My Friday, tidy office is mysteriously messy by Monday. Here’s what I found today:
1. Two styrofoam cups with hot chocolate and stirring straws, the unmistakable evidence that my two youngest children stopped by at some point yesterday morning! Yesterday was a Coffee Break Sunday here at Faith Church, so I have to admit being a bit concerned about the timing of their visit. Here’s why: on Coffee Break Sundays, we pause our worship service, dismiss the preschool and elementary kids to their classes, and everyone else heads to the Fellowship Hall (adjoining the sanctuary) for snacks and fellowship for about 15-20 minutes. When we first started this (we got the idea from another church), I was nervous, like I am anytime we change things up, which we try to do on a regular basis. But people have expressed how much they enjoy it! So back to the hot chocolate. If my kids were dismissed to their classes, how did they get hot chocolate? Skipping out on Sunday School? Ha! I suspect they got it before worship started with every intention to finish it later. I can’t tell you how often I find half-empty cups of hot chocolate in my office…and they’re usually pretty nasty looking a day later.
2. A list of names of people interested in a community garden and a video about sustainable organic gardening. For a couple years now, we’ve been talking about offering garden plots to neighbors in our community. Faith Church has a huge back yard which is adjacent to a couple apartment complexes, which combined have over 600 units. Residents living there are not able to have gardens of their own. What if we were to cultivate a section of our grass, start garden plots, and have Faith Church gardeners serve as mentors to people in the community who would like to learn gardening? We’re going for it! Yesterday we had a brief meeting of people interested. I’m excited about where this could lead.
3. An envelope marked “Confidential”. Those envelopes always bring a knot in my stomach. What treasure might I find inside? In this case, I knew exactly what it was. Every five years, we ask all of our children and youth ministry volunteers to update their serving application and have a background check. People fill out the forms, seal them in envelopes marked “Confidential” and return them to me. We don’t have to do this. Our insurance company only strongly advises that we do it. But in our culture it is a reality if we want to help our families feel confident that they are leaving their kids in a safe environment. Interestingly, the Ethiopian Orthodox church that rents from us (meeting on Saturday mornings), doesn’t seem to be encumbered by these procedures.
4. Mail. I often pick up Saturday’s mail on Sunday morning. Just like you we get a LOT of junk mail at the church. And tons of catalogs from Oriental Trading. I’ve often wondered how much money they spend sending what seems like two catalogs every week? On Saturday we received a mailing from our seminary about their golf tourney! I am terrible at golf, but I love our seminary. My eight years there (part-time) were wonderful. The leadership, professors and staff there are doing an incredible job serving the Lord in the area of education. The cool thing about Evangelical is that you don’t have to be a pastor or missionary to study there. The seminary has loads of accessible learning opportunities. Check it out here.
Now to clean this office up…