Ministry Area Night

Monday night was the mega meeting night I’d been planning.

We had 18 people, which for our congregation is really good turnout to a meeting night. We gathered for dinner at 6 (next time if we do it in the evening, we will start at 5:30, because families with kids need to eat earlier and we all needed a little more time). After our meal, at around 6:45, we broke into groups. We had almost all of the Trustees (except one who works nights), which was really great, and so I met with them. The other part of the attendees represented the Christian Education, Mission, and Lay Leadership teams. My Lay Leader took them all and had one mega meeting where they addressed all those areas. A bit hectic, but better than nothing.

First of all, hope I energized the Trustees a bit, and told them some stuff I need them to get cracking on. That included our tattered flag, which I had taken down, and presented to them faded and folded. “I’m taking this to be burned,” I said. “And if you want to fly a flag you’ll have to buy a new one. Make it a yearly thing if you want, but it’s more disrespectful to fly a flag in tatters and unlit at night (which is also a problem due to a timer issue) than to not fly one at all.” So there. I also convinced them to challenge the congregation to a matching gift campaign. For every dollar the congregation donates to the food pantry relocation fund, the Trustees will match it from investments.

In the mean time, my Lay Leader got to be shine as Lay Leader. D has a lot on her plate; she preaches at a small church and holds down the fort there, and she has health concerns of her own to contend with. But this Monday night, she shone. She got people excited about ministries and made them brainstorm self-sustaining things they wanted to do, and none of it needed me to lead it. It was (gasp!) Lay Led. wow.

After the breakout groups, Church Council met for about an hour. Our reports were more focused on what we were doing, having just come from smaller meetings, and I think the information got out more quickly and to more people. The only downside was that I had asked them if they’d be interested in allowing a comedy group to perform in our space on a few weeknights in the summer, and there were some pretty strong objections to that. I’ll honor those feelings, and have already told the actor/director to find another venue, but it’s a little odd to me how territorial people can be about their sacred space. I for one feel that the church should be a resource and a community center throughout the week, and a house of worship for a couple of hours on Sunday. I’m okay with sharing it during the week, and don’t feel that it profanes the space. Anyway, to have that discussion (a rather heated one at that, because many people were okay with the idea, too) and get all that work done in just about two hours– that was a real achievement and a good start for this little experiment. We’re trying it again next month on the first Sunday of the month to see if there are people who work weeknights or have small children who might be more available right after church. We shall see.

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