In the past month, we have been blessed with a gift to pay off the line of credit. This is a huge blessing, a miracle for which we give thanks. We can also be thankful for a Vestry that does not want to see this blessing squandered by falling into previous patterns that allowed the line to become maxed out in the first place. So work continues to close the gap on the 2014 budget deficit. Fundraising ideas and projects continue to be considered and put into place to help close the gap. We need to realize that it will not be one simple fix, but a multitude of opportunities. These opportunities will bring us together as a faith family and to allow us to live into our call to be the example of Christ to and with others.
It makes me think of a construction project…like a barn raising. If it were up to one person, it would take a long time and may never be accomplished. If it were up to ten people, the work load would be spread out more but it would still take time because the ten involved may not have all the talents that are needed. But, when the whole community comes together, there are many talents put to work; from those who can set the framework, to those who hammer the nails, to those who provide the food and beverages so that the work can continue. No wonder the Amish can accomplish so much in what we consider so little time when it comes to a barn raising!
And that is where we are. There is a lot going on. There is a lot that we are considering or beginning that we either haven’t done before at all or haven’t done in a long time. No one person can do it alone. I started a new announcement in the blog that will pop up periodically called “In Search Of”. We have a variety of talents in our parish AND we have a variety of parishioners who know others who could assist. When we tackle a project, too often we as individuals or committees become overwhelmed by the gaps in our own knowledge base. “In Search Of” will allow us to announce to others where we need assistance. Responding does NOT and should NOT mean that the person responding is now the head of a new committee. It can be an opportunity to share without long-term obligation, though that may happen to individuals in the process by God’s calling and their choice.
A small example of how this works is a recent proposed “brat fry” idea. Sure, it’s not a huge idea that will close the deficit entirely. But, it is one idea that not only can bring in additional income but is both an opportunity for us to work together as a community and for us to be present in the larger community of Sheboygan. Research was done revealing that the best money maker in the community is the brat fry at Miesfeldt’s. They are booked for 2014 brat fry season, but our researcher booked us right away for a date in 2015. In the meantime, Festival Foods (the #2) had opportunities yet this year. I am thankful for an individual who wasn’t interested in personally working a brat fry, but who had a willingness and the time to do all the research involved…a huge help…and an example of how different gifts can be used for the overall good. Next, before we pick from the 3-5 dates that are available this year, it seemed fitting to find out who’d be willing to grill brat and then see which of the dates they are available. A brat fry will not work if we do not have grillers to take care of the brats. We know people who will sign up to sell the food and to make baked goods to sell, but without the people working the grill, all is for naught. So I posted an “In Search Of”. So far, I’ve had one individual answer that call. And that’s a good thing. But we won’t go forward with a 2014 brat fry idea if there are no others. We want the one who responded to know, that it’s not their sole responsibility. We also don’t want the one to think that because they responded this time that they will always be expected to do grilling. On the other hand, those who do the grilling may find that they have a fantastic day of fellowship and can’t wait to do it again. That’s what “In Search Of” is about. Putting people together to use the talents they already possess to help this “home” we love and to grow in community.
So, in conclusion, my report this month may seem a bit “vague” because there are a number of things in motion. None of them are the sole responsibility of one person. None of them will require them to become the sole responsibility of one person. But all of them will provide opportunities for us to include one another and come together as a community. If you don’t feel “part of”, there is more than likely an “In Search Of” that may trip your trigger. Know that you are vital as “we do ministry together”.