Wednesday night, husband and I attended a meeting at church for the people in the congregation who volunteer and serve most often. There were about fifty of us there, and the aim of the meeting was to brainstorm to identify and recruit more people in the congregation who could also do what we do. Our pastor is worried about burn out for us. There are about seven hundred active members in our church.
There are a lot of committees and groups that are essential for keeping our services and programs running. At the meeting were the ushers, people from the altar guild, the assisting ministers, the musicians, service committee, and Wednesday School teachers (we have Wednesday school instead of Sunday School). Husband and I are primarily assisting ministers and musicians. I was fascinated to observe how the jobs we volunteer for at church seem to fit our various personalities.
The folks in the usher group were the most gregarious in the meeting. Ushers like to meet and greet, and we had to keep shushing them so we could hear what the other participants were saying. Husband and I were in the group that was coming up with names for the assisting ministers. I I noted our group was made up of all professionals and the most educated of all the participants. We were also the most serious. The assisting ministers serve communion and read the lessons, which can be sort of sobering.
The altar guild makes sure the front of the church looks perfect before services, and that the altar cloths are wrinkle free and even, the wine and wafers are all ready for communion, the candles are lit, and the decorations and banners are seasonal and tidy. While the rest of us were seated haphazardly in the meeting room I was tickled to see that the members of the altar guild were all seated perfectly evenly spaced around their table.
The money counters were the quietest participants. They come on Wednesdays and count the Sunday collection and bring it to the bank for deposit. It seemed to me that as a group they don’t want to draw a lot of attention to themselves with the money in their safe keeping.
The service committee decorates the rest of the church that the altar guild doesn’t decorate, and provides and serves the food at funeral lunches and church potlucks. They were more likely than the rest of us to see congregation members in venues outside of the Sunday services, and seemed to have the low down on the names that were suggested for various committees. “Don’t ask Marlon to be an assisting minister. He won’t want his wife to sit by herself during the service,” and “They can’t help as youth mentors unless they have childcare. They have little ones at home, you know”.
I suppose it isn’t surprising that people are drawn to activities that suit their temperaments, but it was just delightful to notice now blatant were the differences between the groups.
Are there tasks you are drawn to or repelled by in the groups or organizations you belong to? What old game shows did you watch when you were a kid?