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Sundays - a better way??

18 January, 2003 8:08 AM

I'm off down the beach this morning with V and some friends to celebrate a good mates 30th birthday. We're staying down there overnight - should be good fun - apart from the fact that we have to come home again early tomorrow for church.

This gets me onto one of my 'pet topics' - does anyone else wonder whether Sunday is the most appropriate day of the week for church? I can only speak for my part of the world, but for most people living in the streets of North Fitzroy Melbourne, Sunday is an important day. Its the day of the week that the majority of people are home relaxing. Many people spend it with family, many use it to connect with friends and participate in their local community. Its a day for bbq's, sleep ins and coffees at the local cafe. Its a day for day trips with friends, a day for laying under a tree in the park with your special friend and a day for getting ready for the week ahead.

As I look at the way many of my non churched friends spend Sunday - I would describe the way they use it almost in the biblical terms of the Sabbath. My reflection is that in many ways its a very 'spiritual day for many - even if they don't step through the doors of a church. It is a day of rest for them. In comparison I look at my churched friends and see people who are racing from a service where they are participating in something, to a luncheon, to a meeting for their ministry, to another service, to a supper etc. Sure along the way they connect with friends and may have moments of relaxation - but often at the end of it they look like they've run a marathon - a day of rest....I'm not so sure.

So why do we as church drag people away from our cultures day of rest, day of relationships and day of opportunity to have an impact on the community and make them so busy? Why are we so obsessed with filling 'the sabbath' with programs? Why is it a day when our volunteers often have their most demanding day?

Perhaps there is another way? Maybe its in simplifying what we do on Sunday so that it becomes more relaxing and less demanding? Or maybe we should release our congregations to their own devices on Sunday. Let them have brunch with friends rather than have to show up to music practice. Let them see a movie and discuss it over coffee with a non churched friend. Let them go hiking in the bush and connect with God through creation. Instead of Sunday meetings perhaps there is a better time where we can gather to do what we do presently on Sundays.

I'm thinking the Living Room will meet Tuesday or Thursday nights for these reasons. I'm interested on others thoughts on this? Does your church do things differently? Any ideas on how to tackle this?

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