No Longer Serving Lunch

Starting next Sunday, we will no longer be serving sandwiches after the first worship service. We will continue to serve food after the second service as usual.

More and more people are coming to know Christ through our church. As a result we are experiencing a shortage of parking spaces. The parking problem wouldn’t be so severe if the number of people attending each service were more even. Currently, about 100 more people attend the first service than the second one. If 30 to 40 families switched to the second service, there would be many more parking spaces available. The church next to us has graciously allowed us to use 60 to 70 of their parking spaces after 11:15 AM, so these could be used for the second service.

Last Sunday we made a special video presentation that appealed to members without children enrolled in Sunday school during the first service hour and members not ministering to attend the second or the third worship service. The result has been discouraging. On the Sunday I made this announcement, 438 people attended the first service, 357 the second, and 104 the third. The following Sunday, 451 people attended the first service, 314 the second, and 100 the third. Instead of dropping, the difference between attendance in the first and second services increased, 81 to 137. The deacons committee has therefore decided that we cannot depend on voluntary switching to ease the parking troubles. We need to take other measures. This is why we decided to not serve sandwiches after the first service.

Since lunch will not be served, many parents will pick up their children and leave immediately, and this will hopefully free up parking spaces for people who come to the second service. Some people might even switch to the second service, since food is served afterward and they can stay as long as they want without being pressured to leave.

If this measure doesn’t help, the next option is to have the first worship service start 15 minutes earlier. I would prefer not to do this because this might cause attendance in the first children’s service to drop. The situation for the children’s Sunday school is the reverse of the adults. Many more children attend the second service than the first one. Some parents with younger children may switch to the second service if they find it hard to wake up their kids and prepare them in time for the first Sunday school.

Our parking problems are only temporary because we are in the process of purchasing 5.7 acres of land across the street at a price of $310,000. I know some members want to buy the land north of our current location since it’s adjacent to the church so there’s no street to cross. But the owner of that land asked for $700,000 for 3.9 acres, almost twice the cost for only 2/3 of the land we’re getting for the property across the street. So we decided it would not be a wise investment. However, there is still a possibility that we may swap the land once we buy the land across the street. We will have a church business meeting on February 11 to pass the motion to purchase the land.

The land is an investment for the future. It will be given to NLF for them to build their own sanctuary and education facilities. The Korean speaking congregation will only use a part of the land to build an worship center for the youth. Of course, both the English and Korean speaking congregations will share the parking lot.

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