Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September 2015

Friends,

Impressed yet? In August 2013 upon my arrival I was asked to work on the goal of building a cohesive and mission-driven staff.  I would have never predicted the hills and valleys that we have experienced together in assembling such a dynamic team. The Congregation should be proud and blessed. I know I'm grateful as this work wasn't done in a vacuum. We all had to participate, collaborate, and trust.

Let's reflect on one day in the life of our Congregation. On September 13th I invited our Director of Child and Youth Programs Beth Matthews to deliver a sermon in my absence. I hear she was quite successful -- you can slow down on the emails sent to me offering accolades for Beth.  I wasn't surprised. Beth is a talented woman who understands who this Congregation wants to be.

Our Sunday Music Coordinator Peilin Ko was given the theme of the service just days before our September 13th service. That was my doing. The information given to Peilin was not as in depth as she would typically get. It did not prevent Peilin from coordinating a Sunday music program that couldn't have been a better match, including offering a guest musician that had everything to do with the theme and message of the day. None of us planning the service expected Peilin to offer us this. Peilin obviously has gifts that will serve us well. Peilin has listened to you and understands what you expect in a music program and continues to deliver beautifully.

Barbara Hatzfeld is contracted to serve as our office administrator from 9:30am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday. When you see the order of service, the ushers, the sound on many Sundays, the visors, hearing devices etc., and the extra organization for the service to run smoothly, you are witnessing some of Barbara's work on Sunday.  Most of the work you do not pay Barbara to do. She sees the need and fills it. Without Barbara on September 13th the Congregation would have felt less welcomed and comfortable and the service would have felt less organized.

We can't forget about our sexton, Willie Nelson. Willie does his work to prepare for Sunday undercover. He isn't just responsible to make sure your bathrooms are stocked, the sanctuary carpets are vacuumed, or the chairs are arranged.  On September 13th Willie was asked to move things in and out of the sanctuary, hang things, take things down, arrange and clean additional things and spaces. Your sidewalks were free of sand and debris, the trash our renters leave in our grass is removed, and much more. Willie's work is not typically associated with Sunday service planning -- yet it is.

Your staff, including myself, are here to serve you. We have assembled a staff that will bring you closer and closer to the mission of our Congregation. I'm highlighting September 13th because your staff showed up for you. We are achieving the goals set for a staff team by the Congregation in 2013. It is right to pause and reflect on our growth. No, not the growth charted for membership. Rather the growth we have achieved in becoming more deeply aware of our strengths, our challenges, and our opportunities. We can reflect on the growth of being connected to one another in a more calm and compassionate way.

We are here to serve you. How may we help?

Rev. CJ