Every October, Ruth and I get a number of greeting cards from folks in the church expressing appreciation for our work as your pastors. You see, someone a few years back designated October as Pastor Appreciation Month. My guess is that Hallmark is behind it as a way to sell a few more greeting cards! But putting my cynicism aside, please know that your pastors are grateful for the many kind words that come our way each year as the leaves start to fall from the trees. It is an honor to be your pastors as we live out our calling here in this place. We stand in a long line of pastors who have been blessed to serve First Olympia. We are a bit in awe of our predecessors! If you’ve never looked at the wall of photos in Room 221, you really ought to check it out. Ruth and I don’t look nearly as stern as some of those mid-nineteenth century parsons.
We know that the work of pastoral ministry, when done most effectively, is catalytic. Alone we pastors can’t accomplish all that much, but sometimes we can help get things started. We cherish the opportunity to empower the laity of the church to do the work of ministry in so many different ways. Our favorite roles are those of coach and mentor, of cheerleader and teacher, of encourager and facilitator. Every day Ruth and I try to ask ourselves, “How can I help this church member be the best disciple of Jesus Christ he or she can possibly be?”
One more word of utmost importance… we know that a large portion of the credit for the success of this congregation goes to the staff that serves this church. We took some photos of the full-time staff today, since it was time to update the pictures on the website! Tim Monahan is the old man in the office these days. We keep him hopping with all the new programs. Angelina Goldwell and Chris Knight have both grown into their roles, moving their jobs in very different directions from the work pioneered by their predecessors in the positions. Both of them do so much more than what is in their job descriptions. Peggy Rule is our newest staff member, and did she ever have some big shoes to fill when she took over this summer from Dolores Prouty! Peggy jumped right in and has become an indispensable part of this team and a huge help in the streamlining of office operations. Of course, the full-time staff is supplemented by part-time staff that includes our awesome team of musicians, custodians, bookkeepers, child-care workers and audio techs.
Ruth and I know that when you say kind words to us, in October or anytime, these others deserve to be recognized for the many ways they help your pastors succeed. Happy October, everyone! We appreciate ALL the ministers of this church: lay volunteers, staff, and pastors alike!