From the 2021 Ministry Narrative
One of the areas of our communal life most affected by the pandemic has been our corporate expression of worship. However, our Sunday services have also been a great witness to our communal faith.
While we moved services back into the church in October of 2020, larger funerals and services like Christmas 2020 and Easter 2021 were held outdoors, where families could safely cluster around individual campfires. We also learned that port freezes at 15 degrees Fahrenheit!
Expanding our number of Sunday services from 2 to 4 allowed for greater social distancing, while the vaccine rollout allowed us to re-engage the altar and flower guilds, acolytes, readers, greeters, chalice bearers, musicians, nursery care providers, and the Children’s Chapel. These efforts, combined with Shawn Sloan’s honing of our live broadcasts, have allowed us to keep our parishioners participating in the most visible and central act of ministry in the Church, which is the worship of God in Jesus Christ. Remarkably, All Saints has seen a modest uptick in attendance from 2019.
This summer, Bishop Marty dedicated our newly- renovated worship space, and gave us the chance to celebrate our building committee and donors to the capital campaign. We are proud of this project, and are competing in an international design challenge for sacred spaces. Our church building makes as an impressive theological statement about who we are: A sacramental church grounded in comprehensive theology and liturgical tradition.
More importantly, we now have a space that is better able to accommodate the Flathead’s booming population. Early next year, we will order more seating and combine the two principal services (9am and 11am) into one. While we will continue to offer worship opportunities at 7:30am and 7pm, the joining of the principal services will make room for offerings like a choir, build community, and provide more Sunday opportunities for fellowship and Christian formation.