Our capital campaign is about building relationships and community.
This is the story of one of the campaign volunteers.
When Father Mark asked if I would help with the Capital Campaign, I told him I wanted to be an instrument of God. Sound naïve or overly romantic? Then Marina invited me to a Capital Campaign team meeting. I went because I like Marina, and I had no idea what it would involve. When I walked into the conference room I looked around and saw some people I knew but with whom I don’t socialize. I was nervous.
That experience was weeks ago. I fought my nerves and joined the team. Marina and I committed ourselves to meeting with a number of households to request support for the campaign, which we came to understand as a ministry. We attended weekly team meetings, at which we reported our progress in scheduling meetings and following up with one-on-one calls. But there was more going on at the team meetings than just the updates. We were uniting as a group focused on a common goal. We supported each other through encouragement and prayer. I came to know and admire individuals who had been strangers to me – names and faces without stories. Bones without flesh. We were building relationships of trust.
As I prepared my notes for the last team meeting, I realized I felt the sadness of loss. I didn’t want the meetings to stop. Incredible! Who likes meetings? I had fallen in love with the support, ministry, and hope generated by our team coming together each Monday night. I gathered jars of honey made by bees in my family’s avocado groves and selected a few bottles of Bordeaux I had imported years prior to
On May 6 our church hosted a great collaboration, a performance of Dvorak’s Mass in D. Our parish choir joined two other choirs and an orchestra to bring the Mass to exuberant life. As our patrons arrived before the concert, some looking overwrought and unsteady after having faced a full parking lot, sweltering heat, and a ton of stairs, I thought of the commercial elevator and the additional upper lot parking spaces planned for our campus. As the choirs and the orchestra struggled to cram themselves into the altar area of our church and the patrons spilled out of the pews, I thought of our new Parish Community Center, where concerts such as this one will offer everyone the needed breathing space.
I used to daydream of such a hall and of such easy access to our worship. Now I’m planning for it. I used to wonder what community felt like. Now I know what it feels like and I’m not going to let it go. It’s for all of us – each one of us is vital to St. Bart’s and our ministry. Each one of us is needed. If you haven’t yet been contacted by someone regarding our campus renovation and you want to connect, please reach out to me or the Campaign Steering Committee www.stbartschurch.org/honorfaithbuildfuture. God bless you and keep you.