I have written a lot of Annual Reports over many years of ministry. They are not as easy to write as you may think. How do you sum up an entire year of ministry on one sheet of paper, after all? You can’t say everything, of course, but what can you do that will at least give a flavour of what the year was like? I’m always open to finding a fresh approach.
So, here is what I’m going to do this year. You know those lists of questions that sometimes circulate on social media – questions that you are supposed to post on your page and answer while you challenge your friends to answer as well. Well, I borrowed one of those lists and adapted it to make it:
20 Questions about Scott’s 2019
(Do this without fibbing.)
1. Where are you answering these questions?
I am typing this as I sit in the car riding home (I’m not driving!) from a quick visit and a supper with our daughter at college in London.
2. What is your favourite church picture you took during the year?
3. Where was that picture taken?
At our Session retreat at Duff’s Presbyterian Church (February 2, 2019)
4. What was the hardest thing you had to do during the year?
Visit one of our church members in hospital. He was in a great deal of pain, confusion and so weak and there was so little I could do for him.
5. What was the greatest privilege?
Visit that same church member in the hospital and be able to be a part of that awful and yet meaningful and ultimately hopeful moment.
6. What moment in the year will you always cherish?
It was a moment that I cannot share with you. It was a moment of personal counselling that I cannot tell, but the grace of God was a powerful and healing presence. I will never forget it.
7. Best musical memory?
Most every time I got to sing with Joyful Sound!
8. What went terribly wrong and yet God turned it into something wonderful?
On Sunday, February 3, 2019, I was awakened to the news that the furnaces in the sanctuary were not working and it was cold in there, really cold! Oh no! What will we do?! What we did was set up and hold worship downstairs in the Fellowship Hall and we all had a great time and it gave us the impetus to start thinking differently about what we really required to be a church together.
9. What was the latest you stayed up on a Saturday night getting ready for a Sunday?
About 11:30 pm. I’ve gotten to the point that I’m really no good for much of anything after that. I have also gotten to the point, however, when I just wake up at 5:30 am Sunday morning and start getting ready.
10. Coolest surprise?
Carol Johnston knit Rudolph mittens for all the kids on the Santa Claus Parade float. (Somehow, I ended up with a pair, too.)
11. Best New Development?
Our youth grew in number and decided to organize themselves and elect their own leadership.
12. Best sign of hope?
We have a very meaningful moment when our session came together to create a covenant with the help of Rev. Greg Smith..
13. People you couldn’t have made it though the year without?
Our amazing staff. Joni is constantly challenging me (in a really good way) to be my best and bring out the best in others. Paula is so supportive and uplifting. Corey consistently blows me away with her talent and her leadership abilities. I feel I can always count on Glen to get it done. Karen is an amazingly caring presence, pulls people together and makes a meaningful community ministry possible.
14. Best church meal?
There were so many and they were so good but I’m going to have to go with the Thursday Night Supper and Social Christmas feast!
15. Your earliest workday?
December 9, I got to work at 5:20 a.m. It was to open up the church and turn off the alarm for a film crew.
16. Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Umm, maybe, under certain circumstances. Who am I kidding – it’s pizza. Of course, I’ll eat it!
17. Most fun at a new event?
Open Mic. What an incredible cavalcade of the talents of this congregation.
18. Who do you think will read this report?
Everyone, of course! They will pour over it like it’s a newly discovered gospel.
19. Who will comment to you on the silliness of that previous answer?
Joni, Paula, Dominique, Ray and Allison.
20. Who will be upset that you mentioned their name in the previous answer?
Joni, Dominique, Ray and Allison!