This last year has been incredibly challenging for all of us. The members of our church staff have done a remarkable job in overcoming challenges, thinking outside the box, and showing the dedication to do whatever it takes to keep our church connected.
Our congregation has gone out of its way to help the staff feel appreciated. You have written countless notes, made phone calls, and shared financially through the Christmas Love Offering. Thank you to all who have helped our staff feel the support!
Our staff is human, of course, and sometimes miss the mark or need to hear constructive criticism. We want to remind you of the biblical model Jesus shared in Matthew 18: beginning with a direct conversation with the person in question, which usually addresses the issue, but if not, then involving their supervisor or a member of the SPRC. It is amazing how most of our frustrations can be cured by open communication. By and large, most of our congregation adheres to this model and for that we are grateful!
In the midst of the overwhelming flood of positive support and the occasional, healthy communication of criticism, some of our staff have received anonymous, unfounded personal attacks using racist, homophobic, and demeaning language. For the sake of those who have received these notes, we want to go on record as denouncing this method and language, and we have advised the staff to not respond and discard all anonymous critiques.
The giftedness and dedication of our staff is astounding. Most of our staff could earn significantly higher wages in the secular world. They have chosen to work at St. James because they are called to ministry and they care about the spiritual life of this congregation. They have stuck with us through this pandemic even as they have been asked to take on different duties and endure the stress of weekly uncertainties.
Thank you, St. James, for all the ways you support our staff even as they seek to support you. As we continue to make our way through these strange and challenging days, let us all strive to model the fruit of the Spirit in our life together as the body of Christ!
Lanie Shive, Chair