Beginning January 10, there will be something a little different with your Sunday experience. When you enter the sanctuary before the service, there will be soft music playing, a slide showing with the request to lower voices, and an invitation to come forward and light a candle.

I think that one of the most meaningful parts of the worship service is when we are invited to come forward and silently light a candle, symbolizing a joy or sorrow we are carrying in our hearts. There is a hush in the room, as we honor this time of creating “sacred space.”

It has been a success … so much of a success, that as we have grown, so have grown the lines and the length it takes for everyone who wishes to, to come forward.

Coupled with this has been a request that we allow the sanctuary in the moments before the service to be just that – a sanctuary from the noise and clamor of our ordinary lives. A quiet place where we can catch our breath, settle in, and open ourselves to the coming worship service.

So, starting January 10, the candles of joys/concerns will be moved to before the service. A basket will be on the chancel for any written joys or concerns. These will be shared during the service, as normal.

I’m thinking through how this will affect me – frankly, I like being able to come in before the service, test my mic, chat with people … but I think this will make for a better worship experience all-around. (And I can still chat with folks in the Narthex.)