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» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Ecclesiantics   » "I don't blame them wanting a lie-in on Sundays" (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: "I don't blame them wanting a lie-in on Sundays"
sharkshooter

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
One of church's problems is not adapting itself to real lives of people I think. We have 8 am and 10:30 services. 8 is mostly too early, though I have gone alone. 10:30 means the day is more than half gone by the time we are home.
...

Personally, I'd love an 8:00 am service. That way I'd be home before second breakfast.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Karl

Out of interest, is there any religious music that you like, or do you find it mostly unpleasant?

Plenty. But most congregational stuff does leave me cold.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Baptist Trainfan
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In a sense, all of us are the wrong people to be discussing these issues - as we (mostly) are folk who attend churches. It's like a doctors' surgery asking the people who come in to fill in a questionnaire about opening hours - the result is inevitably skewed.

Surely, though, the issues of what music we like and what times are best for us should fade into insignificance if we are serious about attracting new folk: it should be about what ticks the boxes for them (with us fitting in). Of course, trying to find that out isn't easy; at its best, that's what the FE movement seeks to do. Of course, there's no guarantee that anyone will turn up even if we get things right!

But I do get the impression sometimes that the Christian community is turned in on itself and more concerned with what its members prefer than with thinking about those who are not yet within its orbit. Somehow we need in a spirit of sacrificial Christian love - lay aide what we "like" if it is good for the Kingdom that we do so. The Church isn't a private club, run for its members' benefit.

[ 15. February 2017, 16:05: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

The local RC church has a Saturday service at 4:30. It is the most popular.

...with people who don't do anything on Saturdays? If you do anything in the day on Saturday, you're not done by 4:30.

Our place used to have a 5pm Saturday service. It got cancelled because of chronic low attendance. Our congregation has a mix of older people, families with teenagers, and families with young children. There are few 18-30 aged people living here - they're all away at college, or living in the city.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Expanded version...

I think the problem I have is that both lyrics and music are equally important to me. Now, there's an old joke about a chorus being a good tune with bad theology, and a hymn being good theology with a bad tune, but in reality there are good hymn tunes (Hyfrydol, Abbots Leigh), some that are made good by a good descant or accompaniment (Adeste Fideles, Sine Nomine, Woodlands) and some that are bloody awful (Unde et memores and many once sung, always forgotten, Hymns that Emptied a Thousand Pews). Generally the theology's OK, albeit in some cases if you've got a dictionary of Victorian English and can parse the sentences back through the tortured forced scansion. I grew up in a choral tradition at school, but wheezy badly specced organs, organists who haven't graduated to playing the pedals yet and choirs consisting of three old women singing in unison just don't do it for me. A fault on my part, perhaps, but that's how it is.

Most modern stuff, well, don't get me started - I did a Rant of the Month on that the best part of twenty years ago (have we really been sailing all this time?)

Most of my preferred secular music occupies an arc from Steeleye Span through to Metallica via Jethro Tull and Deep Purple. There is Christian music in that style (well, the heavier end of it) but most of it is lyrically - erm - unsophisticated, not to say bloody terrible. I mean, remember Stryper? "This song's for you to sing along/Wooooooo lala!" Best you can say is most of it hails from an Evangelical theology I don't share.

I've been spoilt by lyricists like Al Stewart and Ian Anderson, singers like Sandy Denny, musicians like Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord; composers like Bach and Handel, high quality well maintained organs played by music scholars and choirs of sufficient size to attempt the hard stuff and the ability and willingness to do it and get it right. I don't go to church for the music, I'm afraid.

I know someone's going to come and reduce all that to "Ah! Not good enough for you, eh!?", which will merely demonstrate they've completely missed the bloody point, but someone always does.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
... choirs consisting of three old women singing in unison ...

Theoretically. The reality may be otherwise. [Devil]
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

Most of my preferred secular music occupies an arc from Steeleye Span through to Metallica via Jethro Tull and Deep Purple. There is Christian music in that style (well, the heavier end of it) but most of it is lyrically - erm - unsophisticated, not to say bloody terrible. I mean, remember Stryper? "This song's for you to sing along/Wooooooo lala!" Best you can say is most of it hails from an Evangelical theology I don't share.

I've been spoilt by lyricists like Al Stewart and Ian Anderson, singers like Sandy Denny, musicians like Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord; composers like Bach and Handel, high quality well maintained organs played by music scholars and choirs of sufficient size to attempt the hard stuff and the ability and willingness to do it and get it right. I don't go to church for the music, I'm afraid.

I know someone's going to come and reduce all that to "Ah! Not good enough for you, eh!?", which will merely demonstrate they've completely missed the bloody point, but someone always does.

Au contraire Karl, you can keep Metallica but everything else in in my record collection - to which you can add BJH, Fotheringay, Richard Thompson, etc.

I certainly don't go to church for the music either (although it was sublime in my Pusey House days). I'd rather it was (for me) sympatico to an extent however!

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
... choirs consisting of three old women singing in unison ...

Theoretically. The reality may be otherwise. [Devil]
Like when the members of the Drones Club play Lady of Spain and there's a prize for the one that finishes first....

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And is it true? For if it is....

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SvitlanaV2
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Baptist Trainfan

I think that at various points in the 20th c. British churches genuinely thought that they could attract outsiders by making certain changes to church life.

Many congregations don't have such faith any more. They also have less energy, less money, fewer people, and the people do they have are often older than the surrounding population.

The average church simply can't offer an appealing alternative to what's available elsewhere - fun leisure activities and environment, cool friends, and total freedom of belief and behaviour. So the idea that churches belong to outsiders doesn't mean much in practice (although FEs are specifically designed for this purpose).

'The Church', though, presumably exists beyond walls and denominations, and includes all who claim to be believers even if they don't attend.

[ 15. February 2017, 16:41: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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Sadly, I must largely agree with you - which does beg the questions of why some churches are good at attracting newcomers (and not necessarily Christians transferring from elsewhere).

I did have in the back of my mind the American model of the "Seeker Service", not as a quick-fix one-size-fits-all approach to get folk to church, but in its original basis of having carried out a sociological survey of the neighbourhood in order to work out what sort of church might be most attractive (and, yes, I'm aware that there are definite questions to be asked about that approach).

Not sure about your final comment though: although believers are individuals, isn't the Church fundamentally a collective entity? (That could be rather tangential ...).

[ 15. February 2017, 17:01: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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SvitlanaV2
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On the last point you only need go back to the link in the OP. John Mbiti in Switzerland doesn't see non-attenders as automatically on the outside of the Christian religion, which must mean they can't be outside 'the Church' either.

British culture doesn't see Christianity and churchgoing as inevitably combined, and IME mainstream lay and ordained churchgoers don't always think of churchgoing as essential either. This is the fruit of a fairly tolerant, inclusive theology, but I think it's also psychological; it makes church decline easier for churchgoers to bear.

On your first point, I'm taken back to John Mbiti again. He seems slightly perturbed that people don't attend church, but not burdened by the fact. He doesn't seem to be doing anything about it - not even changing the time of services, which he says is an issue.

Internal challenges and the state of the surrounding territory notwithstanding, it's clear that growing churches are likely to be taking the situation much more seriously than this.

[ 15. February 2017, 18:11: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by The Scrumpmeister:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Sunday morning is one of the times when couples have sex - doesn't the Church encourage marriage etc.?

Surely every hour of every day is one of the times that couples have sex.
The study says otherwise

--------------------
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Bishops Finger
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9am on Sunday? Plenty of time to get the conjugal nastiness out of the way in time for church at 11am!

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

The local RC church has a Saturday service at 4:30. It is the most popular.

...with people who don't do anything on Saturdays? If you do anything in the day on Saturday, you're not done by 4:30.
4:30 is evening and dark in the winter here.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Bishops Finger
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So it is here in UKipperland, of course.

We've found that 530pm on a Saturday is a good time for our 'Crafty Church' (like Messy Church, only for a slightly older age group - 7s to 12s). It's only once a month at the moment, but those who run it are now thinking more in terms of a sort of 'Family Service', with parents present at least for the short act of worship which precedes the games/craft activities.

Worth a try, maybe, or then again, perhaps best left 'as is' until we get a new priest-in-charge?

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
4:30 is evening and dark in the winter here.

It's dark here, too, in the winter. That doesn't make it the evening - not since we've had widespread electric light. If we've gone on any kind of day trip as a family (museum, zoo, hike, whatever), we won't be back by 4:30. We won't still be hiking, but we might well be in the car on the way back.

Winter sporting activities are usually still going on then (ice hockey, indoor soccer, and so on - all things for which natural light is not required.)

Plus, of course, it's the best part of the day in the summer - everyone is outdoors doing something or other. (And who wants to come home early from a family day at the beach or pool, clean off the chlorine and sunscreen, and dress up for church?)

I know it wouldn't work for us, and I know it wasn't popular here when we had a service at that time. But everyone is different, and if you have a crowd for whom it works, great.

[ 16. February 2017, 01:50: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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"Amen!" to those last two sentences!
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Mainstream lay and ordained churchgoers don't always think of churchgoing as essential either. This is the fruit of a fairly tolerant, inclusive theology, but I think it's also psychological; it makes church decline easier for churchgoers to bear.

I'm sure you're right. But is there possibly a bit of a "downward spiral" here: if the churches themselves say that (regular) church-going isn't important, then won't attendance by members of the congregation inevitably decline? Won't they say, "Well, the minister doesn't think it's important, so why should I?"

I realise that mainstream churches may well say that they don't want to pressurise people in their Christian faith. I respect that view, but might it be counter-productive? Might one of the reasons that some churches are growing be precisely because they do expect a higher level of commitment, and younger people are more attracted by that than by the laissez-faire attitude of more traditional churches?

[ 16. February 2017, 06:43: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
9am on Sunday? Plenty of time to get the conjugal nastiness out of the way in time for church at 11am!

IJ

not if you take your time and believe in a 2nd coming

--------------------
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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Brenda Clough
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[Overused]

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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venbede
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Sunday morning is one of the times when couples have sex - doesn't the Church encourage marriage etc.?

There's a lovely bit in Penelope Fitzgerald's The Gate of Angels about how the village afternoon Sunday School is the occasion for the parents to have sex.

As Miss Prism said, I've often spoken to the lower orders on the subject, but they don't seem to know what trift is.

[ 16. February 2017, 19:38: Message edited by: venbede ]

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Is there possibly a bit of a "downward spiral" here: if the churches themselves say that (regular) church-going isn't important, then won't attendance by members of the congregation inevitably decline? Won't they say, "Well, the minister doesn't think it's important, so why should I?"

[...]
Might one of the reasons that some churches are growing be precisely because they do expect a higher level of commitment, and younger people are more attracted by that than by the laissez-faire attitude of more traditional churches?


It is counter-productive to attendance in the long run, yes. Churches with high expectations are more likely to hold and attract members.

But it seems hard to marry high expectations with an acceptance of pluralism. If people are free to develop their own theological perspectives privately (which includes how often they choose to attend church) then small groups are less necessary, and the sense of community is going to be relatively limited.

Moreover, we have to live with the context as it is now. The CofE as England's national church can't come out and say that non-churchgoers are not a part of the universal church. By doing so the CofE would only emphasise its numerical weakness, and would make enemies of non-attenders who tell pollsters that they do belong. The state church has arrived at a point where it has to (try to) be all things to all men.

Thanks to the CofE's coverage and finances it's also better able to afford its partly relaxed attitude to attendance than some of the Nonconformist groups. In the face of severe numerical decline, there are Methodists and URC folk who say it doesn't matter if their denominations cease to exist, but I've never heard of a member of the CofE saying such a thing. A liberal vicar's pride at being part of a 'church for people who don't go to church' is predicated upon the continued existence of the CofE, regardless of how many people have a lie-in on Sundays.

[ 17. February 2017, 11:28: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
There's a lovely bit in Penelope Fitzgerald's The Gate of Angels about how the village afternoon Sunday School is the occasion for the parents to have sex.

So we have it! The crisis in pension provision caused by a declining birthrate and our "greying" society is a direct result of churches deciding to move Sunday School from the afternoon to the morning in the 60s and 70s (and assuming that parents would come with their children rather than merely sending them).

QED.

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Humble Servant
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I’m a big fan of Sunday evening services. After a week of being in the office at 8:30 am every day, a weekend sleep-in is the only thing that keeps me functional. I am never at church at 10:00 am unless I have to be.

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

But doesn't the "sabath" begin at sun-down on the previous day, and end at sun-down. So a Sunday evening service is actually not on the "sabath". Which I always understood to be the reason why the RCC starts its Sunday services on Saturday evening.

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

The local RC church has a Saturday service at 4:30. It is the most popular. Church, then make supper plans. Not inconvenient. Full of young people. The Millenials. Who do not come on Sunday mornings.

But if they're that early Saturday do they still count as Sunday? Our 18:30 only really qualifies half the year round.
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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
But doesn't the "sabath" begin at sun-down on the previous day, and end at sun-down. So a Sunday evening service is actually not on the "sabath". Which I always understood to be the reason why the RCC starts its Sunday services on Saturday evening.

The Christian liturgical tradition (well, the Western one anyway) has always combined the Jewish system of timing with the more secular one. Hence Sunday begins with First Vespers/ Evensong on the Saturday and concludes at midnight on Sunday. The same applies to 'Solemnities' in the Roman calendar and to similar major feasts in Anglican ones. So I suppose you get two (or one and a bit) sabbaths for the price of one.
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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I’m a big fan of Sunday evening services. After a week of being in the office at 8:30 am every day, a weekend sleep-in is the only thing that keeps me functional. I am never at church at 10:00 am unless I have to be.

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

But doesn't the "sabath" begin at sun-down on the previous day, and end at sun-down. So a Sunday evening service is actually not on the "sabath". Which I always understood to be the reason why the RCC starts its Sunday services on Saturday evening.

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

The local RC church has a Saturday service at 4:30. It is the most popular. Church, then make supper plans. Not inconvenient. Full of young people. The Millenials. Who do not come on Sunday mornings.

But if they're that early Saturday do they still count as Sunday? Our 18:30 only really qualifies half the year round.

Sabbath is arguably a misnomer, for strictly speaking, it refers to Saturday rather than Sunday. Sabado in Spanish and sabato in Italian, are the words for Saturday, having resonances of sabbath. Lord's Day is a better name for Sunday in our culture (for want of a better word). Domingo in Spanish and domenica in Italian have resonances of the Latin 'Dominus' - 'Lord', and so Lord's Day.

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Happy Easter! - Joyeuses Pâques! - Frohe Ostern! - Buona Pasqua! - ¡Felices Pascuas!

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Humble Servant
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quote:
Originally posted by Ecclesiastical Flip-flop:
[QUOTE]Sabbath is arguably a misnomer, for strictly speaking, it refers to Saturday rather than Sunday.

Hence my quote marks.
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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
quote:
Originally posted by Ecclesiastical Flip-flop:
[QUOTE]Sabbath is arguably a misnomer, for strictly speaking, it refers to Saturday rather than Sunday.

Hence my quote marks.
OK! My linguistic consideration is the added information.

--------------------
Happy Easter! - Joyeuses Pâques! - Frohe Ostern! - Buona Pasqua! - ¡Felices Pascuas!

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