There are many good things that are come around every year: an annual check-up, be it the doctor, dentist or mechanic; an annual job review, wherein some boss tells us that we’re doing good; an annual celebration, like a birthday or some other anniversary; the annual holiday. I suppose that there are some things that come around every year that are good, but might not feel so good, like income tax.
Then there’s the dreaded Parish Annual Meeting. Whether we like it or not; it is a necessary part of who we are as a people joined together in a common Faith. And frankly, I do not understand that some people think it’s a good Sunday to stay home. We enjoy all the benefits of being a community, we enjoy all the programs and activities of the Church, and we get baptized, confirmed, married and buried at the Church. The least we can do is participate in the things that make it all happen. And by-the-way, it only happens once a year.
Someone once told me that he doesn’t give money to St. Paul’s Church because, “I don’t know what you do with it.” Well, it is all reported in the Annual Report. We can’t be any more transparent than publishing annually exactly what happens to every penny. The next time someone says that to me, I will hand him a copy of the Annual Report and tell him the date and time of the next Annual meeting.
I look at Parish Annual Meetings as times of celebration. It is an opportunity for us to hold a mirror up to ourselves and even though we might not like everything we see – God still loves us. That, right there is reason enough for celebration!