Sunday, August 03, 2008

32 - 30

No, it's not the score of a football game, too early for that yet.

Those are the attendance numbers for my two parishes. It was a banner day today.

It seems that maybe Christ Church is turning the corner and the time and effort we've all put into the place is starting to pay off. We had, if I'm remembering correctly, four visitors. And there were several regulars who were not in attendance. So that means that our average attendance has now been consistently in the upper 20's over the past month.

I am trying to wrap my mind around this whole church growth thing. And because I am a natural pessimist, I keep holding my breath, waiting for the bubble to burst or for something to happen that shows people are really settling into this parish.

The next "plan of attack" is to start advertising ministry opportunities within the parish. Things that have been neglected, or done on a minimal basis, when there were six people in attendance. An altar guild would be nice. More people involved in the service as lectors and/or Eucharistic Ministers. People to put time into the building and grounds. And the list goes on.

We had 30 in VC today. Half of those people were visitors for a family reunion of one of my parishioners. Normally when I get a big crowd in VC it's for a funeral or a wedding, and very few of the people in attendance actually participate in the service. As in, when I say, "The Lord be with you," there's usually a palpable silence. But today, most of the visitors had at least a nominal familiarity with the Episcopal liturgy, so it sounded good. And everybody sang the hymns. And we had a real, live organist.

Yep, it was a banner day all the way around.


Sophia | 2:48 PM, August 06, 2008  

Very cool that attendance is up!

As you know, where ever you are, if two or three are gathered, that IS the Church. At least in that place and in that moment. Your tiny little parishes are the Church as much as the thousands gathered at the national cathedral for the investiture of the PB. At least according to Jesus (and Lathrop in Holy People!)

I like reading your blog for a reality check about real ministry with real people in real churches. Things in seminary land are a bit depressing these days (in a Seabury troubles sort of way) and I'm always glad to be reminded of what we're really called to do. And hanging around seminary isn't it!

Reverend Ref + | 3:36 PM, August 06, 2008  


Sorry to hear the school is having difficulties. That just sucks.

Seminary . . . yes. Glad I went through it. Wouldn't change any of it (or, honestly, most of it). Glad to be done with it.

Hang in there.

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