October 14, 2018

Dear Friends,

This is the time of year when change is all around us—school is back in session, leaves transition their color, coats and scarves reappear after a summer of hiding, and our hearts begin to turn toward the holidays with expectation.

In this season of new beginnings, we also have decided to make a change that we’d like to share with you. As we’ve been reflecting on our summer Gatherings over the past 3 years, and the spirit that worshipping as one community created, the leadership at Mars Hill dreamed of an environment where that kind of connection would be possible year round. So beginning with Advent [December 2], we will be moving our worship experience to one 10am Gathering for the foreseeable future. With the aspiration of being a church family that is deeply connected in relationship, we believe that this move will help foster a spirit of togetherness, and make the best use of the space God has given us at 3501 Fairlanes Avenue.

As with any change, there will be both benefits and challenges that arise as we navigate a new situation. AJ shared more about this at our Gatherings on Sunday, Oct 14, but please rest assured that our Family Life team has already been working out the details of how this change might affect our Kids ministries and is committed to the ongoing creation of formational programs and spaces that help our children engage God’s story, discover their identity, belonging, and mission, and live out the way of Jesus. They are also confident that even with increased attendance, our room sizes and ratios will not hinder us from allowing every kid to participate in the same quality programming that they are used to experiencing on Sunday mornings.

One of the key priorities our Family Life team is focusing on, however, is how we can best care for our Kids ministry volunteers and ensure that their rhythm of serving allows them to both experience Sundays in our Kids program, as well as Sundays in our Shed. As we navigate a new volunteer schedule, we are excited that this combined Gathering time will be an opportunity for more adults to shape and care for our kids, and remain dedicated to having consistent, trained, and loving leaders for our children. One way in which we will accomplish this is by asking that more Mars Hill families deepen their commitment to Mars Hill Kids and help steward the volunteer realities of our programs. Families can look for more information in early November about how they can “stack hands” with our Family Life team and volunteers to make this possible.

We hope you will join us in excitement and expectation for what God will do in and through our community as we step closer to each other this winter, and look forward to sharing more about this at our Gatherings this Sunday.
Grace + Peace,

Your Mars Hill Executive Leadership Team [ELT]
Amy DeKock, Troy Hatfield, Kyle Lake, Ken Sanders, and AJ Sherrill