Thursday, March 12, 2015


There have been hints of spring in the air this past week, and it is much appreciated.  The snow and ice are beginning to melt, and I have determined it is now safe to make the journey to the end of my driveway to retrieve my mail. 

There has been lots going on, and some of it has been stressful, to say the least.  Highlights: 
  • Daughter continues to cycle, and is often manic.  She has two men she is seeing right now, and the one she is going to marry changes daily.  Earlier this week she wanted to move into an apartment with one.  We had a series of conversations that day, and she was not happy with me, to say the least.  At one point, I told her I loved her and the conversation wasn't going anywhere, so I hung up.  She called back so she could hang up on me. 
  • While I was meeting with a family to plan a funeral, Administrative Assistant interrupted to tell me a man from adult protective services was at the church to talk to Daughter and me.  It seems that they are establishing a pattern of having adult protective services involved with staff changes.  ..This time, the old staff didn't like the new woman, so was convincing the women to report that the new staff member was physically abusing them.  
  • Our new treasurer was having difficulty getting the January financial statement to balance.  He is now on a quest to find mistakes in past reports.  At one point, he wanted all the records since 2007.  We still haven't received a January financial statement from him.  He comes into the office several days a week to ask Administrative Assistant to print him more reports.  
  • I finally went for a second opinion on my broken arm.  I'm back wearing my brace (and Administrative Assistant and I worked together to create sleeves to wear under it to reduce irritation.  I'm getting physical therapy and will be getting a bone stimulator.  I go back to the new doctor after Easter.  
  • A man came by to talk about his struggles with his adult children.  I made a suggestion, and received a text from his wife that evening thanking me.  My suggestion had helped.  
  • Two of our staff members were in to tell me they are resigning.  We have a plan to fill one position, but have to figure something out for the other.  
 Today we had a memorial service for a member.  We buried his son several years ago, and he was diagnosed with the same cancer about a month before his death.  It was a big service.  Most of our members who aren't retired took time off work to be there.  Both the memorial service and the visitation yesterday were  at the church.  We did it this way for his son, and people complained that it was too much work.  They weren't sure we should do it this way again, as most of our members are older and we couldn't count on them.  The congregation has changed.  One woman said yesterday that we've become more caring as I've worked with our pastoral care team-- and it's not just that team, it's the entire congregation.  There were no complaints, and more than enough help.

The daughter called to tell me he had just died.  I asked where they were, and told her I was on my way.  I asked Administrative Assistant for  the address, and wrote a note giving the password for my computer and the key instructions for the Bible study I was supposed to lead in 3 hours.  I asked AA to call someone to fill in if I wasn't back in time.  The fire department was still there when I arrived, and I stayed with them through the coroner and the funeral home coming.  A member showed up to be with the family, and I left, arriving back at the church in time to lead the Bible study, which the potential sub had set up for me. 

We had more help than we needed for everything.  A member took care of recruiting readers for the  service.  Someone else coordinated food and had hosts here for the visitation.  Someone else prepared a meal for the family last night during visitation, meeting their special dietary needs.  AA and I were amazed today.  People were seeing needs and taking care of them.  A man came up and asked if they should go get more chairs to set up.  I suggested they move some of the choir chairs down into the congregation.  The next thing I knew, he had six men over there taking care of it.  Not only that, but they put them back following the service without being asked.  A number of friends of the family commented on how wonderful the congregation had been and the support they'd provided the family.  "There's a lot of love in this church." 

Last night the choir director said he would be at the service today.  I said if I'd known he was taking time off to be there, I'd have asked him to sing a solo.  I mentioned what I had in mind.  He said he had the music at home and would be glad to sing it.  He scanned the music and emailed it to our pianist last night.  He did a beautiful job with it today, and it fit perfectly.  We decided it was a God thing.  

It truly was a gift to see the congregation pull together to surround this family with love, especially when I think about how many of our members are hiding in southern states right now.  I was able to come home this evening, since a member agreed to take Daughter home after choir tonight. 

Tomorrow evening is our children's ministry, and Saturday is a 90th birthday celebration, so it was nice to have an evening at home alone.  I continue to love being in ministry with this particular congregation.  Daughter continues to have moments when she drives me crazy.  She also continues to grow and impress me with her compassion for others.  I'd like to say things are slowing down and I will post more frequently, however, with Lent in full swing and Easter right around the corner, that seems unlikely....


Patti said...

Wonderful news about the congregation! It's heartening to hear that such change can happen in such a short time--you've done well. I hope the bone-stimulator ends the saga of the wrist.

Reverend Mom said...

Thanks. It's not me, though, it's the Holy Spirit (and my ability to stay out of the way).