Early this morning the local weather prognosticator provided the temperature pattern for the first 14 days of October. Generally we are dry and still longing for cooler temps. That it seemed summer was hanging on at the first of October was evident. Temperatures were well above normal.
Like a correction in the market, the temps of late have been well below normal. At a meeting earlier today the Mayor and I were complaining, er uh, talking, about the weather. Deer hunters are often sweating in their stands, swatting flies. Not so this week. We both must have seen a similar graphic. Our October temperatures are anything but normal. In fact, it looks like we will not see the normal low-70’s the rest of the month.
Ministry is like the weather in Oklahoma, more often not normal than normal. I guess someone could argue the irregularity of ministry is actually the norm.
Some years ago someone had the idea to set aside October as Pastor Appreciation Month. So, I thought I would put together a self-congratulatory post.
Instead, I want to give a shout out to the folks that lead out at Snow Hill as part of our team. Some are paid. Others are not. It takes us all.
The Usual Suspects. Nathan. Rusty. Brad.
These three have combined to serve at Snow Hill for 36 years. Nathan (16). Rusty (11). Brad (10). Nathan moved from Youth Minister to Community Ministry, from full-time to co-vocational, what used to be termed bi-vocational. He could not do what he does without quite a few folks. We added a monthly community meal and his wife Carrie is the coordinator for this group. LaRae, Eloise, Norma, Chrissy and Ginny lead out in sorting and stocking food for our Food Pantry. Others include Johnny, Jim, Glenn, Jeanene and Wes. Most weeks Mae, Ginny, Norma and others help prepare a food for folks who find it hard or can’t get out of the house. Brandi, Shelley, Connie, Shelley and Leslie help administrate our Food Pantry either ordering food, logging records, signing in and welcoming our friends.
Add John and Sandy, Charlotte, Stacy, Gary and Janice, Brad, Randy, a host of young people and some already mentioned help with the bread and produce line or putting food boxes into cars. Every one of them serves, ministers.
In an adjacent area you would find Frances, Linda, Janet and others who help sort and display clothes for our clothes closet. Just up the hall you would find Jeanene, Jeff and Ginny providing a craft, snack and Bible story for children.
Nathan or someone may want to comment if I left any deacons out of the group. That’s right, deacons are servants. They certainly are that!
Once a mont we provide a free clinic, Community of Hope. Jesse, Andrea and Charlotte work the pharmacy, Greg is our doctor and Tina our nurse. Connie, Barbara and Brandi sign in and welcome patients.
Often we think about these ministries being carried on and those that do serve without need for recognition or accolade. But, it cannot go without saying.
Rusty has planned and led out worship for more than eleven years. He depends on Ryan, Greg and Brad. He looks to Emma and others in the past who have faithfully stood to help lead our congregation in worship. Rusty plans and coordinates taking children to our chosen summer children’s camp. His first group consisted of a couple of boys. Today he takes enough that it requires others to help sponsor. Over those years a variety of folks have taken time from work to spend time with these children in the heat and often high humidity. Rusty helps in a number of areas. You may find him working with the worship team for our Youth Gathering. He makes up part of the Staff Handyman Team. Not an official group but we do think you lead by example rather than by fiat.
Brad, once a part of our youth group, has now led our Youth for more than ten years. Carrying on the Lunch Spot tradition, his current group includes Holly, Stacie, Stacie, Stacy, Christy, Lainie, Carrie, LaRae and likely others. I say likely as I am not always present for this event so I need to leave room for those I may miss. Every year a team of sponsors help with Summit Youth Camp and various activities. Sunday Bible Study will find Laura and Alex, Mary, Shelley and Debi welcoming, encouraging and teaching. Wednesdays includes a Youth Worship team, sound persons and video assistants. Many of our tech needs fall to Brad to research and even install. Most recently he has helped us work toward a sensory room for those with special needs. We have had a number of upgrade and repair needs. Brad has taken those tasks on with confidence.
Evette has been our Secretary for more than eleven years. The number of things she does from receiving calls and people to scheduling and administration could not be done without her. In fact, to begin to list everything would mean leaving out something.
Irma has been our Custodian some fifteen years, at least. She knows just how messy we are! Often she will take time to help on Wednesdays when we have received a large delivery of food for our Food Pantry.
You may notice that I have tried to list not just those who serve one Staff at Snow Hill, but those that actually make the Staff at Snow Hill appear to have more together than we do. Most would not be interested in being the subject of a blog post much less a social media shout out. But, it can’t go without saying.
Make no mistake. There are plenty of others. Sunday School Teachers, Deacons, Nursery Volunteers, Children’s Church Teams and more. They too would prefer to quietly serve without drawing attention. But, it cannot go without saying . . .
We appreciate you more than you will know and certainly more than we say. So, rather than Pastor Appreciation Month, let me say this is . . .
The Pastor Appreciates You Month.