A Word from the Dean in the February 25, 2018, Adventurer
On August 19, the Advent will launch a new morning service at 11:00 in the Refectory. As our vestry-endorsed vision process encouraged us to do, we are prayerfully moving forward to develop a service that is in keeping with the Advent’s identity, led by a musical accompaniment other than organ and choir.
This conversation did not begin with our process, but has been going on since the time of Paul Zahl’s tenure as dean. Logistical and pastoral considerations prevented us from making any firm decision on the matter until we decided finally to tackle it, one way or another, in our visioning process.
Why has this been talked about for so long? I think the reasons for developing the service are three-fold:
•The pastoral impulse
•The evangelistic impulse
•The strategic impulse
I plan on addressing these over the next three weeks.
The pastoral impulse. Many Adventers through the years have expressed an interest in a service like this, both young and old. They appreciate what we normally do on Sunday mornings, but something with a more “contemporary” feel has been in demand for quite some time. There is much to say about specific questions or concerns many of us may have, but the pastoral question comes to this: many Adventers would prefer an option like this on Sunday mornings, which still holds the gospel and its expression in our liturgy at the center. The time has come when not trying this has become a pastoral concern. To borrow one of the Apostle Paul’s images, as each of us all are part of the same body, the time has come when we no longer wanted to say to another member of the body, “I have no need or concern of you.”
Though there is much more to say, I hasten to add here that our commitment is not shifting from supporting our incredible choir in its ministry. They have never sounded better! The proclamation of the gospel is our central and thoroughgoing concern. The additional Refectory service will give us opportunities for this, whether our preferences are for choir or otherwise.
I invite you to read our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the new service, or to come to the Dean’s Class this Sunday, where I will be talking about this. I know there is much more to say, but I am confident that each of us can see how our fellow Adventers come here for some of the same reasons you do, but may prefer a different style of gathering. I am grateful for each of you.