Thanks in a pandemic

By Rev. Rick King

“I no longer want to have anything to do with love that forgets to be grateful.” — Thomas Merton

This week, on the cusp of our second virtual annual meeting this coming Sunday, due to the pandemic, meeting with you on Zoom lets us see each other’s faces for the entire meeting, which we don’t in an in-person meeting.

Which makes me think of some of what I’m grateful for at FHC, so I’m pausing this week between two different series to give thanks for some of the many things and people that make ministry at this church such a pleasure. In no particular order, and certainly only a partial list.

For the way FHC and its people continue to pivot when circumstances change, and creatively adapt, both planned and on the fly, maintain community over physical distance, and attend to healthy relationships, clear communication, and good humor.

For Linda Owen, who keeps our public- and congregational-facing digital presence honest, inviting, and informative.

For Cor Wilson, her leadership through an unusual two-year term of yet more change; and her infectious laugh.

For Katie Johnson, her embrace of ministry here, her creativity, patience, always-learning spirit, and ways with youth and children, as well as adults.

For the Bradburys, Mike and Lynne, for enthusiastically jumping into building a youth ministry here from scratch.

For Carol Holm, her positive attitude and sense of fun, which have made the nominations process this year lighter and more optimistic.

For our Executive Board, who have been so supportive, creative, flexible, and attentive in their shepherding of this congregation through the second year of this very strange time.

For Shannon Kaiser, for whom “Swiss Army Knife” more adequately describes her job than “Office Manager” and who manages our office, building partnerships and MOU’s, making Advent banners, playing French horn, designing printed matter, editing video every week, learning VMix software so we can livestream worship, turning content into whatever kind of document you need…and on and on.

Adam Miller, Music Director, stepping into a choir-less Advent and organizing octets of singers, meeting people, playing piano in worship, and looking forward to the year ahead.

Margot Olsen, for TWO pandemic pageants, subbing on piano, helping with music for many months of prerecorded worship, including making recordings with masked singers in the sanctuary, dressing the worship environment with her co-conspirators, Marianne Dietzel and Patti Holmes—and embarrassing me (in the best way) on my 60th birthday on the livestream.

Our building, which has never been overbuilt like other church plants, and yet has received recent building partners with ease, quietly and patiently asking for us to catch up on deferred maintenance, but that never complains too loudly.

Dave Hill, the Marathon Treasurer, and our new treasurer and assistant treasurer, Allen Hoffman and Patti Holmes, who make a great finance team and have learned quickly so much of what Dave Hill knows, so that I have great confidence in their judgment and their work, helping us be good stewards of all that funds our mission.

FHC, there’s NO other church I’d rather spend a pandemic with than you!!