Wednesday, August 26 2020
In 1983 I began attending a 12 Step group called Happy Hour that met in the Guild Room. The meeting was so popular we often had to break up into two or three different rooms to just give everyone a place to sit. Smoking was still permitted back then and lots of people smoked, so you can imagine the cloud we generated over the course of an hour--it must have looked like the church was on fire when we opened the windows to air the place out!
Eventually Happy Hour moved to another location, and in the intervening years various 12 Step Groups have come and gone. Four were meeting here when the building was closed, and three of them continue as virtual meetings on Zoom. My job came in a roundabout way as a result of my involvement with one of the groups.
I was known to the office from having rented the parish hall for regional 12 Step assemblies over the past few years. Last summer I noticed that there had been a change in the church cleaning routine, and when I returned the key I mentioned that I was available if needed. A few weeks later I got a call asking if I was still interested, and shortly after I met with Fr. RC and was hired on an interim basis.
Now, nearly a year later, I remain grateful for the work and honored by the trust invested in me. The building can be a challenge--it's a blend of the Forties, Fifties, and Eighties, and the complexities of its various incarnations have baffled me from time to time. Fortunately I have an excellent mentor and can get help when I need it.
Alas, by the time I'd gotten into the swing of things everything had changed. The bustling activity slowed as we adjusted to the new reality of the corona virus, but we did adjust, and today services, meetings, and events are shared with the community over the internet through the resourcefulness of the clergy, vestry, volunteers, and staff. I admire those who continue to make it happen under demanding circumstances and give you my thanks.
Of course it's not the same as being together in person. I miss seeing the people who make St. John's such a vital place, the happy noise of the school upstairs, the choir practices and orchestra rehearsals that filled the sanctuary with glorious sound, and so much more, and yet I know the St. John's community is out there, loving and faithful and committed, eager to return when the time is right.