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Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Morning After Worship: A Tribute to imagine's Volunteers.

It's early Monday. I have already been out with the dog at 4:45. Heavy wet snow falls. Now at my computer, I have to express what I was feeling after worship yesterday as Tricia and I debriefed over dinner at Cafe Paradiso in Northampton.

Gratitude filled my thoughts as we processed what happened. As many of you are aware imagine/Northampton's worship events are like a traveling roadshow in the sense that we have to set up and take down everything we use for each worship. We load up vehicles, transport the stuff to the Northampton Center for the Arts, set up tables and chairs, musical instruments, the imagine/Kids room, the food tables, projector and screen, and put out signs. We then take it all down and leave the space ready for the next occupants. It's a load of work. Our Sunday begins at sun-up and ends in the early evening.

My point is I need to convey a recurring sense of wonder I have when people step up and help shoulder the burden each time. I have been in ministry for many years and worked with volunteers for our retreats and the big productions we have done for worship, but I never get over the generosity and servant-spirit people always exhibit in helping.

People sacrifice time to help us. I think about the folks on our Leadership Team who have pulled up stakes and moved from Connecticut at great cost to launch imagine/Northampton. Their sojourn here has been filled with challenges and difficulties. I think about the talented folks who have gathered since late August to develop and serve on our Worship team. They have given time (weekly rehearsals and worship events), and resources (a place to rehearse, for instance), to make it happen.

Amazing to me.

I think about the gifted young couple from Connecticut who show up to our stuff, pray all the time for us, help out, and are working their tails off to finish school and get up here next summer.

Amazing to me.

Then there are a number of people from other churches who show up early or hang around after worship to help do the grunt work. They are cheerful. They pitch in without being asked. They lighten the load. Thy are wonderful.

Amazing to me.

These folks show up, again and again. They are Jesus-followers with big, generous hearts. They serve because they love him, and they support what he has called us to do in Northampton. We love them.

They are simply amazing to me.

So, I guess I will never get over seeing people of Christ offering their time and talent to imagine. I am glad I will never get over it. I must never get over it. And I must never stop being grateful to him.

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