The precious gift of your time and talent

The story of the sisters Mary and Martha from the gospel of Luke has always resonated with me. In this story, Martha, busy with all the work of feeding and entertaining a house full of guests, grew annoyed at her sister, Mary, who, rather than helping, sat at Jesus’ feet, listening raptly to Jesus’ words.

Some years ago, I was happy to attend Sunday services and simply let the beautiful liturgy wash over me. In a large church, too, it was easy to slip in and out fairly anonymously and without many involvements beyond attending services. I happily labeled myself as one of the contemplative Mary category. In one of Father Martin’s past sermons,after mentioning that we need both Marthas and Marys in the church, he asked for a raise of hands of those who identified as Marthas and those who identified as Marys. When over two thirds of our congregation raised their hands to identify as Marthas, I recognized that this was what made St. Andrew’s such a robustly warm and welcoming place. And perhaps a step above the Biblical Martha, these Marthas are not just active in service, but believe in service with a higher purpose. For those who by nature lean towards the Mary side of the spectrum, it can be beneficial to be around a lot of Marthas and get a nudge to move from the edges to the center, and find a Christian life that is even richer than previously imagined. After all, Mary was at the feet of Jesus, not observing from a corner.

Whether you are by nature a Mary or a Martha, a newcomer, or long-term member, there are plentiful opportunities to get involved at St. Andrew’s. A few ministries where helping hands would currently be welcome be welcome include Altar Guild, Building and Grounds, Finance, help with coffee hour, Sunday School, and also the Vestry. The approaching new year might be the perfect time to get involved in something new.

For years, I thought that the Vestry must be something like an altar guild, since Vestry does look like the word vestment. I eventually learned that the Vestry is a team of parishioners who work alongside the rector to oversee a variety of matters of the parish.I’ve enjoyed being part of the Vestry for the opportunity to better know so many members, and I’ve gained an appreciation for the behind-the-scenes efforts and attention to detail of many parishioners for the services and activities that take place each week.

In our Vestry, we are looking at the upcoming year and making decisions about where to focus our time, talent, and resources. Sometimes the path forward is not the simplest or safest, but the path on which we move forward with faith in a higher purpose.

The members of the Vestry look forward to meeting with everyone at our next annual meeting as we discuss and discern together, and walk forward in faith.