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February 16, 2011
I had a fabulous time at the auction.
It was an event that was helpful for the financial stability of the congregation and was also an evening of fun and fellowship.
Everyone who worked on that evening deserves a huge round of applause.
How do we find other ways to make it a pleasure for people to be here? I don’t just mean for auctions, dinners and other celebratory events. I mean, how do we make it a pleasure for people to be here for Committee meetings and Board meetings and strategizing sessions? How do we make it a pleasure to do the work of the congregation?
I know that sounds like an oxymoron: ”a pleasure to do the work”. But it need not be.
There are three “pieces” that should be present in everything we do.
The first is a sense of ministry, the recognition that what we are doing counts, that it is serves the mission and vision of the Church. Lighting a chalice at every meeting is one way to remind ourselves that this is the work of the Church; sacred work; holy work; ministry. And maybe there could be a verbal reminder of how the work being done in a particular moment serves the community, the institution or the broader world. Because it does; and if it does not it ought to.
The second is a sense that “it matters that I am here”. It should feel to each person that they are welcome and included and recognized. And it ought to feel to them that their life, their thoughts and their inner feelings are important. One way to do that is to have a brief check in at each meeting.
And there ought to be some level of joy. We can become so task oriented that we fail ourselves, we fail to take pleasure in one another’s company and what we have done together. What if every committee were to note the birthdays and anniversaries of committee members? What if there were cakes to mark these? What if there were gatherings after events to celebrate what the group accomplished?
Ministry, recognition and joy; these are important.