Monday, December 12, 2011

RACK day 11 ~ phew!

This one was A LOT of work, but oh, so worth it!  This one also requires some serious background info, but I will try to pack it into a nutshell!
We have a big beautiful church building that is only about a decade old.  Seriously, beautiful.  It's not all ornate or anything, but it has a simple beauty.  I love it.  However, lurking underneath all that beauty was the ugliest of the ugly:  mold.  Not just a little mold, but lots of mold spread all throughout the church.  A couple months ago, we abandoned this building for work to begin (we had already closed off the areas where mold was visible while we planned to move out).  Now we are the gypsy church.  For the most part we meet  in the local town hall, although we have met at a building at our local Fair Grounds, we have met in the church's maintenance building (not heated, not so much fun!) and even in homes.  It's really been very interesting.  At the town hall, we sit in folding metal chairs in a room with linoleum floors (hello acoustics?) and we have to break down our church every Sunday night.  We haul music stands, hymnals, a keyboard and stand, sound system, etc, each week to and from.  It can be quite an undertaking. We don't even know exactly when we will be able to get back into our church as the mold situation was discovered to be much more extensive than was originally thought once the workers started tearing into the walls.  :(   It's been difficult and discouraging, but we are confident that God sent this to us for a reason.  It has pushed us out of our comfort zone and has forced us to take stock in different things.  Our pastors and secretary have moved their offices to a trailer in the parking lot.  We think it's difficult for us on a Sunday morning because we have to sit in metal chairs (that may or may not be in our "usual" seats), but those that work day in and day out for our church are crammed in a tiny, chilly trailer.  All this to say, it's been quite a journey.
Now, add to this that this Sunday after evening service we were to have a business meeting.  Now I have to throw in a little disclaimer here; business meetings are necessary, but I doubt anyone would characterize them as fun.  However, the members of our church deal with each other in love and genuine respect, even if there is a disagreement.  I hear horror stories about church meetings getting out of hand and people yelling at (and sometimes even hitting) each other.  That is not at ALL our church's experience.  After the business meeting, we still had ensemble rehearsal and choir practice (Christmas season, ya know!).  It was going to be a long evening.  That is the background in a nutshell!
So, that led me to ponder RACKing our whole church, which we did!  I got to baking and the kiddos got to planning.  What we ended up with was providing snacks after the evening service just before the business meeting.  I made 5 different kinds of muffins.  That's lots of muffins!  We took apples, clementines and grapes.  We took fruit snacks (can you see the kids' influence here at all?), chocolate covered pretzels and mini candy canes.  It was definitely not enough for someone's meal, but a nice little snack to tide over a hungry soul.  We also brought napkins and little dessert plates.  It was great!  I had spoken to one of the pastors about doing this and he agreed to meet us a little early so we could set up.  We put all the food out and then covered it with a tablecloth (we didn't want any little fingers to be tempted to start snacking before church even began!) until the time was right.  I had also asked that our pastor not announce who provided the goodies when he announced that the goodies were there for the taking.  Yes, I have given up on remaining truly anonymous (lesson learned.  Public blogging pretty much takes that away!), but I absolutely did not want last night to be about people saying thank you to us or anything else.  It was about the people of our church enjoying a little blessing and giving us a chance to fellowship a bit more.
So after the message, our pastor announced that we would take a quick stretch break and then start the business meeting.  He then told everyone that refreshments had been provided.  We uncovered the table and people immediately started lining up.  My husband and I sat back and just watched as people munched and talked with each other.  It was something so unexpected that even though it wasn't much, it was a blessing.  I simply loved it.  And can I tell you what else I loved?  We didn't have a bunch of people running up to say "thank you".  It was not known (save a handful of people) who provided it.  I loved being able to enjoy the giving without anticipating the gratitude in return.  It was a sweet moment.  Once pretty much everyone had gone through, my hubby and I went and got our goodies.  It was great.  By the time everything was over, we took home some clementines.  That was it!  Everything else had been devoured!
On the way home (we didn't get home to close to 10pm and I was seriously exhausted.  I had been up since 1:30am!), my husband pointed out that we could not have done this if we were in our big beautiful building.  In our church building, we have our business meetings in the sanctuary.  Any food activity is in the fellowship hall (linoleum floors, kitchen, etc).  It would have been very difficult to get everyone to go get food and then try to get everyone back into the sanctuary (after the food was eaten) to start the meeting.  Since our current place of worship IS a hall, people could get their food and take it back to their seats.  Yes, we conducted our meeting while people were nibbling and munching (not the ones speaking, mind you).  I love my husband.  As much as I had enjoyed that moment, he brought out a little special observance of which I had not even considered.  All in all, it was a wonderful night!
Now, for a little side note!  Last night I was actually dreaming of RACKing people.  I won't bore you with all the details, but this is evidently ingrained in my little head now!  I woke up smiling ~ and that's never a bad thing!  Have a blessed day and look around for ways you can bless others throughout your day!

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