Summers in San Francisco are more like wet and cold winters. When the fog rolls in thick, you know it is time to pull out the jackets. Needless to say, my kids don’t have the usual summer clothing of shorts and flip flops. They have been deprived of summer memories of jumping through sprinklers on hot days and eating popsicles on the porch to cool off. Maybe that explains why my four year old girl protested when I told her we were going swimming after church. “I want to go to church!” she exclaims. I guess I should be happy that she loves going to church so much.
Usually church slows down for most in the summer. So many families go off for vacation and attendance goes down. For me, summers are a wonderful time to experiment and try all the worship ideas that have been floating in my head. For a while now, I have been experimenting with intergenerational worship services – where worshippers of all ages and needs are able to engage in worship at their comfort level. This has meant playing with the sanctuary and pew layout, making careful music choices, and creating interactive ways to pray and reflect on the sermon. My hope is that soon we move away from things like having a children’s sermon.
By the way, my 4 year old ended up loving her time at the swimming pool – realizing she could have fun at church and at the pool. Now to convince my 7 year old son that Disneyland is more fun than presbytery meetings.