Home » Church encourages dressing down for 'casual Sundays'

Church encourages dressing down for 'casual Sundays'


By PATRICK L. SULLIVAN


 

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Congregational Church has adopted a few modifications of the Sunday routine, in the hope of attracting more people to Sunday services over the summer.

"I didn’t quite realize the extent to which Salisbury is a vacation and weekend destination," said interim Pastor Stephen Austin.

The pastor and the congregation decided they wanted to broaden the appeal of Sunday worship, "to make the church visibly and obviously welcoming to everybody, regardless of tradition... or geography," Austin said.

Over the summer, visitors to the church will experience "less liturgy and more music — some contemporary."

Austin will forgo the usual robe, and the congregation will be urged to dress casually.

"We’re taking a stab at relaxing the atmosphere," said Austin.

And so far the congregation is responding well, he added.

There are other changes afoot. Austin plans to incorporate a question-and-answer section into the sermon, on topics such as church history, the Bible, and Christian life. Starting in late July a second hour devoted to a discussion group on that week’s sermon will be offered after the service.

And there will be more prayer as a congregation — "some impromptu and some liturgical, in a group setting," Austin said.

"It’s a pastor’s dream — a congregation that wants to be more prayerful."

The new regimen has been in place for a couple of weeks. The arrival of a large contingent of staffers, mostly young adults, from the Silver Lake conference center in Sharon at one service helped the informality along.

The changes "add to a sense of spontaneity," Austin said. Weekenders can come to church "without having to alter who they are.

"So don’t leave God out of your weekend."

Sunday services are at 10 a.m. For more information see salisbury congregational.org or call 860-435-2442.

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