I was reading an article yesterday about the number of people who hate their jobs, and my immediate response was a mix of sadness and joy. Sadness for all those who don’t find gratification and satisfaction in their line of work. And joy because I love my job! I work with an amazing group of people who make my daily grind not a grind at all but a first-rate work environment. Of course, there are bumps and glitches but it’s a loving, supportive and encouraging place to work. A place of community and prayer.
I know that seems logical when it comes to working at a church, but it hasn’t always so. I’ve been on staff almost 25 years and there have been some not-so-great stretches along the road. There’s something unique this distinct bunch of sinners who make up the personnel of Hollywood Pres. We may be in a period of transition but the hired hands of FPCH have special ways of coming together.
On the first and third Tuesday of the month, our pastoral staff comes together to talk, read and pray. On the second and fourth Tuesday, the whole staff comes together to do the same thing. Every few months, we are presented with a fifth Tuesday. That has normally been a time for us all to meet in the senior pastor’s office, drink coffee, have a little nosh and NOT talk about work. It’s always been fun and casual but difficult. How do you come together with your co-workers and not talk shop?
Two weeks ago, we had one of those fifth Tuesdays, but is was nothing like we’d had before. After a couple of weeks of talking and planning, we put together a menu and game plan for our newly devised soiree. We moved the location to the CE Lounge, set up tables with tablecloths, and proceeded to have a proper morning tea. Most of us aren’t skilled in the art of a high tea so we drew from the knowledge of our resident Kiwis and tea aficionados, Brooke and Barnaby.
With the help of many, we were able to lay out freshly made sweet and savory scones, finger sandwiches that included cucumber, smoked salmon and prosciutto, all with cream cheese. There was quiche, Belgian biscuits (spiced cookies), and something called pikelets (small New Zealand pancakes). There was fig jam, fresh butter, and whipped cream. Most of us drank coffee but what can you expect from a bunch of Yanks?
We didn’t talk shop. We learned some new things about the people with whom we spend a good portion of our lives, all very different yet united in Christ.
We enjoyed each other’s company and had no desire to see it end. It was something new and definitely worth repeating. We were human “beings”, rather than human “doings”, and we were being community.
Next teatime: March 31, 2020.