Summertime Worship Experiences

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Well, it's summertime.  It reminds me of that song "Summertime" from the musical "Porgy and Bess" where it brings an aroma of sunshine, easy-going evenings, watermelon, fresh garden produce, etc.  But Summer also brings a 180 degree turn when it comes to worship at Beckwith Hills.  Contrary to what I grew up with - I grew up in a farming community where the Summer was just as busy as the school year, so church attendance was not affected by camping, etc.  But I came to the city to be a worship director and the city church left for the countryside!

Though we are not a large congregation by any means, we seem to have a plethora of cottagers, campers, vacationers, summer sports camps, etc.  That leaves each week a mystery as to who will be able to participate in worship.  I have an occasional song leader, instrumental group, or praise team, but for the most part, we play it week by week.  

Summer is a good time for me as a worship leader not only to relax a bit, but to reflect on the past year and plan for the seasons ahead.  I use this time for reflecting, scheduling, and looking at the holidays on the calendar.  I almost schedule backwards, I start with Christmas Day, and move toward Labor Day Weekend.  Then I start with Easter Sunday and move toward New Year's Day.  I guess the reason I work that way as far as scheduling, is that for some uncanny reason, holidays such as Easter, fall within the "Spring Break" season in Michigan.  In my opinion, then the church gets "a second fiddle" as for celebrating in grand style. This way, I can get over my lament of not having a full instrumental group and choir for Easter.  But this year is different, since Easter is 2 weeks after the Spring Break Season, I get to "Pull Out ALL the Stops!" because I hope to have everyone willing and available to participate (barring another school activity to supplement spring break).  

So how do you spend your summers?  Are you busy as ever? Will you get to "take time" for yourself? How did you plan your summer worship programming?

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I have to admit as a congregant I more relaxed in regular attenance during the summer months.  Part of it is vacations, part of it is that the  children's services are on summer break and part of it is the laziness of summer.