Cancelling Worship

snow-cancellations-250x155It is not an easy decision for a pastor to make!

This past Saturday I started calling and emailing. I posted on Facebook; all in an effort to get more input on what Genesis should do about the unfolding snowstorm. They were saying 8 inches, maybe 15 inches. Around the front range here west of Denver there is wide variation! And from what I can tell over the past 9 years living here it is pretty tough to predict snowfall amounts.

You don’t want to cancel too early, or too easily; it makes you just look lazy.

On the other hand you don’t want people driving when the weather forecasters are basically saying “don’t be driving.” And knowing how many would stay home anyway you hate to have only a small group brave the elements and arrive for worship merely to end up with a warm but much more humble and low-energy affair.

(parishioners, wherever you worship: Your pastor and worship leadership really do miss you when you decide to skip worship on Sunday morning! For better and for worse we notice you!) I’m glad this problem has come up seldom during my years at Genesis…

Then, with a number of factors figured in, and with the snow still falling, and while a few of my leaders were leaning toward cancelling, Julie and I turned on the TV early Sunday morn. I don’t think I have turned a TV on Sunday morning ever. That was weird in itself. And we saw that a bunch of other congregations were cancelling worship!

Peer pressure really helped me Sunday morning. I figured if Steve was cancelling at his church, and the bigger church down the street was also cancelling…I saw one church with a “late start” (like we sometimes got in school) but I couldn’t begin to get a feel for what that would even be like…


Then it was 7:15 in the morning and I was wearing my sweats and enjoying a rare Sunday morning stress-free breakfast with Julie in front of the fireplace. Extraordinary. I put on my itunes “Christian” playlist for the day and we had a grand time visiting, then doing chores, relaxing, and watching the snow.

I also felt an odd kinship with clergy around the county who would similarly be having a bizarre but hopefully meaningful and joyous morning.

Except I missed worship. Missed the people and singing together, hearing their prayers, laughing during announcements…I missed my congregation’s unexpected and insightful comments during our “Offerings” when we have a 10 or 15 minute guided discussion at the end of the service.

Turns out I really like our typical Sunday morning scheduled get-together…

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