Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Things That Keep Me Up At Night

The things that are keeping me awake:

trying to make sure that I don’t offend anyone or inadvertently hurt anyone‘s feelings; being extraneous; the people who don’t come to church when they’d been coming regularly, I start to think I did something that hurt them; feeling like I need to make church “fun” in order to get people to attend; making sure all the details in the bulletin are right, not leaving out any announcements or anyone’s name; wine at the Founder’s Day service, how to gracefully invite people to communion when many of the people in attendance can only partake of the bread; forgetting details; calling people who haven’t been at church in awhile, people being annoyed at being called and people being annoyed at not being called (you can rarely win with this one); not adequately communicating events; the church failing to grow; my presence not being the panacea needed to attract younger families and individuals; people's expectations; my expectations; the dog throwing up; too many blankets; and last, but not least, trying to be all things to all people. Oh, let me add to the list, my own awareness that none of this is really about me...

Hmm, pressure much? Well, perhaps I should merely think about entering Rollin's and Paraclete's parable competition (on the link look for the May 31st entry). What would the extended metaphor be for a loving and non-anxious God in the midst of late night anxiety?


Lisa Brown said...

You know, I really, really wish you could see a Slim-Fast-ad-esque portrayal of Church of Our Saviour: Before Joy and After Joy. I think that would help you get to sleep.

I seriously was about to stop coming to Church of Our Saviour about a year and a half ago because I felt completely unconnected to the parish. I don't know if you've noticed, but a lot of our parish members talk a LOT about gardening. This is a topic about which I have absolutely nothing to say. I used to duck out of coffee hour because I felt so uncomfortable. I would stand with a group of women who would go on and on about their petunias, and I'd be completely silent and feel like a big jerk with no friends.

So I started to come less often and less often and for about six months, I didn't come at all. I went to a couple of services after you came, and I noticed the difference immediately. In the bulletin, there was always something to do! In any given two-week time span, I could always pick out at least one thing that looked interesting and fun to me. I think because Meghan was so overworked trying to care for the needs of the parish all by herself, the social gatherings and the "fun" stuff necessarily got pushed to the wayside a little bit until you came.

The amazing part is, when I started going to stuff, I started to socialize more with the people there, and I found out that--lo and behold!--they are actually interested in other things besides gardening! We even had some common interests! We could hold a conversation! They're actually really cool people! And now I have some true friends in the parish whom I genuinely LIKE--not just love.

So when you feel a little bit disappointed because the church hasn't been growing as quickly as you had hoped, try to remember that without you it would have at least been one less. Because I would have stopped coming.

And I even got confirmed! Yay! That wouldn't have happened at this point in my life without your role.

So thank you!

Sorry about the dog throwing up, though. I don't really have any advice about that.

Joy said...

Lisa, thanks for the uplift! I'm so glad that you are part of our community! And, fyi, there is another women's movie night on July 10th, Joy Luck Club (with Chinese Take Out!!). Thank you, thank you, thank you (and I'll see you tomorrow!) hugs, J+ (by the way, I loved the strawberry ensemble last Sunday...I'm curious what you'd have worn if it had been a strawberry/rhubarb festival?

Joy said...

Oh, and yes, they do talk a lot about gardening :) --however one of my first conversations at COS involved someone telling me about when he had to deliver a friend's baby in the back of his jeep!