Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Very Unusual Night

*NOTE* I want to state at the beginning of this post that none of the people involved are currently on committees or part of the current membership of this church.  Every one of them has either gone home to Heaven or has moved on to other cities and churches.

About twenty years ago I was working at a large United Methodist church in Pennsylvania.  That is when the trouble began.  People were doing things.  Good things.  Stuff was being repaired, replaced, changed.  And that was a problem.  A big problem. 

You see, many churches are committee run machines that run like a machine as long as the oil is always applied to the same spot every day, the same people are consulted, the same committees are consulted before anyone does anything.  ANYTHING.

In this church, there were things that needed to be done.  There were walls to be patched and painted, outlets to be changed, toilets to be repaired, pianos to be tuned, microphones to be replaced, adoors to be shimmed, and wood to be refinished.

There existed in the membership a small group of people who saw the work that needed to be done and recognized the need to do the work without waiting for committee after committee to approve the purchase small vs. large plunger for the Sunday School office toilet.  For goodness sake, just bu a plunger already!

So we went about doing what anyone with a conscience would do.  We sneaked out, bought supplies, and went about doing the work without anyone's permission.  We fixed commodes, changed light fixtures, patched walls, repaired draperies, soldered pipes, painted rooms, and patched concrete steps. 

Committee members would come into the building scratching their heads at the door that no longer scraped the floor, asking each other about the new colors in the bathrooms (and who was responsible for approving that color). 

It was a lot of fun to do what needed to be done (a la Rodney Robot "See a need, fill a need").

Until ....

One member of our little covert "team" became prideful, and in a moment of weakness, bragged to someone about our activities.

One night as we were painting the choir room, the door opened and we were caught and told to stop.  From that moment on we were no longer given the freedom to move about the building.  Doors were locked, committee members were sent to "check on things" every night to make sure nothing was "going on."

I had never gotten in trouble for doing good.  Until that night.

It was a very unusual night.

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