I did not realize the full impact of Rick taking some time off until I was at our staff meeting yesterday reading a note sent by our Trustee chair Deb about how we were going to get by during Rick’s very much deserved and very understandable need to be away. The email mentioned a few things about setting up for this Sunday’s All Church Meeting Potluck and a few other things. At staff we were discussing the need to keep the sidewalk shoveled for Wednesday evening activities. We decided that I would shovel. (I don’t mind that at all. I’ve done it at every church I’ve served.) But later, I shared this wonderful opportunity to serve the church with a couple young men who were waiting for Higher Grounds (the name of our Sr. High Group) to begin. They really were quite eager.
Rick does a lot around here, very well. Many of these things are things you don’t think about but are very glad somebody is thinking about them; that somebody usually is Rick. Rick goes beyond his job description; he takes initiative and pride in what he does. Yes he is on staff, yes he does get paid for this, but I’m not so sure we should put a time clock in one of the boiler rooms for him to punch anytime soon.
Rick is just the best example of many people, all of them not on staff, who take initiative and have pride in what they do at EPUMC. In the world of Pastors we call this being engaged.
There are those who recognize how important our fellowship time is (following worship) to connect with each other. They make sure that there is always at least coffee going and something warmed up and put out of our store of “goodies” in the freezer when none of the rest of us remembers to sign up to do it.
One of the things I could not believe when I first arrived at EPUMC are the amount of people who are the craft queens and kings and artists in our congregation that come a full week ahead of Vacation Bible School to help create what is in my book the best VBS on the planet for our kids. They are so engaged that you wonder are they just doing this for the kids; or are they having so much fun together enjoying each other so much that they are also getting something important out of the experience.
Not all of us can be as engaged as Rick or some of these others all the time. But most of us can at some time. As we prepare to celebrate 2013 and look forward to 2014 at our Annual Meeting I would like to ask you to reflect upon a time (or times) when you have felt engaged in being a part of EPUMC, when what you were doing as a part of EPUMC meant more to you than just about anything else you were doing at the time.
What I’m trying to figure out is what are we doing here together at EPUMC that our community of Eden Prairie would miss if all of us at EPUMC took a week or so off to go to a wedding.
Keep the Faith!