Eastington Methodist Church
The morning congregation is of very mixed ages and background ranging sometimes from young children (who usually go out for the main part of the service unless it is a Café Church), and teenagers/young adults in their 20s to their 80s. The total size of the congregation generally comprises between about 12 and 20. There are few in the congregation with a traditional "Methodist" background.
Sunday Morning Format (non-Café Church)
The notices and welcome are given at the beginning and is usually followed by a worship session led by the music group usually comprising three songs which they have chosen.
The children/young people (if any as sometimes there are none) usually go out after the initial worship session but can be retained for a "talk" if desired.
A short vesper is sung at the very end - the period in between the worship session and the vesper is for the preacher use as they feel led by the Lord. You do not need to be conventional if you want to try something different. Please bear in mind that the worship time usually involves 3 songs so hosing another 2 or 3 will usually suffice if the service is otherwise fairly conventional.
Sunday Morning Café Church
Café Church at Eastington Methodist Church is not quite as simple as a hymn sandwich with people sitting around tables drinking coffee instead of sitting in rows.
There are usually two of these a month and they often follow a running preaching theme if not coinciding with a major Christian festival. The subject matter is advertised in the village magazine up to two months in advance depending on the press date. Sometimes, a single sub-theme runs over two weeks so it is important that those taking the two session co-operate to avoid duplication.
These are all age multi-media services particularly suitable for those not used to going to church. We try and use these as a link between the Messy Events in the school holidays (when often 50+ attend) and "normal" church so café church is evangelistic in nature. These therefore aim to provide a dynamic and interactive experience. That is not to say that the Gospel message has to be watered down; arguably the opposite is true.
There is usually at least one video (sometimes two), something like a quiz or perhaps a drama with participants drawn from those present, Powerpoint is usually used and there is often a craft activity - but there are usually only three songs.
Whatever teaching or preaching that takes place is best split around the other things rather than in a single block.
There are usually some children and a baby (but not always) and sometimes there are young people. This unpredictability makes planning the sessions a bit tricky.
Coffee is served at the start (until about 11:10am) and then again, this time with cakes, at the end (aiming for about 11:50am).
There needs to be some good liaison well before the service itself to make sure the technology is going to work.
Crèche, Children and Young People
After the end of the initial worship during non-Café Church services arrangements can be made to enable younger members of the congregation go out for activities which run in parallel.
Hymns and Praise Books
We have a music group and a congregation often with some relatively young people attending compared with many churches in the Circuit. As hymn books ceased to be our main source of music many years ago, there is a risk that all but the best known hymns from Hymns & Psalms and/or Singing the Faith may be little known.
The Church Steward/Organist is happy to assist in the choosing of the music, particularly if there are concerns about whether or not items are known by the Congregation. Another option is to provide a theme and we will pick a selection which should fit.
The church uses projection almost exclusively now
during the services. The only exception is in the rare event
that the words are not covered by our CCL copyright license in which
case, only the printed books can be used. This tends to be a problem
sometimes with hymns dating from the 1950s & 60s and just a few
more recent ones, again advice can be provided.
The church uses a keyboard which is very flexible
and can mimic most instruments as well as sounding like a piano or
church organ. It can also play midi files either from disk or by
linking it to a computer.
LCD projection is always used for displaying the words under the CCL
copyright license. This covers the vast majority of songs that are
likely to be used but there a few notable exceptions including
Make me a channel of Your peace, I the Lord of sea and sky, Blessed be
the name of the Lord and I am the bread of life.
Regrettably, the organist only plays by ear so it may not be possible to use totally unknown songs unless a suitable midi or MP3 file can be found beforehand or others in the music group are able to learn and practice them well in advance. For this reason at least 4 days notice of what is wanted is appreciated.
Copies of the New International Bible are provided to the congregation.
The following are readily available to assist:-
Power Point (.ppt, .pptx), Open Office (.odp)
presentations are generally supported.
If you want any text or pictures put up on the
screen please email these through in advance to
Eastington Methodist Church is part of the Gloucestershire Circuit
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