Thank you.

This column is about stuff we don’t always notice or remember to appreciate. Specifically, I am thinking about things that get done behind our backs. A lot of that kind of work goes on around our church. In January we were asked on short notice to hold a memorial service for Joanne Olafson, a longtime member. When I added a request for volunteer help to the service announcement letter, about six people replied quickly and about a dozen showed up to help with set up, coffee, serving and cleaning up. Just like that!

And while it’s true that we sometimes have trouble recruiting regular volunteers (as in the RE program), we also have a lot of folks who just do stuff. On Wednesdays a gang of mostly older guys come in to fix things, things I often didn’t even know needed fixing. They make a list with the help of Mike Keast, but they add a lot of little things themselves. They also help unload the Food Bank truck when it comes. We don’t have to organize them or remind them…we just have to say thanks.

Another often unnoticed area is communication. Few of us realize how much work it takes to keep the web site up to date, to manage our social media pages ensuring there is good regular and fresh content (including pestering the minister to provide some of that content), collecting and editing our newsletter, recording and publishing our services online. Short answer: It’s a lot of work!

How about the kitchen? With more people renting and using our kitchen, it needs regular cleaning that goes beyond the scope of our building maintenance contract. Again some dedicated folk just go ahead and do it, making sure our kitchen is well regarded by the health inspector.

I could go on and on noting the work of the tellers, the sound techs, the RE teachers, the gardeners, the aesthetics folks, the clean-up and prep crews for our various celebrations, the folks who return bottles and empty donation bins. My point is that this community exists because the members take care of it. If our community is vibrant it’s because you make this happen. Sure, the elected Board manages things, and the staff all make their contributions, but without that ad hoc volunteer help we would be nowhere.

So thank you, nameless ones. Those of us who are paid to work here, know who most of you are and appreciate what you do.

See you in church