The “Heart” of the Church
by Heather Green
There are certain people who are the face of the church – the people up front like the minsters, the office staff, the music director, ushers, greeters, Sunday School teachers, and even committee members. (I hope I am not omitting anyone). However, there are several people behind the scenes; the volunteers whose contributions to the church are integral yet often overlooked. These volunteers are the “heart” of the church.
In previous articles, I have mentioned that my daughter is in C.L.E.W.S. For a variety of reasons, while she is in preschool on Friday mornings, I stay at the church. It is during those mornings that I have met some of these volunteers and come to appreciate their contributions to the church.
I first met and spoke with Ann this fall. She actually “works” at the church Mondays and Fridays as an internship from Bridge Point Academy. Ann is a member of the church so this was a natural fit for her as part of Academy’s vocational outreach program for young adults with special needs. Ann’s contributions are extensive.
On Mondays, Ann works inside the sanctuary. She removes any trash from the pews, and refills the communion cards and notecards (making sure she has the same number of each), and she sharpens all the pencils. She also replaces the Bibles and hymnals, after she has returned all the placeholder ribbons to the front of the books.
On Fridays, Ann works primarily in the Fireside Room and gym cleaning and dusting the windows. She also arranges and dusts the books on the bookshelves in the Fireside Room.
When I last spoke to Ann, she was getting ready to graduate from Bridge Point Academy on December 17th, but she was still going to be coming to the church to complete her jobs.
Some other volunteers I have had the pleasure of speaking with were the small team who stuff the bulletins on Friday morning: Margaret, John and Barb. Occasionally other people come to help, but this core group is there every week and has been for years. Margaret told me that they had many volunteers a few years ago when the economy was bad and everyone was out of work. Barb and John (a mother and son team) expressed that they really have a lot at Christmas and Easter because there are so many more pages in the bulletins. (As a side note, on Monday, Barb also counts the envelopes from the church services).
Like many other people, I come to the church and never think about the “little things” like having a sharpened pencil to use or that I have a complete bulletin to use to follow along with the service. But, there are volunteers behind these “little things” we take for granted. We talk a lot about volunteering our time and talents for Christ, but Ann, Margaret, Barb, and John really do this. Many other people volunteer behind the scenes, without any thought of being recognized for their service. However, since February is traditionally associated with hearts and love, I want to thank each and every person who volunteers for truly being the “heart” of the church.