Why Should I Get Involved?
Many times, we hear ministers speaking about stewardship and
church activities from the altar during services, or we read about them in the
weekly bulletin or church newsletter. Unfortunately, many of us make excuses for
not getting involved; and each time we do, we are the real losers!
I first began attending Christ the King parish in September 2006 and joined one
month later. The first thing I did was to join the women’s Altar & Rosary
Society, where I met so many wonderful new friends while helping with several
events. Then, I attended a Saturday workshop on the book, titled “What Does God
Want Me to Do”, where I also met several new people who reintroduced themselves
at other events. It was at this workshop that our pastor told me of a problem
with the parish web site. After fixing the problem, he called and “mentioned” he
would like the web site redesigned. I quickly figured out that our pastor was
very good at getting people to “volunteer” for parish needs.
During reconciliation, he sold me on the Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP)
retreat. There I made more new friends, had a lot of fun, and grew even more in
my faith. Afterward, I agreed to participate in the CRHP formation team for the
next CRHP weekend. I formed what I hope are several lasting friendships; and,
while doing the formation, I joined the Women of Grace workshop and the Prayer
So, let’s recap a bit. I helped some people and the parish, I put in a lot of
hours, I gained some new information, I grew my faith, and I made a lot of new
friends. You might be thinking, “So what? What does this have to do with me?”
The Big Pay-Off
For me and for the small effort I put forth, all of the above would have been
more than enough payment (if you believe such is required). There truly is,
however, a hidden pay-off to getting involved with your church.
At the end of August 2007, my 90-year-old mother was rushed to the emergency
room and had surgery that evening to remove her colon. Her survival outlook
wasn’t good from the onset. The entire ordeal was excruciating for me, having to
make all the medical decisions on my own. The frustration and responsibility was
overwhelming; but I made it through with help from a lot of “new” friends. I had
called and put Mom on the parish prayer chain the morning after her surgery and
notified my sisters in Christ from CRHP and Women of Grace of the situation,
asking for prayers for Mom and myself.
through that day, one of the women I met during the Women of Grace workshop
suddenly appeared in the waiting room and gave me a much needed and very
welcomed hug! I couldn’t believe she had taken the time to stop in to give me
support and to see how my Mom (whom she didn’t know) was doing. How wonderful to
get that much needed Christian support. I’ll never forget her act of kindness to
When I returned home that evening for a much-needed four-hours sleep, I checked
from habit my phone and email for messages. My Prayer Chain group leader had
left a heartfelt message for my mother’s recovery, as well as for strength and
courage for me. Additionally, my email boasted of many emails from my sisters in
Christ, wishing my mother and me the best and saying they were keeping us in
their prayers. I almost cried at the support I was receiving from people I
didn’t know a year earlier.
The evening after my mother took a turn for the worse, a team member from my
CHRP formation group joined me that evening. She patiently listened to my
frustrations. She deserves sainthood for that evening, I’m afraid to admit.
My mother passed a little more than 24 hours later. Our pastor said a Mass for
her — a non-Catholic; she was remembered in all the Masses during the following
weekend; and it took me more than a month to write thank you notes to all those
parishioners who sent sympathy cards.
So, the real pay-off to getting involved in your church and its activities isn’t
necessarily the immediate giving and receiving. It’s knowing that so many people
are there, when you need them most — people who won’t know YOU, if you don’t get
involved. So, if you are someone making excuses for not getting involved, please
rethink your decision. There’s so much you can do for others, but there’s so
much more that God, your church, and its members will give you in return some
day — when you least expect it but need it most!
by Patricia Hawke
Copyright 2008, Patricia Hawke
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