Dear Tiffin residents and community leaders,
We are writing out of concern for our community because of the growing disregard that institutions and organizations have in their planning towards honoring Sunday morning as a time set aside to worship God. We reluctantly accept that many people have no choice but to work on Sundays and that our understanding and practice of Sabbath has changed from previous generations, when businesses closed on Sundays and activities were limited.
Sunday morning no longer is the only time that many of our churches offer a time of worship. Ministries have adapted to the changing needs of the community. However, Sunday morning remains the primary time for most churches in which Christians gather for education programs, activities, and to offer praise and thanks to God in worship. When sports programs, practices and tournaments are regularly scheduled on Sunday mornings, they put many parents and their children in a position of having to choose between their obligation to their sports team and their loyalty and commitment to their church family. It is possible exceptions can be made so both can be done.
In order for many families to do this, we as leaders of Tiffin's faith community feel it is necessary for community leaders and planners to respect Sunday morning as a central time for worship and to affirm children's participation in the activities of the church. It also is essential for parents to advocate for their child's spiritual wellbeing and to challenge the scheduling of programs that conflict with their family's time for worship. Together, we can teach our children what is truly important through their participation in sports and their involvement in worship and Christian education programs. This is our hope and prayer.
Endorsed by the following members of the Seneca County Ministerial Association: the Rev. Kenneth Gillikin; the Rev. Pam Easterday; the Rev. Donna Van Trees; Sister Roberta Marie Doneth, OSF; the Rev. Louis Dorsch; and Capt. PB Stetser and Capt. Becky Stetser