There are many things to update this week. First, our hearts and prayers go out to Ann Armstrong and her family upon the death of her husband Stan this past Thursday. We are awaiting details about services and arrangements. In the meantime, please contact Marge Muniz if you would like to help with food for the family during this time. Marge is coordinating efforts so we don’t inundate the family all at the same time. As soon as we know any details about a memorial service or funeral, we will let you know.
I have spoken to Marsha Schrank as well, and we will be waiting until the spring and the bluebonnets are in bloom to have a celebration of life for Roger. This will likely take place at their home, outside. Roger expressed his wishes to have a celebration when the bluebonnets were in season many years ago, so that is what we will do!
Switching gears a bit, part of what I will be doing over the next few months while here (until April 18), is sharing with the congregation my observations and working on developing a little bit more communication...especially heathy communication.
One of the things that struck me from almost the first moment I started is the amount of information that gets talked about throughout the week! This is not inherently a bad thing. Communication is really important! But, it’s also important that communication be healthy. While there HAS been good communication while I’ve been here at Grace, I’ve also heard many rumors and misunderstandings. Certainly, during a pandemic when we can’t be all together at church in the ways we have been in the past, direct communication can be difficult. When we are here, we don’t get to fellowship or talk as much. When we are online, it’s been tough to keep people informed. There are lots of guesses as to why things are happening the way they are. And, often, there are different stories that get shared.
To be fair, there has been a lot of change and newness, or lack of normal since the pandemic hit. With every new pastor change, there’s not only a new pastor to get to know, but there can be methodological changes too. Add in a pandemic and the newness is off the charts! There’s so much to adjust to. It’s normal to feel anxiety in these times.
The best way to communicate during anxious times is directly and honestly. It’s important to me that you share your concerns and/or wishes directly with me about pastoral things, like worship, pastoral care, Bible study, etc. I may not always change things right away, but I would really like to hear your thoughts. And, sometimes what people suggest makes total sense, and I am happy to accommodate!
If you have concerns or suggestions about activities that the church is doing, or the main business of the church, those should be directed to the President or Vice President to be brought up at council, unless it deals directly with someone’s sphere of influence...for example, if you want to have a work day to do yard work, let Larry Lindner know! If you would like to help with the community school drive, let Linda James know! But, if you are frustrated or concerned about something, or have a question about why it’s happening, go directly to the leaders and bring it up. It’s important that we own our concerns and make them personally and directly. This is good, healthy communication!
In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you some information about how the council will be moving forward on future planning. Remember, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!!!