The twenty-times-a-year church

I have been combing the pages of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland and came across one church – small, remote? – that meets less than weekly but more than monthly in a very sensible pattern:

  • nine months, meeting twice a month (first and third Sunday in this case)
  • two months, meeting once (January and February in this case)
  • one month without worship (here, August)

That’s twenty services a year. While I’d recommend not taking off August in the U.S. experience, to not miss the area newcomers, there’s a logic to putting thin resources where they are needed. In some areas, a preacher may come a very long distance. In other cases, the homegrown worship leadership is hardstretched. Or perhaps capacity is up from a once-a-month service but not so much as to double the activity.

If weekly or oftener worship is an impractical option, and hard weather (icy roads, un-air-conditioned church) makes some seasons more difficult than others, then this structure might be a good steward.

I’ve also written about other schedules: ten times a year, and the liminal case of worship once or twice a year.

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 45, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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