Sunday Evening Services

After thirty-three years of ministry, this Sunday will mark my last regular evening service of worship. The previous congregation I served for seventeen years, in Abbotsford British Columbia, discontinued their evening service when we left Trinity in 2011. First Owen Sound Christian Reformed Church does not presently have an evening service of worship, and I don’t see myself bringing it back. Sunday evening services have long been a regular rhythm of worship in my life. I remember one Sunday wanting to stay home and watch Walt Disney rather than go to the evening service. Both started at 7:00 p.m. and I remember my father telling me sternly, “I would be prayed for.” The evening service was a nice way of bracketing the Sabbath, beginning the Sabbath together in community and ending the day the same. It was a way of visiting friends on Sundays, knowing how and what time we’d get back home. During the past thirty years I’ve witnessed a dwindling of second service attendance, but I’ve also witnessed a surgency of small group activity. Mountainview has a small group ministry that presently involves some 250 people in fellowship which would be a fairly strong draw for a second service. In these past thirty-three years, people’s lives have also become significantly busier. Both spouses work full-time in many homes. Growing children and grandchildren increase our pace of living, visiting and driving, as do extended families and aging parents. Sundays will be different without an evening service for me to conduct. I’m hoping that it will make more time for hosting, for fellowship and small group activity. I’m also trusting that it will give me more time with Sue, with family and rest. I will miss the intimate setting the second service always presented, more like a small group. There was always time for prayer requests, the singing of personal favorites, gathering around God’s word and where two or three would gather in the name of Jesus, the presence of the Lord. Sunday evenings still offer the intentionality of worship in the more informal setting of a small group. May each of us continue to grow in the fellowship of believers and presence of the Lord.                     Pastor Sid

Karin Terpstra