During the second service, please sit toward the front.

Ten years ago, the number of young adults who participated in worship was growing. At that time, it was suggested that unmarried young adults could actively participate in the worship preparation and administration of the worship and enjoy equal status with the married adult congregation. This idea created a 3rd worship service. However, to welcome not only single adults but also marrieds, it was decided to call the service the 3rd service rather than the service for young adults. This service is organized and served by single house church members.

At that time, it was difficult to decide where to have the worship because at that time, there were only about 60 – 70 unmarried young adults and worship with this number in the large space of the sanctuary was not considered to be a blessed worship experience. Some suggested to have the worship in the grade school worship space or in the space for youth. Then, the idea of having a divider came up. The divider was placed 1/3 of the way from the front of the sanctuary and 5 chairs from both sides were removed to shrink the seating space. By doing so, the 3rd service has a blessed worship service in spite of the small number of worship participants.

Based on this experience, from now on, a divider will be used for the 2nd service. Currently, the 1st service has an average of 550 to 600 attendees, but the 2nd service has about 350 to 400. We encourage worshipers to come for the second service if possible. However, due to the Youth bible study which is during the 1st and 2nd service, more people come for the 1st service. This has resulted in an empty feeling during the second service because of the reduced number of service participants. Based on study of worship services, people feel most blessed when about 80% of available seats are filled. Also, it is inconvenient to distribute bread and drink during the Holy Communion because of the distance among people.

Therefore, starting next January a divider will be placed on the 2nd column from the back. In this way the total number of seats will be about 500, which will be the right number for the congregation to fit, and which will not be too crowded nor have an empty filling. It may take a little getting used to for those who normally sit at the back, but I think that they could experience a renewed feeling of worship when they sit little bit closer to the front.

Before next January, I encourage you to make a habit of sitting closer to the front from the pulpit. This gradual change may be easier for you to make than a sudden one in January. Also, to help you with this new habit, from the 2nd week of December, a rope will be placed to divide the seating area from the non-seating. It is my prayer that you will experience greater blessings as you sit closer to the podium and sit closer to each other.

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