WT-1: Current updates to the Worshiping Together planning process

“WT-1” is the “This news just in” page. Any changes to the other WT pages will be noted here, so you can just check here to see if anything has changed since your last visit. If you would like to get an email from Richard Fuller each time this page is updated, let him know.

Sunday 9/26, update 6

Our first Worshiping Together Sunday was a fine experience for many!

ALL the classes entered without breaking the mood of worship.

Many adults were excited to see so many children.

Teachers were happy to have the chance to join the Meeting in worship.

Question of the day: How will we handle the influx of children’s name tags?

WT-3 and WT-4 have been lightly updated, in light of Sunday’s experience.

Thursday 9/16, update 5

The first “Worshiping Together” Sunday is Sept. 26, the second is Oct. 10

In the first weeks, as we are sorting this out, teachers have discretion about bringing their students down to the meetingroom doors at 11:45.

WT-3 page, “the main page” re-purposed:

The old title was: WT-3: We imagine the flow of children and worship on a Worshiping Together Sunday
The focus was on imagining what we wanted, at some level that combined ideal and practical.
The new title is: WT-3: We imagine what the flow of children and worship on the next few Sundays

So WT-3 is now for TCFM members who want to know what to expect in the near term.
The main preparation work has moved to WT-4, which is focused on the PROCESS of bringing the community into a worshiping wholeness over the next several weeks.

Friday 9/10, update 4

We are now opening a window of intense discussion and change.

A significant sharpening and slimming down of the thinking occurred on WT-3 on 9/8, no major new ideas, but something approaching a draft plan.

Teachers will react to the draft plan on Saturday, 9/11, and these pages will likely change in response to their thinking.

Sunday 9/12 is a discussion in Adult Ed which will likely produce further chances, which should show up early next week.

The new plan will not be implemented 9/19, the first day of FDS, because that is the orientation day, with everybody gathering in the Fellowship room at 11AM.

However, if we find ourselves in general agreement, the new plan might start the next Sunday, 9/26.

Monday 8/30, update 3

Worshiping Together Update #3:
*TCFM Website re-designed, “comments” function working, WT Pages now accepting comments.

WT-3, Big Update:
M&C presents their plan for 11:45-12:15:

HERE IS THE PLAN: M & C has responsibility for what happens with the children after they arrive at the meeting room door.

• The Meeting Closer will be the one to get up and open the door to welcome the children.
The Closer will go out into the hall and close the door behind him/her.
Modeling quiet body language, and making sure the children are ready to go in,
the Closer will open the door and the children will come in quietly and find their seats.
• Family members will reserve a seat for their child (or FDS teacher) by placing a prepared FAMILY card on the seat next to them.
The child will go directly to their parent once the children are welcomed into the room.
• Older children can choose to sit away from family members. There is no reserved seating for classroom groups.
• Students form classes that make any kind of craft will need to keep them in the classroom to be picked up after Meeting for Worship.
• M&C will let parents know that soft toys will be available for the younger children to hold onto and use during worship
– rather than having the children bring toys from home.

* What if a child is disruptive, or a group of children? PROPOSED: If the child has chosen to sit with her family, the family members are responsible.
CURRENT PLAN: For children not sitting with their parents, the M&C member who is closing meeting is responsible, along with other M&C members present. Other members of M&C should sit near the Meeting Closer, and be ready to step in if needed.

• Currently, many of the messages that are shared come in the last 15 minutes of worship
There is some concern about the effect the children will have.
Some messages may shift to a new rhythm over time as a result.
Messages during the last 15 minutes may be of special benefit to the children.

M&C will try this the first week we decide we are ready, and then revise it, as necessary.
Tom Stoffregen is the M&C contact person on this.


Group singing from 10:45-10:59.

Parents drop kids at group singing (or stay with them).
Teachers come to singing when they are prepared, about 10:55, and collect their class to go to their room.

Saturday, 8/29, update 2

Big update.

WT-2 lightly re-written to adapt to broken “comments” function on this website.

WT-3, major update: “CURRENT PLAN” is beginning to appear for some topics. “PROPOSAL”s are also showing up. M&C is taking responsibility for what happens once children & youth are in the meetingroom. There are sections for thoughts about each classroom/age-group. Perhaps there will be Sundays when individual classes choose not to come to adult worship.
Previous contents of WT-3 moved to WT-3-Old.

WT-4, major update: Preparation time line. Slow, class-based, implementation? Scheduled evaluation?

Friday, 7/29, update 1

Report on discussion at M&C, 7/28.

This is from my (Richard Fuller) point of view. Others who were there, feel free to email your perspective to me and I will incorporate your thinking into this report.

  1. M&C proposed that each Sunday, it would be the person closing meeting who would open the doors at 11:45 and welcome the children in.
  2. There was general agreement that the teachers are doing LOTS of great work, and that we want them to feel supported as we move into the final planning for this Worshiping Together process.
  3. Most M&C members feel that adult worshipers are ready (mostly) for the change to Worshiping Together at 11:45, and M&C suggests the WT subcommittee and the FDS committee focus on the needs of teachers, parents and children.
  4. M&C is firm that 11:45 WT should start this fall, but realizes that, since the first Sunday after Labor Day is September 12, it may not be possible to have everything ready to go by September 19, when FDS classes begin.
  5. It was suggested that during the weeks of preparation for WT, adults from 11:00 worship might come to each of the FDS classes and “invite” them, and explain why (that particular adult) was excited to have the class coming into worship near the end, instead of at the beginning.
  6. Members of the WT subcommittee plan to have informal discussions with teachers and parents in early August, in an effort to draft a plan of specifics on how this will work. We will have a progress report to M&C in time for their next meeting, 8/25. We hope to have a ready-to-edit-or-implement draft plan, covering everything we can think of, by the second Sunday in September, the 12th.

A subcommittee has been formed

Richard Fuller has asked Heather Ferguson and Caroline Fahrney Kirchner to help him stay on top of this process as it develops, and they have agreed.

Outline of the WT posts on the TCFM website:

  • WT-1: Current updates to Worshiping Together process
  • WT-2: Introduction to the “Worshiping Together” process
  • WT-3: What we expect the next few Sundays to look like, before further tweaking.
  • WT-3-OLD: “WT-3” will always reflect the current thinking. To keep WT-3 as uncomplicated as possible we will remove ideas that have been discussed and set aside. Friends who want to see what WT-3 looked like BEFORE the current version can go to WT-3-OLD.
  • WT-4: Preparations we as a community may need to make to achieve the goal of a rewarding inter-generational worship experience. THIS IS now THE MAIN PAGE FOR YOUR BEST THOUGHTS
  • WT-5: Open issues, concerns, exceptions, things to be mindful of. As we approach general agreement about “how are we going to do this,” I imagine this will be a place to record and keep track of “paths not (currently) taken.” If we agree on a course of action over the objections of some, let those objections be recorded here, with proposed alternatives, if possible. Then if things develop the way the objectors feared they would, we have a record in community memory, and perhaps some suggestions about alternative ways to proceed. This will be a place to stockpile dissenting opinions, and outstanding issues that we will do well to remember as we encounter the realities of the process as it unfolds. I will also use this area to archive all comments made, after they have been incorporated into the body of the work.
  • WT-6: Jokes about what is happening, or might happen.

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