I have had the honor of serving as the chair of the Personnel Committee for the past four years. During that time, there are two things among many that stand out as having left the most positive impressions on me:
First is the energy and dedication with which everyone employed by New York Avenue brings to the church each day. This was made clear to me through my own experiences here and, even more so, through the feedback I receive from others. For example, just last week someone told me how impressed they were with the efforts of the building staff in setting up for weddings and other third party events, breaking down and cleaning up afterwards. A couple weeks ago you heard Heather tell the story about Robin assisting the woman camped out outside one of the church entrances waiting for the Day Center to open. A couple months ago I heard about how David Smoot gave a tour of the church to a family of tourists who knocked on one of the church doors at a time when the church was closed and he was the only person here. These are just a few example, but there are many others.
Whether it’s Sunday services or any of the many many activities that take place here such as the Radcliffe Room, the Day Center, Community Club, McClendon Center, church board meetings or the activities of outside individuals or groups, there are many people conducting those activities, but the underlying foundation to all of them is the work of all of the church personnel. The staff are who make those go.
Second and equally impressive is the congregational mindfulness to the staff’s well being and the impact on staff through church activities. During my six years on Session, we have taken up many significant projects. During the discussion of nearly all of them one of the questions that always comes up has been, “This sounds great, but what will we be asking of the staff and how will they be affected? Are we taking care of the staff?” That experience is one of many that makes me grateful to be a part of this community.
The entire staff, pastoral and non-pastoral, take care of us as a congregation and we take care of them. In light of them I ask that you consider their work when considering an annual pledge for 2020.
Brian Schimming, Ruling Elder, Chair of Personnel