We’ve spent the last year attending church at 8:30am and it was not always fun. Steve left early for meetings which meant I got the kids ready for church on my own. At 8 o’clock, Steve would come home from meetings and take the four kids to church. This left me 10-15 minutes to get dressed and finish getting ready and meet them at church where I would sit with the kids by myself. Sunday mornings were nothing short of exhausting.
But a new year, means a new time to attend church (every year at the beginning of the year we rotate to a different time) and now church starts at noon. This may not seem like a big deal but let me tell you, it’s a game changer. Steve’s around more in the mornings before heading off to meetings and although I still sit alone (I do sit by some fantastic families who help me out) the later time makes a world of difference. Not to mention 8:30 church on my own with a new baby might have done me in!
Noon is better. New year, new banner? I like it.
Noon is better. New year, new banner? I like it.
Why on earth can't you go to church whatever time you want? Can't you just decide you will do a later church while the kids are small and need help getting ready and time to get up and be in a mindset to sit through church? Can't you rotate wards and just change each year to stay at the noon time? The seniors do the early time? The young kids later in the morning? A senior who wants to visit grandkids doesn't really have enough time for travel and to really spend time with them cause they have to sit around waiting for their church to start and a family with three kids not even in school miserable cause they are in church first thing in the morning with no time to play before having to be just sitting there? It's setting them and yourself up for failure with ridiculous expectations. Isn't the purpose of Sunday to rest and enjoy family and worship? Why are there meetings that day? Can they all just video chat from home for a few minutes on a Wednesday night after the kids are in bed instead of all that back and forth and time away on Sunday?
I realize this is hard for many to understand. Our church is set up in a way that we are divided by geographic regions. Because of the way it's divided your ward becomes more than just a time you worship – it becomes a community of people unified in their worship.
It is a family that looks after one another and takes responsibility to help one another. It may seem unnecessary but attending in wards/communities such as this gives people a place to belong to and gives them a support system; a support system of people that know you and look out for you, people who have served you and love you.
I remember moving to this ward 4 years ago and immediately we felt at home and felt the genuine concern of those around us. Yes, 8:30 church is hard – especially with young children – but I wouldn't choose another time and give up attending with the congregation who we've grown to love. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I truly believe that. The village that is helping me raise my children includes that congregation. Week after week. Year after year. Yes, it is a commitment and we are fully committed.
This may or may not help you understand but I figured I'd try!
Can't you be in a different 'community' every year? You are still committed by just putting your foot down and deciding it's noon for 6 years. They are all believers in the same thing. Every year you attend the same school but have a different teacher and a different group of kids. You still belong to the school and identify as a student.
It sounds like this year it's the perfect time.
I don't mean just deciding some days to go at a different time if someone wakes up late. I meant to keep the same time for a year or series of years so you are around familiar people. Sometimes it's okay to say no to what is expected. Does honoring the sabbath mean going to church regularly or going to a specific church time?
The organization of our church is set up as such that it relies on the volunteer efforts of everyone involved. If everyone got to choose what time they attended every year, I would imagine it would be a logistical nightmare. Every year new callings would have to be extended to cover all the positions that saw turnover. If it worked as you suggested we would have later wards bombarded with young families. Those same families who may not be able to offer much in ways of volunteering because of the stage they are in. We benefit from having diverse wards – old and young, every stage of learning.
It would be chaotic and hard to manage otherwise. I believe it's set up in a way that allows us to worship at whatever level we are at and receive benefits from the congregation we serve with. If you have any other questions I'd be happy to answer them – just shoot me an email. Thanks!
Great response to the previous questions! I am in the exact same boat as you except in my area we never change church times. It's 9:00 always. I too have kids the same gender and age as you and I too am alone in getting them ready and sitting alone in sacrament meeting. I see my husbands service as a huge blessing to our family and while Sunday mornings are exhausting and chaotic, Sunday afternoons are oh so wonderful!!