This past winter, my church at the time held a “Paint Nite,” as a fundraising event. As someone who has very little artistic skill, I was skeptical that I would come away with anything of worth. Just sitting in front of the blank canvas seemed daunting. When we took our first strokes to prepare the canvas for more color, I was convinced I would ruin the whole thing. But as our teacher for the night slowly guided us through the exercise, breaking down each step of the process, the blank canvas slowly transformed. First, into blocks of color; then with odd shapes inserted here and there; and finally, a picture emerged. When I finished for the night, I sat back and thought to myself, “That’s not actually all that bad.” As I looked around the room, all of our once blank canvases were transformed into unique, yet similar, works of art.
In some ways, that is the work of Hickory Neck this summer. Committee leaders and Vestry liaisons have been gathering these past couple of months to prepare for our Vestry’s retreat/workday on Saturday. Each Vestry member is assigned to be a liaison to a ministry area of the church and has been asked to assemble a calendar of the work each ministry area would like to do this year. The Vestry and clergy will come together on Saturday to put that work together on a blank calendar and see what work of art emerges.
To some, working on calendars for a whole day may sound dull. But I am convinced that our work this Saturday is important work for the life of the community. By taking a holistic look at our calendar, we get a sense of our priorities, our strengths, and our challenges. Instead of each ministry area doing what they do in isolation, we can step back and look at the fuller tapestry of life at Hickory Neck and discern whether the picture our calendar presents is the image we really want. This is exciting work, full of possibility and potential.
I ask that you hold our Vestry in prayer this weekend as we do this collaborative work. If you have already spent time working with your Vestry liaison, reflecting on goals and plans, thank you for the work you have already done. If your ministry area has not yet had a chance to offer your dreams and goals with your Vestry liaison, please reach out to them this week. This weekend we will be painting a beautiful picture together and I look forward to sharing the masterpiece with each of you as we kickoff our program year in September. Great things are already happening at Hickory Neck. Your Vestry and clergy are excited to make that work even better!