Archive for the ‘Service’ Category
I’m actually going to church again! It’s not so much by choice, but I still do enjoy it once I get there.
Butterfly is REQUIRED by the county, as a seventh grader and therefore presumably a potential juvenile delinquent and drain on society, to provide 12 hours of community service during the school year. It’s like preemptive sentencing, I guess. And it can’t be just any random service or helping out your mom with yardwork or babysitting, either. It has to be a cohesive 12 hour project approved by the school, and supervised by an adult who is not the child’s parent.
Part of the problem with getting a non-parental adult to supervise is that the child’s grade then depends on the reliability of said adult. And we had trouble finding one because of the tendency of many adults not to answer their email in a timely fashion. However, we did pull it all together only a week or two after the due date for the proposal, and the full letter drop in her grade because of its tardiness will not be reflected in her final grade. So, phew.
Butterfly is helping in the nursery during our church’s newly-instituted Saturday evening service. Since it’s both new and on Saturday, it’s a pretty small service, and there are usually two or three babies in the nursery, which makes it relatively calm and manageable. Butterfly seems to be enjoying it. And I like it too, because I take her to the nursery and then go to the service, where I can find a seat without being jammed tightly in between two complete strangers. NinjaBoy has been staying with a neighbor friend while Butterfly and I go to church, and that makes it all so much nicer for everyone!
The services are usually an hour long, so she needs to go 12 times, which will take her into February, probably, since I’m sure she won’t get there every single week. Sometimes, like this last weekend and every two or three weekends on average, her mother will have yet another #@$%ing migraine and be unable to get her there. But all we can do is all we can do.
Wow, I’m not doing so well here. No posts in a month. It’s not that we haven’t been going to church, though we’ve missed a couple weeks because of weather and traveling. I think I’ve been avoiding posting a little because I feel like I should be coming up with profound spiritual and religious insights and, well, I’m just not that person.
But anyway, at the last service I attended the minister spoke about joy; she said it takes faith in the beauty and goodness at the heart of all that is. At the moment, I wasn’t really feeling it. But she also talked about “attending to our own part in the goodness.” That was something I could grasp onto and understand.
One of the things I most like about this church is the many opportunities it offers to attend to and practice being part of the goodness in the world. Just a few examples:
- A percentage of the collection each week goes to a charitable organization that helps the hungry, the homeless, the mentally ill, etc. A different organization is spotlighted each month.
- The congregation is involved in working for local affordable housing.
- The church opens its doors every winter to participate in a hypothermia shelter, providing a place to sleep and breakfast to those most at risk during the coldest part of the winter.
- Raising money for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which promotes human rights and responds to humanitarian crises.
- Fundraising for The Fistula Foundation to help women’s health in the Congo, Afghanistan, and Burundi.
- Sponsoring Thanksgiving dinner at an urban homeless shelter; making pies beforehand and collecting food on Thanksgiving day.
- Holiday giving tree (this was a good one for my kids– although NinjaBoy was a little worried after picking out a Transformer for a nine year old boy that perhaps it was too violent a toy. ”It shoots things!” he said. I thought it was probably okay).
- Food drives/grocery shopping for low income families in the area.
- Arranging summer internships for teens at various local charitable and service organizations. I want my kids to do this when they’re old enough!
That’s just what I can think of off the top of my head, not to mention blood drives and environmentally friendly landscaping and encouraging political participation in various ways. They’ve got stuff like this going on all the time.
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
For a non-Christian church they do a fine job of putting the best Christian ideals into practice. It was another bit of culture shock for me, actually. I’ve never been to a church that had such hands-on involvement in charitable causes and I can’t quite figure out how they have the resources or the energy. I’m still trying to get oriented, but I hope to get my kids and myself more involved.