My Friday tidy office is mysteriously messy on Monday. Here’s what I found today:
1. Crumbs and other telltale signs that people were here. Brownie crumbs on the counter, leftover from the brownies served during coffee break yesterday. A scribble page (which we keep in our sanctuary pews for kids) with lots of scribble on it. You know the kind of scribbles you make when a pen is not working and you’re trying to get the ink flowing again? There was also something missing from my office. When I walked into my office to gather up my laptop and coat on the way out the door after worship and classes yesterday, my phone was gone. It wasn’t the first time that has happened, so while it is initially startling to see that it is gone, I remembered the previous occurrences and wasn’t worried. All these pieces of evidence, the crumbs, scribbles, and missing phone, all point to one group of people. My kids. I’m glad that my office becomes their hangout after church, and I’m even glad to clean up after them, though it would be nice for them to learn to take care of that themselves! That will be a talk for another day.
2. Notes and things. All manner of notes were in my office today. One is from a faithful volunteer who was giving me a record of the visits that made the previous month. I am super-thankful for the people in our congregation who visit others, especially the hospitalized and homebound. Faith Church is medium-size, and though not large, it is not sustainable to think that I, the pastor, could visit all our people on a regular basis. There was also in my office a check, paying to reimburse the church for a book that one of our classes is studying. This is one of two months throughout the year that we pause our regular classes and offer month-long electives. One of the those electives is studying a book on marriage, another a book on being a mentor-leader, and a third is a class about relationships. The classes have been wonderful! I also found a recommendation form for one of our congregation who is going back to school. You might not realize it but pastors are often called up to make recommendations. I have done so for high school students doing class projects, getting their Eagle scouts, for people applying for jobs, for school and for other organizations. It is a pleasure to support our people that way!
3. Lists. I knew these were here, but I thought I would tell you about them anyway. One is a list of leaders from the church who have responded to say they are coming to a leader’s drop-in that we’re having next month. The next is a list of ministerium members who are coming to next month’s ministerium meeting at a local restaurant (who needs a count). There is also a list of men coming on our Men’s Retreat at Twin Pines in a couple weeks. And finally some Advent lists, as the joyous Season of Advent begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This year we not only have a list of people that lighting the Advent Wreath each Sunday, but we also have a list of people that are creating original art for each week using our art panels. Then we also have a list of people that are speaking at our Christmas Eve service. For years we did this on Good Friday, often using the Seven Last Sayings of Christ on the Cross. But since we have started participating in the ministerium’s Community Good Friday service, we were missing the opportunity of hearing from our own people. Christmas Eve became the perfect spot for this, and on that night each speaker will give a mini-sermon from the vantage point of one of the main characters of the Nativity Story. I can’t wait!
And for those of you who are list-makers, I thought this article was helpful.
Well, now it’s time to clean up this mess!