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One Size fits…Some!


One Size fits…Some!

(Worship for a Diverse World)

     A key characteristic of virtually all communities in the west, and particularly in Southern California, is the diversity of those communities.  Even in communities with modest ethnic and economic diversity,  there are major differences in most communities in the preferences of different generations of families, the structure of families, and as a result, the way people prefer to worship.  Further, we all live in a world that offers a wide range of choices as we choose restaurants, entertainment experiences, and lifestyles.  Given that, why would so many UCC churches choose to offer just one worship experience?   Do we really believe that worship can be “One Size Fits All” in this culture?  Or are we, perhaps unintentionally, turning our backs on people hungry to hear the Good News as we understand it? 

     The first Vitality Event of 2011, scheduled for January 29 at First Congregational Church, Santa Ana, will offer a worship experience that draws from the resources available to everyone via the internet, updates the concept of “contemporary worship” to 2011 and engages a theological conversation about why this is important for UCC churches everywhere, but particularly in diverse communities of California and the rest of the western U.S.  This Vitality Event is the first of several planned for 2011 around the theme of the Annual Gathering:  The World As Our Altar: Engaging Life Through Worship.   An additional Vitality Event is currently in planning for the day prior to the Annual Gathering.   An updated schedule of 2011 Vitality Events will be announced at Vitality Event #1 on January 29.  Several of these Vitality Events are being planned in partnership with the Center for Progressive Renewal, in a contract between the Center and Southern California Nevada Conference, UCC. 

Vitality Event Leader: Rev. Michael Piazza

     Rev. Michael Piazza currently serves as Executive Director of Church Multiplication for the Center for Progressive Renewal. Rev. Piazza was one of the Keynote Speakers at the 2010 Church Vitality Event, and is returning to focus on designing worship experiences for younger people, with an emphasis on making technology accessible for smaller churches. 

     Rev. Piazza works as a consultant with the Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Team of the United Church of Christ. He is the chair of the Task Force for Church Multiplication and, during the past year, has been a keynote speaker for more than a dozen conferences and associations within the UCC and at the Ministerial Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary.  Prior to that, he served as the senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope, during a time of unprecedented growth from 280 members and a budget of $280,000 to more than 3,500, with a consolidated budget of more than $3 million. When he retired in 2005 to become Dean of the Cathedral, his focus turned to starting new churches in other communities around the U.S.  Designing worship for these churches will be the core of the experience he brings to this Vitality Event. 

     Whether your church is theologically progressive, conservative, or middle-of-the-road, and whether your congregation is large or small, growing or declining in attendance, you can expect to return to your church with practical ideas for making your church a more vital voice in your community.  Anyone involved in the design of worship or committed to growing the message of their UCC church can expect to take home useful ideas and challenging discussions from this “Vital” conversation. 

     Draft Agenda is included below. 

Individual registrants from a church are welcome, but the modest $39 registration fee is reduced to $25 for additional registrants from the same church in a single registration.  Registration Fees increase $10.00 after January 17, 2011.  The Conference Vitality Team hopes you will make plans to bring your entire worship planning team to this event that is designed to make modern worship accessible to every church in Southern California Nevada Conference.   Each church attending will also be provided a videotape copy of the entire event sometime in February, so that you can continue to spread the message that “One Size Fits Some”.   For churches that cannot attend because of schedule conflicts or travel expenses, you can reserve a copy of the video by sending a check for $39 to the conference office. 

Online Registration is now Closed for this event!  You can still register at the door  $49 Registration Fee (lunch not included).  No child care will be available

(as of 12/11/2010)

  9:00  AM Registration
  9:30  AM Why are we here?  Opening worship
10:00 AM Why Worship Needs to be Reformed: A theological argument for reforming worship in the UCC. 
12:00  PM Lunch Break.  Conversation with your worship team
   1:00  PM “Worship in a Box”.  Experience worship using images and music available on the internet. 
  2:00 PM PM Break.  More conversation with your worship team.
   2:45 PM  Roundtable conversation with churches in SCNC currently planning or offering multiple worship services.  Led by Michael Piazza
   3:45 PM  Break
   4:00 PM  YOU can do this!!  How to construct a worship experience using images and music available on the internet.  (No matter how large or small your church)

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