Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today Is A Good Day

The short version... Bedtime sucked (see last night's blog entry). Church meeting was FANTASTIC. Morning was ok. Ride to daycare and drop off was awful. But then it all changed and was good! The long version... I head to my church meeting. I'm having an emotional time of some changes that have come down at my church. If you are interested, you can read the post I wrote a few weeks back about it. Quick review is basically that the service we were attending has been canceled, partially because of the new financial campaign that has started. My emotional issue is with the dumping of our worship experience. Jeff isn't loving the financial campaign (but I fully understand its necessity). I had committed to helping with the Ministry Fair service, which is this Sunday. When my emotional "crisis" happened, I didn't feel like I was connected to that project any longer. I still assisted and actually had a very good conversation with a church member about what I was working through. I was encouraged to talk to our pastor about what I was feeling. I was left feeling like I wasn't alone in how I was feeling. Both very important points. I am also on our Pastoral Support Team (PST). We had a meeting last night to discuss annual budget things. I wasn't sure I wanted to go because I felt that it was going to be my time to step down. If I feel like I am needing to church shop, then I guess I can't really be supporting our Pastors. But I went. I'm generally one who keeps an open heart and an open mind. I'm not one to rush into a decision of great importance because I want to know as much as I can first. This whole church thing is something I am taking step by step, little by little. No definite goal in mind- other than having a church home that is best for my family. The best part of going to church last night was that I heard from important people that others are not happy with how the dumping of the early service happened. Not happy with the decision that was made. I was again encouraged to please talk to our pastor so he could hear my experience. Is the issue resolved? Have I gained some new insight or understanding into why things have changed the way they have? Not really. But now I feel less alone, less isolated. More understood, more heard. Of course, it takes speaking up in the first place to be heard. I also found a way to succeed with sacrificial giving. I don't have dollars that I can sacrifice. I don't have discretionary spending that I can eliminate. What I do have is a weekday lunch hour. It's usually my exercise time. Our a lunch with friends time. But now it is time that can be utilized by my church. A frustration I've long had with the PST is that I feel like we randomly meet just to discuss financial decisions in regards to salaries of church staff, benefits of the pastors, etc. The only guidance I've been given in regards to providing support to our Pastors is to offer to take them to lunch. That is hard for me- the money thing, working on the opposite side of town, etc. In our meeting last night, our Pastors joined us. Our lead Pastor spoke of not having enough time in the day to get everything done. Of being so far behind the curve that they are finding out about things going on with church families days too late. So I spoke up. We are the Pastoral SUPPORT Team. Let us SUPPORT you. If you need help, call me. If I can't help on my own, I will contact people and find someone to step up to the plate. I offered... I work near one of the main hospitals. If you need someone to make a hospital visit, I am more than happy to do so on my lunch hour. I would be pleased to go and visit and pray with members of our congregation or people connected to them. In the meeting, I also specifically heard my Pastor talk about wanting to focus in the upcoming year on not losing existing members. I know one of our pastors reads my blog... and I truly felt like that had either been shared or God was truly touching my Pastor's heart and forming his words... He doesn't want to lose existing members out the back door. Doesn't want them to even get there. This means that it is really important for me to talk to my Pastor and make sure he understands my experience, my husband's experience, in the decision and execution of the dumping of the early service. So now I have a plan. I will take it Sunday by Sunday. But I will keep going back. I will talk to my Pastor. I will give my time to help my Pastors as best I can. This is far longer than I intended it to be. I want to thank my readers who have offered words of support and prayers. I'll post later about the parenting stuff... huge thanks to those who read and commented on last night's entry. That meant so much. And I am using those replies as a reminder to stay focused. And it worked this morning. It worked. Stay tuned...

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