On Wednesday, May 16, our First Church Young Adult group wrapped up its 3rd season of Open Chapel, our alternative worship gathering (Open Chapel takes a break in the summer months). Since its launch nearly 3 years ago, Open Chapel has evolved, grown and deepened. An intimate space that averages between 10-20 attendees any given week, Open Chapel has welcomed an estimated 160+ unique young adults since 2015, a mix of students and young professionals (ages 18-40ish)—many of whom also worship with us on Sunday morning or otherwise engage in the life of our church.
Every Open Chapel gathering is a little different, but includes some combination of singing with guitar, banjo, and/or piano, prayer, meditation on scripture and poetry, a sermon that opens up into stories shared from the heart, and closes with communion. In a recent survey, the young adults in our community described Open Chapel with the following words:
Warm, ritual, communal, diverse
Musical, reflective, collaborative
Welcoming, inclusive, nourishing
Fulfilling and a safe space
Open and affirming! Genuine. Love.
Welcoming, warm, open, beautiful music, interactive
Safe, sincere, socially conscious, devoted, accepting, enthusiastic
A blessed place.
Open Chapel: welcoming, safe, feels like community
Beautiful, intimate, touching, invites sharing, community, warm, welcoming
A great opportunity to connect with others
Mid-week Spiritual Fix
After much discernment and exploration, Young Adult Minister Kit Novotny and her team of young adult leaders have decided to make a few programmatic scheduling changes in hopes of better serving our diverse young adult demographic—those already part of our community and those who haven't found us yet!
Beginning in September 2018, we will offer Open Chapel Worship + Dinner every 1st Wednesday of the month, 6-8 pm (rather than bimonthly). We will also be experimenting with adding a Young Adult Yoga Class every 3rd Thursday, 5:30-6:30 pm. Other regular offerings will include our new Young Adult Theological Book Group, along with other service opportunities and social gatherings. Beginning in the fall, Rev. Kit also hopes to launch a series of Young Adult Neighborhood/Life Small Groups to invite folks deeper into community connection.
Open Chapel young adult worship will take its usual break from June–August and begin again Wednesday, September 5. Several young adults in the congregation will step up to keep up the momentum of young adult ministry opportunities over the summer, while Kit is on parental leave: Sheryl Johnson will host the YA Theological Book Group July 8, 2-3:30 pm, Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman, 1408 Carleton St.
Stay tuned for more updates in the life of our vibrant Young Adult Ministry program!