March 7, 2009 – It’s Hitting Home

I type my blog today under the influence of Vitamin C and Zicam as I try to fend off a cold.  The spring-like weather is nice, but these temperature swings are not a friend to one’s sinuses.

First off, I am happy to report that we have eclipsed the 10,000 page view mark on our website!  Considering that this just a small little church website, I think that is a pretty good number to achieve in less than two years.  Thanks again to everyone for visiting and using it.  Keep spreading the word about it!  Another interesting statistic – I had reported a while back that besides the home page, the most viewed page on the website was the weekly bulletin.  This is still the case, but slowly creeping up to overtake it is the blog, which is now only about 25 page views behind.  Who would have thunk it.

The news continues to be dominated by the economy, and rightfully so.  All of us have been affected by this recession one way or another, whether it has been a loss of investments, decline in business, or in worst case scenarios a loss of job or closing of business.  I consider myself fortunate, especially in times such as this, that I have a secure job that brings a steady income stream.  There are many people right now who cannot say that.

To this point I had not really known anyone close to me who had lost their job or had their income greatly reduced.  However, this past week you may have seen in the Messenger some very disappointing news that came from the Diocese – because of decreased investment income and decreased donations, that some Diocesan staff were being laid off, some were being reduced from full-time to part-time status (which means not only reduced income, but loss of benefits), and that all Diocesan staff would see their pay cut.  I was saddened to see this for a couple of reasons – first and foremost this is going to leave some very dedicated, talented people in a tough position.  I had gotten to know some of these people over my time on the Diocesan Pastoral Council and through other committees.  It breaks my heart to see that despite the fact that these people had put their heart and soul into their jobs, that they are still being cut loose or are seeing their roles reduced.

I was also saddened to see this because during my time on these various committees, much of our work was spent putting some of these people in place in order to better serve the pastoral needs of our Diocese.  To see this work now being dismantled is shocking and disheartening.  Could this have been avoided?  My heart tells me yes.  Are their fingers of blame to point?  Probably.  But the cold hard reality is that it is happening, and that even the church is not immune from the hard times we are facing as a nation.

So where do we go from here, and what does the future hold?  Well, of course only God knows that.  We certainly need to pray that our economy can begin to turn around in the near future.  We also need to pray for those who have lost their jobs that they can find employment and a new source of income.  And pray that our leaders, both our leaders of government and leaders of church, make decisions for the benefit of the overall common good.

Finally, I wanted to give a shout-out to those who came to our communion service this past Wednesday evening.  There appeared to be about 20 or so folks.  And I especially want to thank everyone for not running out of church when I “attempted” to sing.  Larry Gross will lead the service this coming Wednesday, and he will do a great job, so come if you can.

Enjoy the temporary spring fling.  Peace.

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