A Message from Rev Michelle
This Sunday we gather for our annual Anniversary Celebration and Volunteer Appreciation Sunday! Every year when our nation is celebrating its independence, we also celebrate what is wonderful about our own UMB community, and we especially focus on recognizing all of our many, many volunteers. They say that in most churches 20% of the people do 80% of the volunteer work. At our church we have long had a much higher rate of volunteer participation, with some 80% of the congregation volunteering in one or more ways throughout the year. As a very small church, with very few paid staff, we really count on our volunteers to make things run. It truly takes a village to create a Sunday service and this was never more apparent than during the pandemic.
We will be recognizing many people on Sunday, but I’d like to give a special shout-out to a few folks who were crucial in helping us keep things going during the pandemic—our amazing Music Director, Denise Hedlind, who was there every single Sunday throughout the pandemic, making sure we had wonderful music to accompany our Sunday service; John Tallon, who kept our sound board running smoothly, sang, and alternated playing drums with John Dundon; Robin Falkenberg, who served as platform person just about every week,(and Colleen Adams, who served as an alternate); Larry Sanks, who was always there to fill whatever need there was; Nicole Sanks, who kept our Children’s Church running virtually; Keith Larson, who made sure we had coffee and snacks; and Jan Lindenthal-Cox and Martha Price, who handled the livestreaming, dealing with all kinds of technical difficulties along the way. Along with Vicky and myself, all of these folks made sure there was a Sunday service every single week of the pandemic without fail, and that you could log onto Facebook and watch it in your pajamas from the comfort of your own home, or catch it later that day on YouTube.
Speaking of going to church in your pajamas, I hear that some folks are feeling a wee bit lazy about coming back to in-person services, having gotten comfortable attending in their pajamas. It’s totally understandable that you might feel this way, given how incredibly stressful and exhausting this whole Covid-19 thing has been. However, I would like to remind you why watching church on a computer screen in your pajamas is not the same as being there in person. First of all, you don’t get all the awesome hugs. Second of all, the music sounds so much more clear and vibrant when you’re in our beautiful sanctuary. Third of all, you don’t get to smell the coffee and scones that Keith so lovingly provides each week when you’re not there in person. Fourth and finally, you don’t get to experience “that feeling.” You know what I’m talking about—that feeling of togetherness and community and love and support and joy and fun and connection that happens when we are all there present together on a Sunday morning. That feeling of being a church family. That feeling that you are among “your people.” That’s what’s missing when you’re at home in your pj’s and I hope you’ll come back this Sunday and have the opportunity to be reminded of how healing and energizing and truly wonderful it is to be all together in person in our sweet little church on the hill.
One final note about coming back in-person. So many people are struggling all around us today—trying to get back to a feeling of normalcy, a routine that was completely disrupted over the past year and a half, and needing to feel the loving support of a community of like-minded folks. When you come to church in person, you help to create that sacred space of connection for someone who might be really needing it that day. You just never know who you might be helping or whose life you might touch just by coming to church.