First United Methodist Church Yukon hosts new worship service

First United Methodist Church Yukon will begin hosting a new Modern Worship service this Sunday.
Modern Worship will begin at 10:45 a.m. in The Chapel while Traditional Worship remains at 10:15 a.m.
The Chapel was built in the late 1950s and is the original sanctuary of the church.
Associate Pastor James Hunt will begin the service while Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Greg Tolle will finish up Traditional Worship then head to Modern Worship to preach and do communion.
While the Traditional Worship remains pretty standard or “mainline,” the Modern Worship will be less Liturgy and will have music played by a band.
“It’s a lot more like what other churches are doing with a contemporary or modern worship,” Hunt said. “We’re using the word modern more often than contemporary because most mainline churches who say ‘hey, we’re starting a contemporary service,’ it’s not exactly contemporary, it’s still 20 years old. It’s something, but it’s still out of date.”
When Hunt and Tolle joined FUMC Yukon in June, they knew they would be starting a new worship service because the traditional worship was full. It was just a matter of figuring out what service to add.
After looking at the demographics of Yukon and realizing the average age of people coming to Yukon is younger families around 30 years old with small children, they decided a Modern Worship would be the best option. Although the service began by looking at younger-aged people, anyone is welcome and it’s just targeted to “Yukon,” Tolle said.
Hunt said it’s less about age and more about what cultural language people speak.
“This is the language they speak so we’ll do this here and the other language in the other room,” Hunt said. “We know this area is all growing and it’s growing with young families. We know this service will be more popular with young people. That’s the age of people moving to Yukon and we know those people tend to like a service like this one so we kind of tailored it to that group.”
“That’s the target, but it’s a loose target. We don’t card you when you come in. It’s anyone who speaks that cultural language like [Hunt] said,” Tolle said.
This service has been Hunt’s main focus since January. He said before people may have been mad about this type of service in their church, but now so many people are excited about it.
Hunt said people used to just come into a new church if they moved, but now people are coming in for different reasons, like during a life change. They come in seeking healing and grace and he said he can’t provide that for them but if they come in for a reason and have a service they enjoy and connect with culturally, they’re more likely to meet God and be open to finding what they came for.
“When people walk through that door, I want to help them connect with God because that’s their hope for healing, not what songs I’m singing that week,” Hunt said.
He also said he just wants to be able to reach different people.
“We do what we do because we believe church is good for people and the church is good for the world so we want to see that grow. We want to see more people involved in this way of doing it,” Hunt said.
Tolle agreed that the main goal is just to help people connect with God and reach different people the Traditional service isn’t going to reach.
For either the Modern or Traditional services, FUMC Yukon welcomes anyone of any faith.
“Anyone seeking God,” Tolle said.
“Something that I think Methodists have always done pretty well is ‘everyone’s welcome,’” Hunt said. “This church is already that way. Everyone that comes in, someone smiles at them and is glad they’re there.
“You can’t really call our church diverse, but we’re about as diverse as Yukon as a whole is. It shows me that everybody really is welcome and it’s fun to be a part of that.”
Although the Modern Worship service is the biggest change for FUMC Yukon, they also changed up their Sunday School some and revamped their Wednesday nights to appeal to all people rather than just host one bible study.
The Modern Worship service will begin at 10:45 Sunday.

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