Friday, October 6, 2017

New Realization... Parish Employees should all be Canonized

I took a part time contractual position with my local parish, because you know what mother of five children who has a full time job DOESN'T also want a part time job?  Right?

Actually this job was really an answer to prayer.  Let me start at the beginning, and then I will get to the part about the canonizations of all parish employees.

I LOVE retreats, something about escaping the realities of life for a period of time to just bask in the light of GOd's love, and grow intimately with our Lord in prayer really makes me glad.  Even more than attending retreats, I LOVE planning and helping coordinate retreats so that others can bask in the light of God's love and grow intimately with our Lord in prayer.  To me its a thrill, and a "high" and I want everyone to feel what I feel, and experience what I experience.  SO we can all be "high" together.  (Deep down inside I really am a hippie.)

So about a year ago, and opportunity for a new full time job was presented to me and it included planning and coordinating confirmation retreats.  Well you see I sort of had a full time job already that I have been working at a for a while and I don't feel God calling to me leave.  But I did feel God calling to me to make a suggestion to my Pastor who had offered the role to me.  The suggestion was to coordinate just the confirmation retreats, as a contract employee and keep my full time job.

Honestly, I wasn't sure what the response would be, but when I received the "yes" from my Pastor. I immediately took it as confirmation from God that HE is calling me to do this.  I was excited, and filled with confidence that God really does want to use me in this way.

Then, I thought, "Wait a minute? What in the heck am I thinking?  I can't do this!"   (Those thoughts were not from God by the way.)

SO here I am in the thick of it, and it is happening.  I have to be honest. I am calling on the spirit of Moses a lot lately.  He had a speech impediment and yet, God called him to be the Voice of the Israelites to Pharaoh.  I am have a TIME impediment, and yet God is calling me to plan and coordinate three parish retreats.  Well God,  you are the one who invented Time, so here we go.

Since taking on this tiny little contract position, I have had a glimpse into the life of a parish employee, and truthfully I am realizing THEY ARE ALL PROFESSIONAL BEGGARS.  Every. Single. One.

Each parish is only as good as it's volunteers.  And in all fairness they shouldn't really be called Volunteers at all.  We are ALL called to be Disciples of Christ and Christ is speaking to each of us, when he says, "Go Therefore and Make Disciples of All Nations."  When you serve a parish community you are MAKING DISCIPLES.

Now in addition to begging people to step up and serve without any financial compensation, we require that they turn in 18 pages of paperwork, background checks, finger printing, and a three hour on-line training program to serve the youth.  WOW.  Now try to recruit disciples.

Yet this is what our Religious Education Directors, Youth Ministers, and Core teams have been doing for years.  This is seriously Saintly.

So here is my proposal for immediate consideration.

The three miracles necessary to be canonized can all be considered done after they have successfully recruited their first three volunteers.   Canonization should take place as soon as they have breathed their final breath.  Because in all fairness every Parish Employee is a TRUE SAINT even before they have passed onto heaven.

Seriously people, love on your parish staff members.  Send them flowers, show them you care.  Step up to disciple their domain;  preferably before they get to the "begging" stage.  Pray for them!  Pray that their work doesn't become tedious, and that they don't experience burn out.  Pray that they remember the spark that initiated their acceptance of the call, and that they always remain close to Christ to guide them in their vocation!!!


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