For better or for worse, I did preach this morning- a sermon on John 3 from my files. My music director and liturgist took up the slack in everything else...save the children's time. Like a knucklehead, I did that. I did tell the kids to keep a reasonable distance from me, however!
Well, we have been traveling through the order of worship the past several weeks with the kids, sharing with them why we do the things we do in worship. It's been quite effective and I think the adults are getting at least as much out of it as the kids. Anyhoo, today we were talking about the offering, so the "Young Disciples' Time" was located at that point in the service. We were having a nice conversation about giving out of gratitude and love for God. All was going just swimmingly until I asked, "Why do we give money in the offering? Is it because it's a our duty?"
Duty.... okay, I know NOW that that is one word you don't say in front of children if you want to maintain any semblance of control. It was mayhem from that point on....especially my 5 year old daughter who was laughing hysterically and saying "duty, duty, bathroom pooty...!"
All I could do at that point was pair them off with ushers and let them help collect the offering!
By the way, the answer to the question I was looking for was, "No, we don't give out of duty, but out of love for God," but I guess don't give God your crap is a good lesson, too!
Now for the latest in my file of crap (or duty!) I don't have time for...
First of all, I may have to eventually fire my Admin. Assistant. It would take too long to give all the reasons why, but I've been avoiding it since I arrived and now it's beginning to bite me in the butt. It's not just me, I am getting calls on a nearly daily basis from folks complaining about her mistakes and lack of professionalism. I hate it. She is a very sweet woman. She and her husband have just bought a house and her 92 year old mother has just moved in them. However, supervising her is taking waayyy too much of my time and, no matter what, things still don't get done right. Also, I have some questions about her integrity. Not big stuff, like embezzlement, but wrongful use of her time, that sort of thing. The latest earfuls I got today was several people telling me that on the days I was sick this week, they couldn't get anyone on the phone after 2:00 pm. hmmmmmmm.....
If there are any Interim pastors out there, please hear me... do your best to take care of obvious staff issues while you're there. The Interim even told me that he left that for me to take care of...grrrrrrr!!!
My plan is, with the Personnel Committee, to do an evaluation of her work and put together an improvement plan that we will share with her. We will meet again with her in a month and if there isn't significant improvement, her employment will be terminated. I can't think of a better way to go about it. I've never had to personally fire someone, so if any of y'all have some wisdom, I'm eager to hear it.
Also, I am going to have to talk with our main children's ministry person about not smoking in front of the kids. GEEZ LOUISE! I can't believe I have to have that conversation! This woman is a rock, I love her. She's on Session, board of Trustees, active in Presbytery. I love her, but when my kids come home from a day at the zoo with her and tell me she smoked in the car while driving them, there's a problem! Please pray that I will find the right words when I approach her.
This is all part of the gig, right? It feels an awful lot like "duty" to me!