In a church context, and I guess in any group which depends on volunteers, it’s too easy sometimes to tread on somebody else’s toes and for them to take umbrage. And because I’ve been unwell, and last week away for several days grandchildren-sitting for one of my daughters, I have been a bit out of the loop for a while as far as church things go.
It was only a little thing. The Advent Wreath. We have it every year and light a candle each Sunday, running up to Christmas. It’s a lovely custom and helps to focus us on our spiritual preparation, at a time when it’s all too easy to get taken up with the other trappings of Christmas.
However, in the process of moving ourselves out of our freezing cold huge barn of a church, into the warm environs of the hall, a whole new way of organising ourselves needs to be adopted. Which means, that nobody knows what’s going on, or who is doing what, or why, or when, or where …
Earlier this year, because I have done the wreath since I came here, I wrote out all the instructions and laminated them, put this together with all the stuff that goes with the wreath in a bag, and asked one of the women if she would do it this year, so she would get used to it before I leave. She agreed.
Except she forgot. And I wasn’t here to remind her. And the stuff in the bag had got taken out and put in different places. And I hadn’t realised. And Community Minister had forgotten. And I couldn’t find anything, because … oh well, you get the picture.
So I emailed a whole lot of questions to CM, asking her where everything was, because the hall is really her domain … and trying to make it very clear that I wasn’t blaming her – it was just one of those things, that has fallen between the gaps.
But when I saw her descending on me this morning with my printed-out email in her hand, I wondered if she had taken it amiss, and we were in for a bit of a barney
She asked to see me and I got all tense and thought ‘uh oh. Here we go.’ 😦
Not at all. We sat down quietly in another room, went through everything, :DD she explained it all, and now we are all sorted. Well, as sorted as we ever get in our chaotic church 😉
I am very grateful for a colleague where we have mutual respect and honesty, no bearing of grudges, no sulking, tantrums or ego. If there’s a problem we sort it out, pray together and move on.
It’s not often one is blessed with someone like that. And it’s a good maxim for life: to keep short accounts with each other. That way the ole ‘root of bitterness’ doesn’t get the chance to grow down into my life :## :no: