Sunday, September 30, 2012

Is it Church, a Meeting or Both?

Today broke the record for the longest "announcements for the good of the congregation".  I try to have patience.  Somedays I can be all zen-like and just settle in.  Today was not that day.  I have never been a fan of live announcements, but I will tolerate them.  Sometimes, they really are needed.  But, when the announcements take 25 minutes and then you add Joys and Sorrows, it is tempting to just call it a meeting and go home.  I come to church to worship.  And, yes, part of building a community is sharing, but sometimes enough is enough.  Our congregation has a newsletter, weekly email updates, a webpage, a Facebook page and does an Order of Service insert every week.  I am not sure why the vast majority of the congregational announcements can not be included in those outlets.  One person spoke for ten minutes about the capital campaign.  It was useful information, but really deserved a whole separate meeting or a write-up in the newsletter.  I just want to start the worship service and as the announcements get longer and longer, I find myself getting more and more irritated.  We even had a guest preacher today and I felt bad that we did not value his time enough to stay within the parameters of our hour-long service.  What is the solution?  What do you all do? How do you manage the process?  It is getting to the point that Husband and I are dreading going to church.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Church Is Open

Like most UU congregations, ours had their Ingathering this past Sunday.  I have to admit, we were like a lot of UUs and took the summer off.  Honestly, I was feeling really burned out by the church and school year.  I just needed a break from it all.  I am glad we did.  A part of me feels that it is silly to take the summer off - spiritual development and commitment are lifelong processes - but sometimes it is what the doctor orders.  I realized at the end of summer, I was missing church.  I began to look forward to going again.  I also took a hard look at what I was doing at church and ways I needed to modify my commitments to make them more sustainable.  I resigned from the RE committee.  I am no longer the Chair.  I have been on the committee for three years and it is time for someone else with more energy and ideas to step up.  This has been a huge release.  I am still teaching.  In fact, we just started a new middle school youth group and I am very excited to lead it.  This is one of my favorite ages and I am really looking forward to working with the kids.  I am also still leading a once-a-month Bible Study.  I started this last year and LOVED it.  It has been a great experience and I can't wait for it to start up again.  So, yes, I am glad we took the summer off.  I am also glad we found our way back.