Sunday, January 18, 2009

Frustrating Meeting

Today I had the first board meeting of the new year. It was frustrating, to say the least. They set a goal of attracting new members and getting our young adults more active, and then they tell me that I shouldn't use any hymns other than the ones in our hymnal. The hymnal we use is very traditional, and doesn't have any new music in it. They tell me they want to sing different hymns, but refuse to give me a list of the hymns they want to sing. They tell me that they don 't see why the hymns should go with the theme of the worship service.
We also had a long discussion about when and how we should cancel worship. I told them that any decision had to be made before the organist left from the other side of the county to come to worship. I'm going to write an article in the newsletter encouraging people to use common sense and stay home when the roads are bad.

Then there is the whole discussion about how the cost of everything is going up and churches all around us are closing and maybe we should go to a part time pastor now before it's too late. They say this even as they acknowledge that the church is healthy and doing well. I don't know how they expect the church to continue to be healthy if they cut back on their ministry.

Okay. Enough complaining. I called Old Man's sister this evening to see if she would like to go with me to take communion to Old Man tomorrow. She said that he is now unresponsive. I'm glad I went yesterday when I was able to have a wonderful conversation with him. I'm going to talk to her tomorrow morning, and I'll make a decision then about whether I'm going to take communion or just go visit. If he is still unresponsive, I will go talk to him and read Scripture and pray with him. People can often hear even when they aren't responsive, and Scripture and prayer have often drawn responses from people who the family thought was unresponsive. His family will need me, too. I'm going to miss Old Man, and I'm grateful for the 12 years I've known him and for the faith he has shown as he approaches his home going.

I'm not going to worry about the board, I'm going to carry on with the ministry I love. My focus will be on God, who always has the final word, which is a word of victory.


Torina said...

Sounds like an odd bunch. How in the world will you get a younger generation in using the old traditional hymns? Our church uses a mix of old and new music. All of it they set to a nice beat and people volunteer to play different instruments like bongos, guitar, piano, cha chas, tamborine. It is just a tiny country church but you would never know it by our services. Once a month (or during Advent and some other seasons), they have a traditional service with traditional hymns and no fun music. We try to avoid those because the kids have such a nearly impossible time sitting through the traditional services.

Reverend Mom said...

I love these people dearly, and they are a very odd bunch. I'll never understand some of their priorities. I'm impressed that your tiny country church has such variety in music. We sing 3 hymns every Sunday, and 2 of them are always traditional, familiar hymns. Not enough. I have had a number of people request the "old favorites." I always ask them to give me a list of the hymns they want me to include, as I don't know what their old favorite are. No one has ever been willing to do that. No one. They'd rather just complain. I was absent the day they taught mind reading in seminary.