We Appreciate You!
October is traditionally pastoral appreciation month. It is always a bit awkward to write about it or plan for it when a committee brings it up since it is kind of like planning your own birthday party, so Jenni and I thought we would turn things around and tell you why Jenni and I appreciate you, the members of First Presbyterian Church of Omaha.
Pastors of different churches talk to each other, and one thing I have become very aware of is that First Presbyterian Church doesn’t behave in the same way many other churches do…and that’s a great thing!
I know of churches where anonymous notes are sent in ways that are mean, disrespectful, and do not build up the body of Christ. I have always operated from the viewpoint that anonymous notes are most often not the kindest way to offer criticism because there is no face to face discussion, forcing both sides to recognize that this is a human interaction that is happening and that feelings, emotions and relationships matter. In the very few instances I have received an anonymous note, the note most often has been an idea that I wish I knew where it came from, because it was a good idea and worth talking more about.
This church also treats your pastors fairly. You compensate us appropriately, you collaborate with us in ministry, you seek our opinions, and you partner with us. There are congregations that hit both extremes of this (tell pastors exactly what things to do and how to do them, or expect pastors to tell you exactly what things to do and how to do them). At our church, we seem to recognize that this is a joint ministry and that we are all in this together, and that is so wonderful to see.
This church also does things well. When I look at our recent retreats, our funeral lunches, how we decorate for Advent and Scottish Heritage Sunday, how intense our Rally Sunday celebration was just a few weeks ago, our Wassail, and numerous other things we do, we do them well! We go to huge efforts to be sure that if we are doing something for God’s ministry, we do it well.
We also appreciate the great efforts we have seen in our mission outreach: Neighbor’s United meals, Crossroad Connection ministry, the Habitat for Humanity build, our Hand Up Food Pantry, Operation Christmas Child, as well as numerous other mission outreaches you are involved in individually and in small groups…all of these organizations, and missions, have benefited greatly from your time, gifts, and efforts.
We appreciate you and all that you do. You are doing great things for the kingdom and making a difference. Thank you!
Pastor Jon and Pastor Jenni