Monday, February 23, 2004

My Monday in a church for the submerged….[warning: this is long and could be boring]

I’m sat in our office trying to get things sorted. Post holiday catch up. As I sit here I am struck by the diversity of the day so far. I arrived this morning opened up our church at 8 am. Flicking through mail there’s a knock on the door. Robert one of our church members and volunteers in our weekday programmes brings through receipts for the food for the breakfast club and Seniors Luncheon Club “enjoy your holiday?”. I wander through to the kitchen and share a joke with Martha our cook as she prepares the sausages for the breakfast club.

Richard our Community Development worker is on holiday so I prepare our worship hall for the Paediatric Therapy group. The first people are arriving as I carry the equipment down from where it is stored I smile as I hear Lloyd – Lloyd has the loudest voice in the Northern Hemisphere. Struggling through the door Phil the denture shuffling road sweeper with his mate helps “cold today?” he offers in conservation “yep – how’s your son?” he rolls his eyes and shrugs. There is quite a crowd in for breakfast, Mothers, several other road sweepers, a girl and her boyfriend who we helped with accommodation, Patrick!

Alison and Diane arrive to open up the charity shop – it always shocks me that it is the underwear that goes the quickest, I run them a cup of tea through and suffer the brunt of their jokes – ok I know I need a hair cut!

I sit back I try to get some ideas for a wedding preach that I have been asked to do for Saturday. It takes a while but the idea starts to flow and it starts to take shape.

Every now and then I pop out to make sure everything is ok, everything seems to be fine. I talk to the regulars who find their community in coming into the charity shop every day!

I make a start on some of the reports I need to write for a proposal to extend our youth and education projects.

The Paediatric Therapy has finished so I put their gear away and as I’m bored of prep I decide to get the room ready for tomorrows Parent and Toddler Group. As I’m finishing the Luncheon club are arriving – I speak to John and Maggie and bear the brunt of their jokes too “hair hurting you? …huh…? should be you’re standing on it!”

I retreat to the office I’ve 100 invites to stuff into envelopes for a multi-national celebration we have planned. I ignore them and have a flick around some sites looking really if anyone is scratching where I’m itching. I find stacks of stuff on emerging church but it all seems still very insular. I look back to the envelopes and fill a couple.

Dean our youth worker comes in and straight away we reminisce about the ski-ing trip! Everyone else seems bored of it but not us! We’re interrupted by the sound of young people jumping on the office roof. Dean excuses himself – the Schools project for excluded kids is about to start.

I look at the invites – then I think I could blog something. Later on there will be Youth Club for pre-teens and tonight is house-group that I facilitate. It’s going to be a long day.

The phone goes it’s Richard ringing from Bilboa – Spain. “Just wanted to touch base” He’d covered for us while we were away. “For the first time I realise what you do. I finished the week and I felt really fulfilled, I really felt I had accomplished something!”

What have we achieved today? What have I facilitated? I sit and think. I've been part of Community, family for those that are often alone. For those that don't demand respect. For those submerged.

Thanks for the reminder Rich. Mission isn’t always glossy, glamorous or trendy, sometimes it is mundane, run of the mill, routine but it is always fulfilling.

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