Dear Friends in Christ—
As we head into Labor Day weekend, I want to give thanks for our staff here at Grace. As you
know, we have seen tremendous turnover in the past year. While that transition has been
challenging, I am grateful every single day for the staff we have. They each bring gifts as
individuals. But the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Your staff is collaborative,
dedicated, resourceful, and faithful. I am honored to be on the same team with them.
If you appreciate this staff as much as I do, you will want to join me in supporting them.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Notice what they do. Or, more accurately, notice and tell them. It doesn’t have to be a
big project. In fact, the daily awareness of routine service (especially the behind-the-
scenes jobs) is probably more valuable.
- Understand their work patterns. Often, our staff have full schedules during the week, so
drop-in visits can be difficult. We all love getting to say hello, but if you want to have a
staff member’s attention, it’s best to make an appointment, or even just call ahead.
- Ask their opinion. While our ministries are rightly led by the people of this church, the
staff are here to support you in those ministries. All of them care deeply about this
community and its mission. They are smart people and good listeners.
- Respect their time. We all juggle multiple commitments and deadlines. Emergencies
are inevitable in church life. But in ordinary circumstances, give lead time for planning.
- Respect their boundaries. I have asked our staff to limit their emails to the workday
(from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.). I do the same. Please do not write a staff member after
hours with the expectation that you will get a response that evening. Likewise, we all
take weekends off. (The clergy and our Music Director work on Sundays, so Mother
Nina and I take Mondays off instead, and Father Santi and Sam are off on Fridays.)
- Share your joy at our mission. Everyone is excited by a beautiful liturgy, a satisfying
night at the Food Pantry, or even a really great coffee hour. Let the people who helped
make it possible celebrate with you.
I write all this knowing that many of you routinely do these things. It’s because I have
experienced this kind of loving environment from you at Grace that I know what it looks like
and I want to encourage it as we move forward.
Perhaps most importantly, I ask you to pray for our staff:
Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or
ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the
common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the
rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for
ever and ever. Amen. (A Collect for Labor Day, BCP page 261)
Yours in Christ,