I’ve been stuck for ideas of what to write for Carmel of late. There are certainly lots of liturgical topics waiting to be discussed, but none of them have really grabbed me. Fortunately, last Saturday, I was inspired to write.
You see, it came to me as I was vacuuming the church. That’s right, vacuuming. The church (my apologies if I offend anyone) was looking quite dirty and uncared for. It may have taken about an hour and a half to do it on my own, but it needed to be done.
So what happened to our church cleaners you may ask? Well, that particular ministry of service to our community has suffered the same lack of numbers as many others. Sometimes it can be almost impossible at some Masses to find the required numbers of Communion Ministers. A lack of volunteers means that one organist plays at two Masses every Sunday. Despite our recent call for Altar Servers, some of our Sunday Masses will not have any of these valuable ministers due to lack of response.
There are many of us that belong to this parish community. We are its members and its co-owners. Think of us as a company where we are both the staff and the shareholders. We ultimately feel the effects of the volunteer shortage ourselves. It prevents us from living richly as a faith community, and inhibits our ability to reach out and serve others; the very things Christ challenges us to do.
If every parishioner put their skills to good use by doing just one thing for this community, then we would probably have a volunteer surplus! In the meantime, it seems that those who serve in our various ministries are a relatively small group carrying a very heavy load.