We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

What's Different Here?

I so look forward to Sunday!  The last three weeks have been lonely.  With Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and then a snow day, I haven’t seen many of you in a long time.  I’m looking forward to seeing you!

I want to make you aware of some changes that you may notice as you come, especially to the 8:30 service.  These changes are TRIALS, not etched in stone, and invite your feedback.  Please let us know your reactions to the changes!  We want to know and respect your opinions!

First, some background about the changes: in the latter part of 2016, Chyrl Cochrane and I had a conversation.  Chyrl had been leading the music at the 8:30 service for a number of years.  She told me that she felt it was time for a break as the time and energy it takes to prepare and lead music in worship is taxing.  In subsequent conversations, we agreed that Chyrl would continue to offer her leadership, along with the rest of the team, but would develop some alternate arrangement on the playing of the hymns.  So, we secured through Kayren Terpenning, our Music Director, people who can and will play the hymns we sing at the 8:30 service on the piano.  Chyrl and the group will continue to offer their talents in leading the singing of the hymns and singing an anthem as they are accustomed to providing.

There are some other changes to the service you may notice.  In keeping with my desire to provide some more differentiation between the 8:30 service and the 10:30 service, we will be using a more traditional format for the 8:30 service.  We will be incorporating responsive readings, including creeds, and other more traditional elements in the worship order.  I hope that we can keep a more relaxed atmosphere but provide some more structure to the service that is in keeping with United Methodist tradition. 

It is my belief that there are those within the life of our church that desire a worship experience that includes more singing of traditional hymns sung by piano and includes these traditional elements.  We want to be able to offer this type of service and hope it attracts those who find it most worshipful.

At the same time, we may tweak the 10:30 service slightly.  One of the challenges the modern church faces is speaking the language of culture that is not familiar with the church’s traditions.  While the message of the Gospel never changes, being able to speak that message in language that people can understand and relate to is vitally important.  That language includes the language of music.  While I grew up with piano and organ music in church played with our hymns, and still love it, current culture is not familiar with this style.  Therefore, we must sing songs that lend themselves to the culture while never compromising on the message of the good news of Jesus Christ and His power to change lives. 

We have access to demographic information about the neighborhoods that surround our church.  This research indicates some very important information to us that we must acknowledge.  One, the average age of the person who lives in a 3-mile radius of our church is 35 years old.  That’s young!  Research also indicates that many of these folks do not have a background or natural proclivity to church.  I think it is therefore incumbent upon us to speak to them in language they can relate to and understand.  We have to recognize they might not know the words to the “Lord’s Prayer”, nor have any clue what a “Doxology” is.  We can still use those in the worship service, but we need to do a better job of explaining what it is we are doing.  This is the task before us and in my mind a key moving forward.

This leads us to another change to announce.  Beginning this Wednesday, January 18, we will be offering a Wednesday evening worship experience.  This service is an invitation to all, but recognizes that many folks work on weekends or have other activities that preclude them from coming on Sunday.  We are designing this worship experience so that those who can’t come on Sunday will still get to hear God’s Word, experience Holy Communion, and the joy of worship in community.  Jonathan and I will be sharing in the leadership of this service and Cameron Floyd will be helping lead the music.  The service will begin at 6:30 and last 45 minutes to an hour. 

I hope that you will find these changes enhance our life together.  It is important that you understand these are experimental in nature.  I feel that they can aid us in our mission to create an authentic Christian community of love and blessing to all.

I hope to see you Sunday!

Paul B. Thompson