Reflections - Sept. 1, 2017

danby Rev. Dan Brown


Last month, on August 6, we started our new Sunday schedule. We moved around the times of our worship services, created a common hour for Sunday School, and made a few changes in the liturgy of our traditional services. Since that time, a number of you have asked about the impact of these changes.

First, we see a significant increase in our worship attendance. Last month our overall weekly worship attendance averaged 1141 people per week. In August of 2016, our average attendance was 1031. That is an increase of 110 people from the previous year. In August of 2015, our average attendance was 1105, which is an increase of 36 people per week. What this seems to suggest is that the change has had a positive impact on our worship attendance.

As of this writing, we are still collecting the numbers for Sunday School. Initial indicators are Sunday School attendance is up overall from last year. This past Sunday, 24 people met with David Melton who are looking for a Sunday School class or to start a new one. In conversations with a number of Sunday School teachers, reports are that people who have not been in Sunday School in one or more years are returning, and there are a number of new faces as well.

In terms of contributions, last month we saw a 5% increase over August of 2016, and a 7% increase from August of 2015.

When we first made the decision to go to the new schedule, one of our concerns was how moving the clock back 15 minutes would impact the attendance at our Contemporary worship. Average attendance at our Contemporary Service has actually increased.

The same is true for our 11:05 a.m. Traditional Service. Those of you who attend that service have told me how liturgy changes and moving the choir to the front has enhanced the energy in that service in a significant and noticeable way.

Historically, DUMC has sustained two large services and one smaller service. As our Contemporary Service grew we were trying to sustain three large services, which weakened two of them. We are now back to two larger services and one smaller service.

These changes are still fresh and it will take time for it all to flesh itself out, but I do hope you find the initial response as encouraging as I do.
See you Sunday, if not before!

 dan-brown-black