East Side Parish Time Change

by Matthew Watson on September 17, 2015

Dear Church,

Over the summer the East Side Leadership Community – which is made up primarily of our small group leaders and ministry team leaders – met to pray, and consider whether meeting at 5 pm was a help or a hinderance to us in reaching the greater H Street community. We collected input from those of you that serve on ministry teams and many of you that are in small groups.

The consensus was that 5 pm was actually a far less helpful time for us in terms of the Greater H St. context and in many ways was a contextual barrier for us in reaching our community more deeply. That being said we're excited for our new time and new opportunities to reach out to the H Street community and continue to strive to be a church for the city.

Beginning Sunday September 27th, the East Side Parish will start to meet for public worship on Sunday mornings at 10:30am.

First, know that the Leadership Community, the pastors and the ministry team leaders specifically – even Mr. Moore! - have already begun making plans and arranging volunteers and logistics so that our move on the 27th will go seamlessly

Secondly, know that the Kid City ministry has been working hard to ensure that the children and their families – whether the children come with their families or not – know about this move. A part of our discernment was to reach out to those families and get their input as well.

There’s been planning and prayer leading up to these decisions and even this blog post.

Lastly, what I want to say is that so much of the Christian life is an experiment of faith. We have to hold loosely to the forms of our faith, but not the substance of our faith. This is why we write so many of our confessions and professions that we say corporately. It’s why we say the Lord’s Prayer, but use contemporary, accessible language. It’s why 2 weeks ago, we sang Amazing Grace to a DC Go-Go beat! Because our faith is rooted, is firm. But our forms, those are flexible.

We’re going to begin meeting in the mornings because we sense it fits our context best and positions us to more faithfully reflect the redemptive story of God. If at some point our meeting time – or any of our forms – become less helpful in our attempts at ‘becoming all things to all people that we might reach some’ – then we release them and pray for God to show us what form would reach the community. We cling tightly to our faith. Less so to our forms.

I just want to say how grateful I am at how this congregation, the Leadership Community and the East Side Core team is walking us through this transition. It is not lost on me the weight of this change on our church and especially on those of you that serve on a ministry team and especially those of you that lead those teams. I’m humbled and honored by you.

Thank you for leading us all through this with the grace and humility you all have displayed. This decision AND the way we’ve walked towards this decision has made us a stronger community of faith. So thank you.

With a full heart, 
Matthew Watson
Pastor, East Side Parish  

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