COLUMBIA– Columbia United Church of Christ will introduce a new type of Saturday worship service beginning Sept. 17.
Currently, the church has a traditional service held on Sunday mornings. The Rev. Steve Swope plans to introduce The Welcome Place, a more relaxed, discussion-type service held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
“There are people who work Sunday,” Swope said. “There are tons of activities in the community, including kids' sports on Sunday mornings. So, the idea was how can we provide a service at another time that will meet the needs of people for whom Sunday morning just isn’t working, for some reason or another.”
The Welcome Place will include a story from the Bible, singing, an acoustic band and a discussion-based sermon. One of the goals is to allow members to work out the week’s problems and enter the new week feeling refreshed.
“This is an extra service that’s a very different kind of service at a different time,” Swope said. “But we’re not trying to get rid of or minimize our regular Sunday morning service at all.”
Swope hopes to see more of the congregation attending each weekend between the new service and the existing Sunday morning service. Currently, the congregation includes about 385 adult and youth members, but around 145 usually attend Sunday service.
“One of the big things that we are doing is recognizing that people have questions, people have doubts, people have uncertainties about all the things they’ve heard about the Christian faith,” Swope said. “We want to allow people the opportunity to, in the midst of the service, ask questions, react, discuss. It’s going to be very interactive.”