Dispatch from the Front (Office)

Actually, this was posted by Harold.  Technical difficulties, you know.  This week it’s his turn!

1 Corinthians 13:1. If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

As you know, Calvary has a myriad of offerings both to its members and to the surrounding community. The administrative staff has the responsibility of supporting the needs of the congregation as it fulfills its mission as witnesses of Christ and His love for all peoples. Some days this task is harder than others.Here in the office we receive on almost a daily basis, persons with all kinds of spiritual and physical needs. (We listen to some very interesting stories.) We are grateful when Thursday arrives, in that Juan Carlos, our social worker assigned to us by the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, counsels folks and, when necessary, refers them to an appropriate agency. On the other days, our small office staff sometimes become counselors, psychologists, confidantes, or whatever the occasion calls for.

I think we do a pretty good job, in between taking care of telephone calls, preparing or updating such necessaries as the Sunday bulletin, the Calvary Caller, our website, (and Paul is assiduously preparing financials, negotiating space requirements, serving as computer guru, to list but a few); preparing sermons, giving tours of the building, especially the sanctuary (all of a sudden, in great numbers, people are coming from coast to coast and countries abroad, who want a tour of the church, especially the sanctuary); visiting the sick and shut-in, meeting planning and attending meetings, and the list goes on and on.

But it can get wearing when the doorbell rings again and there’s another who needs help: “You mean, as big as this church is, you can’t give me or buy me a meal; you can’t give me a bus ticket to New York . . . ?” A few will listen and come back on Thursday morning to see Juan Carlos. And we do invite all who would listen, to worship with us on Sunday mornings. But sometimes it feels like there’s a whole crowd trying to take advantage of a good thing.

Here in the office we try to remember that we are to be as inviting, friendly and as welcoming as we can possibly be to everyone who crosses our threshold, so that we can always be identified as “a good thing.”

And, while I’m thinking about it, I wonder: are we inviting and welcoming on Sunday mornings? If not, who’s taking advantage of a good thing? Is it that we aren’t carrying out the mandates as set forth by Jesus, to love everybody, not just the folks who come off the streets during the week, but our brothers and sisters within the congregation? If we aren’t doing this, then who’s “taking advantage of a good thing”? Is our love for Christ infecting everyone who comes in our midst? That’s our challenge every day of the week, isn’t it?

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for this place we have to worship you. We so easily take for granted the church building, the staff that keeps the church running smoothly. Touch our hearts with your love so that we may urgently plead for the privilege of sharing our resources and our love with others. Amen


About Amy

Senior Pastor, The Riverside Church, New York
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