Monday, December 12, 2005

Announcements in Church

Yesterday, I was back in the pew at my home church, glad to be there but feeling utterly like a stranger. This parish has moved the announcements a few times, from the Offertory to just before the final hymn, to the beginning of the service, and now back to the Offertory. So it was that I attempted to listen to the announcement about carolling at a residence for dependent older adults -- but the person next to me chose that moment to tell me something important -- and thus I missed the date given in the announcement. I knew only that it was that very day, or the next Sunday.

As the event was not listed in the December calendar in front of me, I asked FIVE other people sitting nearby if they could tell me the date set for carolling. These five represented both adults and students (and both genders), and included a vestryperson or two -- all people who were not otherwise being talked to during the announcements. None of the five had paid attention to the announcement!

I could not find the person who made the announcement, so I asked our new deacon if the event were taking place that very day. She had no idea. She had not heard the details, either.

So, I wonder: what on earth should be done with the placement of announcements in church? Is there some point in the service that would encourage people to listen?
I found it astounding that seven of us (all mightily involved in the church) did not hear.

(After this experience, I didn't even consider asking anyone what they'd heard in yesterday's sermon.)


Blogger G. Brooke said...

Sometimes I'll start Bible Study by just asking what the readings had been. Often, nobody can recall what had been read. This is 10 minutes after the service.

I'm not really sure what is going on out there. As to announcements, I think they would have to be stamped on everybody's arm with ink.

6:39 PM  
Blogger The Archer of the Forest said...

I recall some years ago Frank Griswold's wife was involved in a flap when she was being interviewed by NPR or some news outlet. When asked what her favorite part of the church service was, she answered, "Announcements." Of course, I believe she came from a Quaker background, which is much more community oriented in polity.

5:53 PM  

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