We’ve had some staff changes over the past few weeks, so I want to note them here.
We have a new parish office manager, Margaret (Peggy) Scharf, who replaces Mary Thiel. Peggy began her training on January 7, and will take over the office from Mary on January 21. Peggy has lived in North Babylon for 26 years. She and her husband, Mike, have been married for 25 years. They have raised two children: Michael, age 23, and Katie, age 20. They both attend college and are working part-time. She and her husband grew up in New Hyde Park, and both attended Holy Spirit Roman Catholic School. She previously worked in the North Babylon School District and before that for the Jamaica Water Supply company. Please welcome her to her service here!
(This is a good time to remind parishioners that the parish office is a place of business; it’s there to serve the pastoral needs of parishioners, volunteers, and staff. While I’m delighted that the atmosphere is friendly, it’s not a place for socializing. Everyone is welcome on parish or personal business, but when you’re through please let the employees do their jobs for others.)
Mary Thiel is moving to a new position as Associate Director of our new Generations Day Care. She’ll assist Barbara McGrellis in the operation of our newest ministry — soon to open, we hope. Mary’s workplace will be at the south end of the main corridor, in the day care office.
(By the way: You’ll notice that the hallway doors on the first floor of the Center have been moved partway down the corridor. This is to provide legally-required separation between the day care and the rest of parish activity. Access to the day care area is carefully controlled for the safety of the children. Even parish employees who are not on the day care staff no longer have unrestricted access to that area of the building. One unfortunate byproduct of this separation is that the rest rooms on that corridor, since they’re now part of the day care, are no longer open to parishioners and visitors at any time. Rest rooms are available to all on the main corridor (outside the main parish office) and, at certain times, downstairs in Patrick Shanahan Hall.)
Returning to staffing: Our Liturgy Coordinator, Fran Sarvis, has resigned her position. We’re going to leave that job unfilled indefinitely and (at least temporarily) reassign its responsibilities. Fran will continue to be employed as a sacristan and will continue to serve in her volunteer ministries here. For liturgical ministers (sacristans, lectors, EMHCs, ushers), I’ll now be directly responsible for your ministries. You’ll soon be hearing from me so that I can learn from you how you can better serve our people. As our staff of employees (and of clergy too, as I described last week) gets smaller, your contribution to our mission and to our people becomes even more vital; and I want to help you to embrace the privilege of service knowing just how important excellence in your ministry is — so I need to know what obstacles you face, what resources you need, and what helps and hinders you in that service.
Change can be unsettling — often we say it’s the “change” we don’t like, but at the root is something more ominous: fear that we’ll lose something we cherish. Facing losses directly is healthier — we know what we’re dealing with. And, when we admit that we fear loss, we can also be open to the gains that come with changes. This happens not only in parish life, but everywhere. And for us as Christians, we can understand these times as another instance of the deepest pattern of human life in Christ: crosses, certainly — but always potentially a pathway to resurrection. Until next week, peace.