A Stable Faith 

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself. ~Henry Ford
It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed. ~ Napoleon Hill
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  ~Helen Keller

So then, I can only imagine that cooperation and collaboration have been tried and not found wanting so much as, perhaps, found to be difficult!  We all have our own ideas, our own goals, our own ways of doing things.  Moving forward together, helping others to succeed and working together absolutely requires some sacrifice, but as Michael Jordan points out, “Individual talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”  And I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking the championship goal trumps the game goal every time!

Recently, we’ve had a few up close and personal experiences of efforts that were cooperative, collaborative, and the results were nothing shy of miraculous!

The first one arose from a need for a technical table.  The move to multi-platform worship comes with a lot of new equipment.  How could that equipment be installed into our beautiful sanctuary in the most seamless way possible? 

First there was an extra pew and an idea…could that pew be turned into a table, one that would match the decor of the sanctuary?  A YouTube video proved it could. The congregation was asked to give the pew to this endeavor, and said ‘yes’. Enter our own John Miller, woodworker extraordinaire! John could have hemmed and hawed, but instead he simply scratched his chin, took the pew apart, and returned a few weeks later with a table that looks like it has always been right where it now sits — in the back corner of the sanctuary. Of course, in between, there were agreements as to the design to be reached, and some much appreciated (actual) heavy lifting by a few of the Maintenance Team. But, in this project, everyone involved moved forward together and now it is done, it is beautiful, and I hope everyone involved feels good about the part they played!

The second example of cooperation and collaboration burst forth when 30 people — mostly members of the congregation, and a few family members of members of the congregation — stepped up for a church wide spring clean-up day.  Kudos to our new Chair of the Property Committee, Bethany Poulin, for her great coordinating skills and for all the great energy she brought. Blessings to Barbara Smith, who has been on the Property Committee long enough to know how to organize a day like this, and who gave freely and without reserve from that bounty of gifts.  Thanks to all of you who showed up and helped out by giving of your time, your talent, and your joy!  Thanks to the Kukuleles for the music!  Talk about winning the championship… Not only do the church and grounds look great, but we had fun doing it!

Another example is coming, and I have seen enough cooperation, collaboration, and coordination to have faith it will be spectacular — and that is our upcoming, first ever, Rummage and Craft Sale coming on May 14!  Organizers put out a call for gently used items and you all have responded with generosity in abundance.  Our team is at the church every Monday sorting and pricing objects.  Leslie Minassian has been helping to price jewelry.  Nancy Danzinger is pouring on the charm and rolling out the ask for volunteers to help out on the day of the sale.  I cannot wait to see how it all turns out, but quite aside from the money it will raise, it has been a sight to behold and yet another example of what we can accomplish when we work together!

You have oft heard me quote the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  And, for as long as I am with you, you will continue to hear me do so.  His life and ministry greatly inspired my own, and besides that, he was a really smart man!  He said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. … Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Sometimes a table is more than a table, a clean-up day is more than a clean-up day, and a church yard sale more than a church yard sale.  Sometimes these ‘simple’ tasks become the training ground for the bigger works ahead.  And make no mistake about it.  Preparation and training are EVERYTHING!  For as Ben Franklin put it, “By failing to prepare, we prepare to fail.”

Blessings on all of your good works!  You are a joy to behold!

BIG Love,
Rev. Shayna