Summer Services: A Welcome Change of Pace! by Cantor Andrew Bernard

28 May

Summer Services: A Welcome Change of Pace!

With the arrival of Memorial Day, most of us are grateful for the change of pace. School schedules wind down, many people embark on vacation, and there seems to be more time to spend with family and friends. It’s an easier time to let go of stress and take a relaxing breath.

Each Friday night we begin our worship by letting go of our busy weeks and breathing in the peace of Shabbat; during the summer months, that peace feels even more expansive. To enhance this relaxed experience, we’ve instituted some changes to our Friday pre-neg and service that I think you’ll enjoy. When you arrive for the pre-neg (starting at 5:30pm), you’ll notice our Kiddush Bar and our new Casual Zone. At the Kiddush Bar, you can grab a glass of wine or juice, and toast the end of the week. (Blessing provided.) Wine is provided, but if you’d like to bring a bottle or two to share, you’ll find a sticker to place on your contribution so we may all recognize you for your generosity.

The Casual Zone is in one of the small social hall areas just off of the Sanctuary. Its location may change from week to week, but you’ll always find tables and chairs set up where you can relax with old friends or make new ones. Bring your food and drink to the table and enjoy the conversation. Not finished eating when the service starts? No problem! — continue to sit and enjoy. It’s the best of both worlds where you can both nosh and pray, and be embraced by the warmth of our community. Planning an early Shabbat dinner? Great! — join us for pre-neg and feel free to head out to meet your family and friends when services begin.

The Casual Zone is also a kid-friendly zone with an area set up especially for the younger ones containing books and crafts to occupy them throughout the service. Summertime is a great family time, and we want your family time to be part of our worship experience.

Our services will continue to follow our Community Shabbat model, usually featuring a theme to provoke some thoughts, enhance the spiritual experience, or set your weekend in motion. This week we will focus on our blessings — a great way to appreciate and give thanks for the start of summer! The tone of services will be a little lighter to match the season, and our 6:15pm start will have you on your way so that you can continue to celebrate the end of the week with Shabbat dinner.

Friday nights at Temple Beth El have been a warm and fulfilling tradition for many years. We hope that our new Kiddush Bar and Casual Zone enhance the joy of our being together.

Shabbat shalom!
Cantor Andrew Bernard

CasualZone Picture

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One Response to “Summer Services: A Welcome Change of Pace! by Cantor Andrew Bernard”

  1. Betsy Garfinkle May 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    Love the idea of wine sharing and the Casual Bar ;plus chairs and table make it perfect. Thank you Betsy and Phil Garfinkle

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