Spring has been filled with so many beautiful and hopeful moments.
June 2, 2022
June 3, 2022
Spring has been filled with so many beautiful and hopeful moments; Palm Sunday and Easter, Refugee Sunday, a Mother’s Day baptism, a celebration of our school and all of our church and school graduates. Even in our grief, the way the congregation banded together to celebrate the lives of beloved parishioners and support their families reflected the Spirit and importance of church. Groups outside of worship, such as the ECW, Youth Groups, and Adult Formation groups are thriving.
BUT, much of this feels more like an episode of MacGyver than the fullest embodiment of liturgy or of church. The services have been beautiful but tied together with some loose twine, a gum wrapper, a paper clip, and some duct tape. Liturgy, literally means the work of the people, and when you add up all of the volunteers needed for a full Sunday celebration, our typical 10:15 service would incorporate 2 flower guild members, 2 altar guild members, 2 greeters, 4 ushers, 2 readers, a prayer leader, 3-4 servers, 4 acolytes, 1 sound/video tech, roughly a dozen choir members, potentially 10 bell ringers on occasion, or a handful of junior choir members. So before we even get to clergy and staff responsibilities, and the active work and participation of everyone in the pews, we have between 30 and 45 volunteers enabling worship and other volunteers coordinating each of these ministry areas. In addition to the volunteers that prepare for both services, two servers/readers, a greeter, and an usher round out the 8am service.
And Sunday mornings are more than just worship, our delicious café requires 2 volunteers to set up, 1 to greet and collect money, 2 to run the line, and a cooking team of roughly 4. Children’s church required six volunteers and two facilitators led adult formation.
If you are doing the math, that could be 65 or more volunteers offering their time and talent on any given Sunday morning. And many more offer their gifts throughout the rest of the week. And each offering is so greatly enhanced when there are a sea of participants singing, worshiping, learning, dining.
It really is staggering, and it is possible that in a post-pandemic church potentially unsustainable. We will have to re-envision how we do things. But the reality is that even as we reinvent ourselves, duct tape, twine, and paperclips won’t hold. The church is the people and liturgy is the work of the people. I encourage each of you as you look forward to the fall, make a commitment to reengage or start anew. You are the church and the church that you want to see emerge from the past couple of years, depends on you. It is not an easy time, but it is a dynamic time full of opportunity. In the past two years, I have lamented what wasn’t, but I have also seen very clearly how crucial the church is to our common life and to those outside our doors. I look forward to being the church with you as we see where God is leading us together.
God bless you,