. But in order to do that, we have to show up.
As we approach a time of thanksgiving and celebrating abundance and anxiously awaiting the birth of Christ, I ask you all to reconsider your commitment to worship on Sunday mornings. It can change your life and help equip you to change the lives of others. But you gotta show up (even though we still love you when you don’t).
Rev. Anne Russ