Thursday, June 1, 2017

Then and Now.

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Baptismal Font at the old churchJane & I came to work at Holy Family in youth ministry and faith formation six years ago. Six years. It feels like even longer, probably because so much has changed. We started out sharing an office, one which for some reason had a ridiculously huge desk. I recall running up and down the stairs to get stuff from the printer, or to use the washroom, conveniently located right beside Deacon Bob’s desk. I’m sure he loved that.

Our little Spencer was almost 1.5 years old. He loved running back and forth (and back and forth) at the back of the old church during Mass. Now he’s just received Confirmation and First Communion. Cassia was born, and is now 4.5, and then Felicity came along 3 years ago.

I remember being introduced to the massive sound system that the Mennonites had put in, and holding meetings in whatever space we could find. It was “fun” bringing in food & gifts for Christmas hampers while trying to pack everything else up and clear it out. (In retrospect, we could have planned that better.)

The purge.

Stained glass at the old churchIt was an odd experience, coming in at the end of an era. It felt like I was packing up someone else’s life, while deciding what to bring over to start this new one. We cleared out all the nooks and crannies. Some things we kept. Some things continued to be useful. Some weren’t “useful” anymore, but still had value, often due to their history in the parish. Some we hoped would be useful in the near future. And some things we cut the strings and said goodbye.

The first few months in the new cathedral were… interesting. There was the excitement of having a new building, with new opportunities and new places to explore. A single key that worked everywhere! And air conditioning! The promise of sweet, gloriously cool air! But with it came ridiculous levels of stress. The move took a lot of time and energy. Now there was waaaay too much to be done. We were about 3-4 (or 6-8) months behind on things, most of which needed to be done in just a couple weeks (or by tomorrow). Burnout became far too common.

Here we are.

Stained glass at the new churchBut it settled down (at least a bit). Now, we’re just busy. There’s still always too many things for us to get it all done, but it’s nothing like that first year. Now, it’s just the reality of life. We’re into a bit of a rhythm. And some things on the list get done, and others get dropped. Baptisms and other sacraments have gone from about 120 to 170+/year, but we’ve adapted. We’ve had Alpha, the Catholicism series, a new website, Rediscover Catholicism, the new revised standard version of the website, Passion & Purpose, and much more. New groups and ministries have started and flourished, while some others have died off.

It’s been a fun ride. And now we’re here. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Read 568 times Last modified on Thursday, June 1, 2017