Our office manager, Chris Jones, has been on vacation this week, visiting his family in Ohio. We tried to prepare carefully for his absence, but it didn’t take long this week to realize that there were some questions I should have thought to ask before he left. I tried not to bug him about things too much, but I have to admit there were a couple of emergency texts that winged their way toward Ohio. Next time he is gone, I am going to make sure I know where all the passwords and keys are located. And just where exactly IS the hold button on the phone?
Chris was well and truly missed this week. But it was good for all of us around the church to be reminded that we might actually want to know some things about how things work—just in case. It also was a good reminder that Chris does many more things than those tasks that are included in his official job description. For example, did you know that he makes coffee and refreshments for our Food Pantry visitors on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? It is just a small thing—but it provides an example of welcome and hospitality that is a model of how we intend to be in ministry in this place. He does a lot of things like that—he sets the tone in the office, making it a place where people know they are welcome and that we will do what we can to help. (This week, Terry Batza stepped in as our official coffee maker—thanks Terry!)
Our “Chris-less” week also reminded me of how many other folks in this congregation provide leadership in quiet ways—and that we should be thinking of how we can coach, mentor, cross-train in some of these important, but not always noticed tasks, so we can continue to be the vital, thriving community of faith on the corner of 12th and B St.
Could you be one of these quiet, behind-the-scenes folks? No muss or fuss, the ones who notice things that need to be done…the jobs that we tend to only notice when they haven’t been done?
The ones who make sure that… the coffee is made, the sanctuary tidied up, the bulletin boards updated, the cookies set out, the altar filled with flowers, the leaves raked, the trash picked up, the toilet paper rolls filled, the dishes washed and put away, the church is locked or opened, the refrigerators cleaned out, the ice scraped off the walk, the light bulbs changed, community meals cooked, food pantry operational, Back pack buddy bags filled and delivered, Brown Bag truck emptied, Food delivered, Heavy tables set up and taken down, People welcomed and made comfortable, children cared for, powerpoint created, attendance recorded, money counted and put in the bank, bills paid, budget created, reports generated, classes offered, worship planned, microphones work, worship service videoed, new ministries designed, shut-ins visited, food taken to the ill, worship and bible study offered at the nursing home, musicians lead, plants planted, plants watered, closets cleaned out, bells rung, bird feeders filled, weeds pulled, strangers made to feel loved…
We are all called. Some of us will serve on a team or committee. But absolutely every one of us is called to be the helpers in this place, and outside the building. We just have to pay attention. If we don’t know how to do something, or where something is located, or how we can be the most help—we don’t have to wait to be asked—we can step forward.
I really am going to find out where that “hold” button is on the phone!
BTW—Chris’s birthday is Monday! Happy Birthday, Dear Friend! And, boy, is the Pastor glad to have you back!
Blessings, see you Sunday. Pastor Nancy
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” (Romans 12, The Message)