The longer I am here at Emmanuel, the more I have come to appreciate the staff. While I mentioned them in the Annual Report, those kinds of mentions can feel very routine and not necessarily sincere. And yet, as those who interact with Carolyn, Michael, Keith (and now) Lori know, they each inspire sincere appreciation and a sense that God is taking care of Emmanuel in a variety of ways. So, let me be specific in what I see:
Carolyn loves and appreciates thoughtful worship. She takes the time to make sure that the music she chooses fits with the themes of the season and aligns with the sermon focus. She brings the spirit of cooperation to every undertaking and is excited to bring new ideas and creativity to Sunday morning. And when the worship service comes together perfectly she radiates this joyful contentment that is contagious. I love working with Carolyn!
Michael is like the rock of Emmanuel church. Our worship service is held together by his consistently strong performances. When I lose my way, I look up toward the balcony to see what he is doing and he is always on cue. It is truly a blessing to have an organist who plays at the level that he does and there have been mornings when his piano performances have taken my breath away. Beyond his musical talent, Michael is extraordinarily kind and one of the most thoughtful gift-givers I have known. I love working with Michael!
Keith is the eyes and ears of the church. He calls and sends texts regularly to update me (and many of you too) on every aspect of the church property you can think of. He anticipates where the next problem will likely arise and how to handle it before it becomes a big problem. We are really fortunate to have a groundskeeper who provides around-the-clock service in the way that he does. Keith does the kind of work that is only noticed when it isn’t done. Nevertheless, when we arrive on Sunday morning and the grass is cut and the sanctuary is clean, it is because Keith was here long before anyone else. I love working with Keith!
Lori has only been here for a few weeks now, but she is already deep into the inner workings of the church. She has gone through the office computer files with a finetooth comb and is busy organizing a system that will keep us on track and help with our communications. She has added some visual elements to our worship slides that give them a little more life. She intuitively understands the subtle things that make church life more connected and meaningful. Lori is the kind of person who takes her time and does things well. She is conscientious and kind. I love working with Lori!
Church work is not for those who want to make a ton of money or even receive a lot of recognition. Church work is for people who are attuned to the Spirit and hear the call to serve the Lord with their unique gifts. Our staff here at Emmanuel love God sincerely and it shows in how they do their jobs. I am very grateful for each of them as I know you are too.