What Does It Take to Thrive as a Community

Dear Congregational Family,

Building compassionate relationships through Christ is the focus of our Thriving in Community stewardship appeal this year. One way to build new relationships is to meet and greet more members by attending a different worship service than the one you usually attend.

Our congregation is blessed to be able to offer two different worship services that address diverse needs that our members have expressed are important to them in worship. Also, because we have two services, our members have the option of choosing a service that better accommodates other Sunday activities. We do have several families who alternate between the 8:30 and 11:00 worship. We have a choice, and it doesn’t always have to be the same one each Sunday.

Although I usually attend the 8:30 worship service, on a recent Sunday, I decided to attend our 11:00 o’clock service. I stood in the door to the sanctuary for some minutes, and finally asked the usher if I could have a bulletin. “Oh, do you want to attend this service? You’re an 8:30 person.” Before I could be seated, another member greeted me with “What are you doing here?” For a brief moment or two,I felt unwelcome in my own church although I am sure that was not the intent of those two comments.

Likewise, another council member at our council retreat shared that although he usually attends the 11 o’clock worship, he attended the 8:30 service for several weeks to complete his duties as council person of the month. On more than one occasion, he too was greeted in a similar manner, “What are you doing here?”

In all honesty, I know that I have referred to members as “an 8:30 person” or “an 11:00 person”.

Undoubtedly, I have probably also greeted someone who makes a visit to the first service with some comment like “Wow, you’re joining the early birds today.” Not exactly a welcoming comment.

This year Church Council members have been encouraged to attend a worship service other than the one that they usually attend. It may not be the time or style of worship that they prefer, but occasional visits offer opportunities to start a conversation with someone new, to become aware of what takes place at different services, and the many different people who offer their time and talents to make Calvary a thriving community. 

Another way to build new relationships is to come to a fellowship event and sit with people who don’t attend the same service that you do. We all will have opportunities to do that at the Birthday Party covered dish (January 27), the Youth-sponsored Valentine dinner (February 8), and many more fellowship events that will be offered by our three new initiatives: Young Family Outreach, Care and Concern and Fellowship and Fun. Come get to know all the members of your congregational family.

At the very least, I invite you to join me as I attempt to stop referring to my fellow members as “an 8:30 person, or “an 11:00 person.” Let’s not identify each other by the service we attend because together, we are Calvary, members of one congregational family. What does it take for us to thrive as a community? Maybe a willingness to move out of our comfort zone and build relationships with all our members not just those we see sitting next to us on Sunday morning.

Susan Norris

SFAS Chair

Church Council Member


Thriving in Community Coffee Fellowship


Please join us December 16 during our coffee fellowship (9:30-10:00) to celebrate the successful conclusion of our Thriving in Community stewardship campaign

Click here for a slideshow that will be playing during coffee time on Sunday.



We are already beginning to form our teams to launch our three new initiatives that will be supported by our new offerings: Young Family Outreach and Support, Growing in Care and Concern, and Fellowship and Fun.

If you would like to help with one of these initiatives and did not indicate so on your "I Offer Myself to God" form, please contact Pastor Debbie, Mike Holt,  Susan Norris (704-788-1249), or Marc Gregory (704-763-7505)