If you call my voicemail the first word you will hear is H-E-L-L-O!!! People often comment on this and ask why. The truth is the church today is older than it has been for some time, smaller too. Many of the volunteers, Chairs of Committees, have held their positions for a long time. They know there is no one anxious, or likely available, to take their place. One of the reasons I almost never say no to a “favour” from someone in the church is this, how can I, a paid staff person, be 9-5, 40 hours a week, when the people here every day, doing the lion’s share of the work, are a generation older than me, and no pay. In fact they are the ones who are paying.
I don’t really have any skills, other than public speaking. So there is only a limited number of things I can do for the church. So showing up, being supportive, and being positive are the least I can do. It’s true that some people find a Minister as loud, optimistic and buoyant irritating at best, down right annoying at worst. “What if someone called whose partner died?” “What if you walked in a room with that loud voice, sounding so upbeat, and the persons sitting there are depressed, sad, upset?” I’ve heard these comments, usually from other Ministers, not lay people. While It’s true that this could and has happened for every one of those experiences there are 25 more of people who find the shot of adrenalin just what they need to keep from slowly easing into the cranky side of things. Being cranky, negative, and wallowing in pity is all too easy for most of us.
I know when I am in a foul mood and someone around me is enjoying her/himself it has a positive effect on me. After all what is church but a faith-filled community? A reminder, subtle perhaps, that we are here to be together, is a great way of connecting all of us to our purpose. If you think only of a Fall Fair or an Auction as a money maker than it is easy to see the inefficiencies, the unfairness, “why am I doing so much and he is doing so little?” But when someone at the event is celebrating the gift of community and being together the temperature changes, people feel different, and a lightness takes hold.
Take a look next time you are at a community fundraiser for the table where one volunteer is being positive, joyful, boosting morale, and watch the faces of the others at the table. They will be the least cranky, the least tired and the most refreshed when the tables are being disassembled and things put away. At these times in the church it does not hurt to be positive, present and enthusiastic.
It’s a great day to live in our neighbourhood!