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I remember the shoes I was wearing when Laura and I were on TV together in 2002 (yes, another story for another time, Laura and I were interviewed on a show about dating before we were dating.... awkward... and fun!). 
Anyway, back to the shoes. 
A handful of years later, when Laura and I were moving out of our first home, we were packing, and I found that pair of shoes tucked in the back of a closet. 
Fashion had changed and I hadn't worn them in years. BUT...they were the shoes I wore when we were on TV together. They held sentimental value to me, and I was ready for us to keep them for life. 
Laura, on the other hand, was not. 
I, with my 'me hat' firmly atop my head, was prepared to defend the cause of the shoes. Laura, with her lovely 'we hat' angelically in place upon her head, was instead much happier to talk about how 'we' shouldn't get too attached to things because 'we' might run out of space one day. 
She was right. 
And we're better for it. 
For those who care, I took a picture of those shoes and tossed them... and our household has benefitted greatly from me continually learning the art of letting go of some things I'd like to hold onto for the greater good of household space. I imagine it wouldn't have been a good thing if I declared we didn't have space in our home for our youngest daughter, Mira, because of all the other things I was treasuring that needed space in our home instead. A bit extreme, but you get the point. 
In our CPC leadership circle of staff and council, we talk about wearing our 'we hat' as leaders and not just our 'me hat'. And this is important for our whole congregation too. 
This is one of the reasons we did a CPC Summer Survey this year. We wanted to learn from how the 'we' of CPC thinks and sees things. I was pleased to see that we had 104 respondents (up from 77 the year before, and 67 the year before that).
Our church has been growing. 
Some people are new to the Comox Valley, while some are new to faith in Jesus entirely (this week I am doing a wedding for a family who is brand new to faith in Jesus! Husband, wife, and three children). This kind of life is something we've all been praying for. Imagine some of your co-workers, neighbours, or classmates coming to know Jesus too! 
We have to continue to make room for others. 
When we went to two services in 2020, it was first to accommodate some of the covid gathering limitations. Since then, though, growth has become an increasing factor in our need to have two services during the Sept - June part of the calendar year.
We learned again through this year's Summer Survey that returning to 9 am (with children's ministry, fuller volume, and live-streamed) and 11 am (softer volume and more classic song selection) services is the format that works best for the collective 'we' while offering space for ongoing growth. 
So, on Sunday, September 4th, we return to two-morning services at 9 & 11 am! 
For those who like to know, here are a few other things that influence the decision towards these times and formats: 

  • Current Growth Trends
    • This format accommodated growth among young families as well as among retirees and elderly populations. This is important for CPC and reflects the kind of local community population around us.
    • The survey revealed (shockingly!) that 45% of our congregation is new to CPC in the last 2 years. 
  • Canadian Church studies say that when a service reaches 80% capacity, most people feel less comfortable with how full the room feels and newcomers are less likely to come again.
    • We learned from our own church survey that 1/3rd of our people now feel even less comfortable in indoor spaces that feel crowded because of the effect of the pandemic. While this may not be everyone's shared sentiment, the 'we hat' tells us the Canadian 80% stat is now lower. 
  • Sept 2021 - June 2022 attendance statistics (in-person) suggest we are approaching the 70-80% capacity threshold if we were combined into one service. Many of our Summer Sundays have felt much fuller than previous years and also included additional new families that are moving to the Valley this Summer. 

I suppose it's a good thing that things like this aren't just up to me and my 'me hat' as I could have personally preferred a different format at times. 
But I'm glad my home had room for Mira when she was born. 
And I'm glad our church has room for you! 
And, of course, 'we're' glad for our church family to make room for others who are new to town and looking for a church family or are new to the faith and are looking for Jesus! 
We're better for it.
I'm excited! 
Pastor Mike