Thinking Out Loud

April 15, 2008

Loss of Continuity

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — searchlightevents @ 6:00 pm

I don’t know what church life is like in your part of the world, but where we live, we suffer from something called ‘Summer Shutdown.’   Simply put it means that many of the programs of the church start shutting down at the end of April and don’t resume again until after Labour Day (that’s the week after the August Bank Holiday for you Brits.)

The logic in shutting down various children’s programs has to do with competition from evening sports programs, particularly kids baseball and soccer (that’s football for you Brits.)

The logic in shutting down the Thursday morning ladies prayer time totally escapes me (that’s ‘totally escapes me’ for you Brits.   Okay, enough!)

This phenomenon seems to be more pronounced in North America, but here in Ontario it is coupled with something called ‘the cottage mentality.’  This means that if it is the weekend in June, July, or August; one is officially at their summer cottage, even if they don’t actually own one.   This means that the summer shutdown becomes evident even in the Sunday morning programming of the churches here.

I remember one woman returning to church in September after an absence of at least 90 days, announcing to all nearby that she was back and ready to help “whip this place back into shape.”   That did not go over well among those who had been faithful throughout the warmer months.

The loss of continuity here is gigantic.   I have however noticed that among some megachurches the programs just become so overarching that it is impossible to curtail them in the summer months.   This may actually be a major positive attribute for megachurches at a time when people are so quick to emphasize their negatives.

We did attend a local church since moving to this small town where the Sunday School ministry didn’t really miss a beat in the summer.   I noted their dedication.   It was like they believed in a God that doesn’t take three months off each summer.

So here’s to those local churches who provide spiritual nurture at full throttle during the holiday months.   Good on ya.   People are hungry for more of God’s word and teaching, and also opportunities for fellowship twelve months of the year.    I’m willing to bet there are stories of spiritual starvation that take place when ‘spiritual providers’ take off.   I’d like to start a crusade to fight on behalf of those who are simply not looking forward to the next few months of meetings suspended until the fall.

~PW

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3 Comments »

  1. […] so this is not the first time I wrote about this.  I guess I’m quite passionate about this topic.   I call it righteous obsession.   […]

    Pingback by Summer Shutdown Mentality « Thinking Out Loud — May 13, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

  2. […] and raging passion, because I’ve written about it here twice; in an April, 2008 post, Loss of Continuity, and a May, 2009 post, Summer Shutdown […]

    Pingback by Most Powerful Institution in the History of the World to Close Next Week « Thinking Out Loud — May 27, 2010 @ 8:41 am

  3. […] off or a weekend off.  (Read more about churches that “power down” in summer here and here.)  Nevertheless, I’ll grant that today’s piece is a little lighter, or at least it is […]

    Pingback by Henri Nouwen on Social Progress « Christianity 201 — May 21, 2011 @ 6:29 pm


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