New Apostolic Church USA

A Time For...

"To Everything There is A Season" from the 2021 Spring Vision Newsletter

Imagine your day. How does it start? How does it end? Perhaps you pray, read, or exercise. Perhaps you cook a meal, watch TV, or spend time with family. Most likely, whether intentional or not, you have some routines that help create a rhythm for you. Even outside of the home, rhythms are all around us and can reveal themselves daily, monthly, or yearly (most know the importance of April 15th). Even within the divine service experience, the liturgy and flow of the service generates a regular cadence. Rhythms create consistency and reliability; they shape our expectations of how we interact with the world, each other, and even ourselves. This was particularly emphasized last year when the pandemic struck and disrupted our normal rhythms, resulting in inconsistent experiences and expectations, as systems and norms grew less reliable.

We also see rhythms in the Bible. Some, God created, such as the seasons in the Creation, and some, He prescribed, such as the Sabbath and feasts of Leviticus 23. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, prescribed in Leviticus 23:4-8, is the Passover celebration that Jesus was celebrating with His disciples when He instituted Holy Communion. Just like in Biblical times, seasons also help us create certain rhythms that aid in focusing our time and attention.

In recent years, the Church, through divine services, VISION Newsletter articles, and articles on the international church’s news website, nac.today – has drawn more attention to the Christian calendar, sometimes referred to as the liturgical calendar. While the Christian calendar is not specifically outlined in the Bible, it was developed in the 16th century to emphasize the most important events in Scripture. This calendar, which many denominations recognize and observe, is marked by specific days of celebration and commemoration, such as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. These holy days are often the culmination of seasons, such as Advent, Lent, and Eastertide. Liturgical rhythms and seasons exist to promote anticipation, reflection, and preparation.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, we can read that everything has a season and every season a purpose.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…

As the Church continues to highlight liturgical seasons based on the Christian calendar, the New Apostolic Church USA will start to align certain administrative and ministerial functions to a more targeted seasonal approach over the next year.

Recently, some areas of the Church have already started to align their processes to a seasonal approach, for instance, how youth and children’s teaching material schedule is modeled after an academic year.

Another administrative function that will have a seasonal approach going forward involves our volunteers that work with children and youth. This will combine an existing process (safety protocols, including background checks for those that work directly with minors) with a new process of Assignments for those specific roles (for more on Assignments, please see the Winter 2020 VISION Newsletter).

Again, rhythms help create consistency and reliability. By creating seasonal rhythms for certain administrative functions within the church, those involved (whether a teacher, parent, rector, or district rector) are able to have a more clearly defined understanding of what can be expected and when. Additionally, by having a more concentrated effort during specific seasons, our administrative resources and time can be focused in a more efficient manner in executing these functions. For example, background checks for volunteers working with children and youth can be performed during a targeted two-month period of the year rather than sporadically throughout the year. Overall, everyone and everything tends to work better when an established rhythm is known, and expectations are clearly defined.

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