This past weekend was another lesson in extremes. Saturday we had one of our 'Sharing the Warmth' deliveries where a group from our church go into Fort Wayne and distribute coats, blankets, and stuff to the homeless and needy. We had a TON of donations this time - more than we've ever had before. We filled a mini-van, SUV, and an old ambulance that someone converted into a work truck. There were also 17 people who went - which is also probably the most who have ever gone. Though 2 of them were pastors from another church who wanted to tag along to see what we did. Anyway, it went well, and although it was cold, I think everyone had a worthwhile time.
Then on Sunday we had the usual worship gathering, followed by a carry-in lunch, followed by the annual congregational meeting. I had asked Joan to share following her latest trip to Brazil. She is the director of development for Project Amazon, and once a year she travels to the Amazon region in Brazil. She had shared on a Sunday night once, and after hearing some stories from this trip, I wanted her to share on a Sunday morning. Wow, she was fabulous. She is a much better speaker than I am, and even though it wasn't really a "sermon," she had a really, really good message for us. We tell ourselves that discipleship is important to us, and PAZ is a disciple-making organization, so it fit right in with what I've been trying to teach. It was a really nice worship service.
Then we had lunch - which wasn't bad either. There were probably 50 or so people that stayed to eat. I am always frustrated by how many people will NOT stay and eat whenever we do things like this though.
Then we had the congregational meeting. It started around 12:25, and probably ended way past what I thought it would - something like 2:15. To sum up, after just having an incredible time of blessing others on Saturday, and then hearing a fantastic message in the morning, we spent the bulk of the afternoon arguing about carpet and how much the pastor should be paid. It was pretty disheartening. Though it didn't get as nasty as I was afraid it might get. I know some people wanted to get a lot more vocal, but as the chairman of the board, I had no intention of letting things get too out of hand. It's one thing to voice your opinion, it's another thing to just be stupid. So it really didn't go as bad as I thought it might. Much of the discussion was justified, and even some that wasn't, I think it shows that there are some issues that need to be dealt with. Although there are a couple of people who are going to have to accept that things are not going to go their way. I am hopeful that things can be worked out though.
In the end, it was a very tiring weekend. Sunday evening, and still today, I feel like I've been through the wringer. My brain is mush.
Now it is on to other things. So let it be written, so let it be done...