GREENWICH, Conn. — As it focuses on engaging its youngest members, a Greenwich church has introduced a new monthly Sunday afternoon service with a more contemporary feel.
The service, called First Sundays At Round Hill, was created to allow children to actively participate in the service. It is scheduled for the first Sunday of each month at 4 p.m.
“We envisioned a service that was very interactive, dialogue-based, sensory-oriented,” the Rev. Dan Haugh, of Round Hill Community Church, told the Daily Voice.
The church decided to hold the service in the afternoon to accommodate the busy schedules of families. Many parents had told the church in a survey that children are often involved with sports leagues or their families at the time of Sunday morning services.
The services also include a variety of interactions, including singing, dancing, readings, movements and multimedia.
The response to the services has been very positive, Haugh said. Many families want their religious experience to mirror their daily life, and the new services fit that desire, he said.
The new services also have different music than a traditional service. Each service offers a different musical experience.
“We try to make it very eclectic musically,” Haugh said. Some months the church will offer gospel, and another month it may offer jazz or a different genre.
The service ends with family-style supper. Each month the church sets up 50 to 60 seats, he said.
The church also seeks to engage older children through a new confirmation program, which it plans to unveil in January.
The program seeks to bring children together from public and private schools. It will also match the children with adult mentors.
Children will also be involved in monthly community services projects to help them experience their faith, including singing Christmas songs to seniors and volunteering at a soup kitchen.
“We believe that all faith should be an active faith that’s lived out,” Haugh said. “We want (the students) to incorporate faith in an active lifestyle that’s meant to be a blessing to other people.”
For information on the service, visit the church’s website here.
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