When my husband, Mike, and I are going out of town for a weekend, or if he is playing in the band on a Thursday night we will attend that worship service. While this service is not the size of our other three services, there are “regulars” who LOVE this service. I decided I needed to get a story about this service. That is when I had the blessing of getting to know my new friend, Anna Christain. When we saw each other we both realized we had met before when we sat by each other one week.
Anna grew up in PVUMC as a very active youth - after all, her mother, Jeanne Scott, worked here and her Dad, Wes Scott, taught Sunday school. She spent a LOT of time at church. She has fond memories of growing up at Pine Valley UMC! She even married Andrew, who also grew up at Pine Valley! However, as a married couple they did not attend church. As Anna explained, it was not about faith or the lack of. It was about the overwhelming feeling of going into a big church. It was about starting over.
Even though Anna grew up at PVUMC she said her friends were not there anymore. And it was so much bigger than it used to be. She and Andrew needed to find “their” place. With them both working full time jobs, Sunday was their only day to do things together or go to breakfast. When they heard about a Thursday night service, they were excited that they could both come straight from work in their casual work clothes. She said that is like their date night because they leave church and go to dinner and discuss the service. It is perfect with their lifestyle and “a great place to start.”
Anna said Thursday night service was like having the opportunities of a big church without it being a big church. She mentioned that they do have the children’s moment and a nursery available. One of the best parts to them about the smaller service is that she and Andrew have gotten to know the ministers better. She said on Sunday mornings she could stand in line and shake Tim’s hand but now they have gotten to know him. They have gotten to know the pastors. They have also been invited to light the candles at Christmas which was special. Again, Anna does not think these things would have happened in a bigger setting.
Anna and Andrew relate to Tim and enjoy having sermon series. They feel like they have found “their” place and are ready to start their journey. After us chatting, off the record, I said, “I think we are going to be seeing a lot more of you.” She smiled and quickly said “yes.” I asked, “Can I quote that?” And she said yes!
We are all on a journey and we all start at different places - both spiritually and physically. How wonderful that we have a place of worship for those who cannot attend church on Sunday mornings. If you are going to be out of town for the weekend, come to worship on Thursday night. There are many people who have to work on Sundays and this is a great opportunity for them to have their weekly worship. If they are more comfortable in a smaller setting, let them know about the Thursday night service. And we may have some people who serve in the church on Sunday mornings and they need a time of worship. It is a great place to get plugged in.
In the closing words of the Bible, God extends His invitation to all. He says, “Come!” Revelation 22: 17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” God refers to Christians as His “bride.” We all know someone who we could invite to a Thursday night service. Are we willing to extend that invitation and commitment?
We all know someone who we could invite to church. Join us and bring a friend on Thursday nights 6:30 - 7:30 in the gym. It is a great place to start!