2nd Congregational Church

Pastor's Newsletter

Every month, one of our pastors writes an article for the congregation as part of our newsletter entitled The Advance.  Below is the article from June/July 2014:

From the Pastor

From the “top” I offer the “bottom line”:  Please add your prayers and support for a new initiative that will begin this fall.  For the past several months, your staff and the Ministry Council have been exploring an alternative worship and church life option.  On Wednesday September 17 we will open the “Living Room.”

Nearly all of us have puzzled about how our church might offer something that will attract members.  While we have not seen a precipitous drop in our membership, we are well aware that younger generations are not well-represented in our church.  It is also true that countless fellowships of our ilk are troubled by the same situation.  So what will the future hold?  God only knows.  But let’s try something different and see if it takes. 

I couldn’t begin to encapsulate the hours of soul-searching, the often heated discussions at church meetings, the “field trips” many of us have taken, the books we’ve read, and the educational events that I, and others, have attended.  It will suffice, I think, for you all to know that we have to try something different, if we hope to see change.  As the old saw suggests, it is insane to stay the same if we want a different result.  So offering anything that is different may satisfy, al-though let it be understood that we have done considerable homework. 

Here is the concept.  We have acknowledged that our Sunday worship offerings draw enough people to the fellowship to keep them in place.  We also acknowledge that “traditional” or “formal” doesn’t inspire everyone. 

The “Living Room” will require transforming one of our large classrooms downstairs into a place of worship, celebration and contemplation that is decidedly informal and nontraditional.  In essence, we will make it up to be a room to “flop” into easy chairs, sofas and such.  We envision a room that is comfortable and unpretentious in appearance where people can reflect on God’s presence and life’s meaning.  The Living Room will encourage much more participation from attendees and less upon clergy, and there will be a very minimal “order of worship,” only enough to hold it together.  There likely will be no printed bulletin and no hymnbook.

If this program takes hold, we reach a new audience for the Word of God, and, I suspect, be transformed church wide!  It will renew and vitalize everything that we call Second Church.

I began this column asking for prayers and I asked for support.  The support we need is furniture and marketing and food prep!

Regarding furniture:  To get this off the ground, we will need to furnish what has been the Middle School Room (don’t worry, Middle School folk, we have great plans for you!). 

Sofas wanted

Have you got a sofa in reasonably good condition that you would be willing to donate or give us on loan?  We need roughly a dozen.  Also, it would be helpful to have some décor items like throw rugs and such.  It doesn’t need to be coordinated, just comfortable!

 Techies Wanted

Then we need marketing.  We will promote this service with social media, such as Facebook, and  post flyers in the appropriate bistros and apartment buildings.


Hosts Wanted

Finally, we need help with supplying a meal.  A Wednesday night program must make it easy for participants to attend without worrying about being fed.  Food serving and food prep volunteers needed!

And of course...

Prayers Wanted!



Pastor Peter





525 Cheshire Dr NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49505 | (616) 361-2629 | Contact Us

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