On Christmas Eve, I attended a service at Predigerkirche in Zürich. The experience was, in more aspects, different than what I have experienced at other churches. I noticed, for example, the following 7 innovative initiatives:
# 1: Each participant was offered to bring home a candle
The idea of once in a while offering participants to take home something tangible such as a candle is quite good, I think. When I now look at the candle I was offered to bring home from this service, I think about the time I spent in the church - including the Christmas music I listened to there.
# 2: The furniture in the church is comfortable
I have been to several churches where participants sat on hard, wooden benches. At Predigerkirche, the benches are covered with leather cushions. And what is even more interesting: There are, in the church, also comfortable chairs. Building on the initiative using comfortable chairs I came to think about an idea: How about placing a full automatic coffee machine at the chairs, so people can enjoy a cup of coffee while sitting there? In this regard, consider the initiative by the church in Bern, Switzerland, that I wrote about here.
# 3: Cosy light from lamps
What I also noticed, while I was there, was that the light was made lighter and darker according to the respective situations throughout the service. For example, the light was made lighter as people were singing and needed to read text. In other situations, the light was made darker making the atmosphere more cosy.
# 4: Music played on a grand piano
Reflecting upon music instruments that I have seen in churches throughout my life, I primarily think of organs. At the service, I attended at Predigerkirche, a grand piano was used. I liked the sound of the music coming from the grand piano. It somehow contributed to making the atmosphere in the church really nice, I think. It would be interesting if other churches would be inspired of this initiative to try out some more music instruments besides organ.
# 5: Kids are invited to play
As I was at Predigerkirche in Zürich, I also noticed this table for kids to play at. Another interesting initiative.
# 6: There’s art on the walls
At Predigerkirche, I saw art on the wall. Reflecting on this initiative, I came to think of this idea for churches: How about inviting artists to show their art such as paintings and sculptures in churches?
# 7: People are invited to read
I also saw some shelves with books at Predigerkirche. Taking this idea further, how about offering wireless lan at churches, so people can use their electronic devices there? Reflecting on this, I'd think many people would appreciate to be able to stop by at a place in the city, where there's no noise, and have the opportunity to read something on their laptops, for example. What do you think?