At our meeting last night, Session made the difficult decision to continue with a single worship service into the fall. Sunday worship will be at 10 a.m., with all Sunday School classes meeting at 9 a.m.

The rationale is, not surprisingly, based on the effects that COVID has had not just on WFPC, but on churches of all denominations throughout the country. Our attendance is significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels of around 350 per Sunday— through May of this year, an average of about 100 people attended each service, while the sanctuary capacity is 475, and the CLC capacity is even higher than that. And the volunteers (greeters, ushers, musicians, AV assistants and the like) needed to run a service are stretched thin. 

Session did not take this action lightly, and the unanimous vote to approve the motion came after a long discussion in which we all wrestled with the decision. Prior to our meeting, individual elders received input from members of Sunday School classes, Bible studies and other groups at WFPC. Ultimately, we decided that moving to one service is the right choice for the church we are at this time.

 The elders had many questions, and we know members of the congregation will wonder the same things. Here are some of the issues with which we grappled:

  • Couldn’t we delay making a decision until the end of summer to see how we’re doing then? No — for planning purposes, especially with discipleship programs, we need to decide now.
  • Does this decision mean the elimination of one of our worship styles? No — we know that both the praise service and the traditional service are well-loved, and we will develop a hybrid style of worship that incorporates elements of both. Karen Reardon, our music director, is enthusiastically researching how to accomplish this goal and is already implementing some of what she is learning in our Summer Sunday services.
  • The opportunity for fellowship and coffee after the 9:00 service in the CLC is valuable. Will that be lost? Part of the planning process will involve ways to continue this fellowship time. We are still working on exact details.
  • Is this change permanent? We will evaluate attendance numbers continually and will return to two services if and when the numbers warrant doing so.
  • Are we just giving up and admitting defeat? Absolutely not! Staff and officers are excited to explore options that will allow us to determine new ways to do church in a world that has changed fundamentally in the last two years.

While there is grief and loss with any change, as a Session we want to focus on the positive opportunities that this move will bring. WFPC began more than 30 years ago as a small group united in the shared goal of creating a successful church in an area that the Presbytery believed would be unable to support one. Just as our unity was our strength in the 1990s, we can now become stronger as we pull together as one congregation. If you have attended any of the summer services we have held so far, you have probably felt the energy and vitality emanating from our church body.

And the opportunities for further innovation are almost limitless. Worship leaders and other staff members are exploring new ways to praise God and to come together outside the confines of one hour on Sunday mornings. For example, we will focus on art as a worship theme each Sunday in July; after the service each Sunday, we will set up interactive art/prayer stations so that those attending the service have the chance to respond in a creative way. That creativity will not end on Labor Day! This is the time to come forward if you have any thoughts about what WFPC could do to make worship, fellowship and service more meaningful and fulfilling for you. Please contact Marguerite ( or John ( with any suggestions or questions you might have.

Before our discussion of this issue and other items of business, our Session meeting began as always with a short devotional by one of the elders. This meeting’s devotional focused on the account in Genesis of Joseph speaking to his brothers years after they sold him into slavery. Their plan to destroy him backfired, instead leading him to a position of even greater power and influence than anyone had imagined. Rather than retaliating against them, Joseph tells them: ” You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV) In the hands of God, even situations that seem negative can be transformed into something more positive than we ever dreamed possible. As a Session, we encourage you to join together and work with us as we discern a new vision and make it a reality.