Good News and Bad News by Joan Dennehy

I’ve got good news and bad news. Which do you want first? OK, the bad news. When I retire you will not only be losing a pastor, you’ll be losing a church secretary. I have worn both hats, and I don’t want to leave without someone knowing the many office procedures as they currently work. I want to help make the transition less bumpy by delegating these administrative duties and training the volunteers. I’m talking about things like maintaining records, communications, coffee time schedule, monthly cards, printings and mailings, directory, bulletins, and all the quirks of the our copy machine and printer.

Now, for the good news! Louise Petrasek has volunteered to be your Office Assistant in 2015 ...a new staff member! She and I will be meeting through the summer for training. All the procedures will be written down and kept in a handy notebook. I imagine you are all on your feet dancing right now. Go ahead—hoot and holler. This is fabulous new that one person will hold the disparate office duties instead of parceling them out. When the Interim Pastor arrives, Louise will be up and running and able to resource him or her. Together they can plan a way forward, administratively.

Now...did you notice the one thing missing from the list? The elephant that is sitting in the room? Yep...this very Messenger. We have an
excellent newsletter. And it takes loving work to make it that way. The part of newsletter prep that Louise would be responsible for is the printing of the paper copies we send out (only about 50 now). Ann & John Polansky pick up the copies and prepare them for mailing each month. Louise would send out the digital newsletter when it is ready. But who will shepherd the creation of the newsletter? That’s the million dollar question. Skills needed: computer expertise, writing and editing, creativity, organization. We will have to train one another to get information to this person. He/she will collect articles and prepare them in a file to send to Jeremiah Oliver in New York. Jeremiah designs the newsletter in a couple of days and returns it for final edits. Then comes the fun part...saying that’s a wrap. This volunteer job requires most work time in the third week of each month. I will train you and we can work together on a few issues before the hand-off. It’s a plum of a job, really! You’ll know everything that’s going on in and around the church.

I’ll be waiting for a call from the one who is called to this good ministry (or maybe just has some questions to ask.)

Glad to be your pastor,
—Joan