Pitch in

One of my father’s favorite phrases is, “pitch in.†This is usually said when it was time to clean the garage, or for company to arrive, or to help a friend move some furniture. When dad says, “let’s all pitch in,†it means get to work.

I don’t mean to coast along on nostalgic sentimentality, but pitching in seemed to be a common activity when I was a child. Like watching TV together, or spending holidays at the relatives, when something needed to get down it was just expected that you would do it.

In my hazy memory this attitude carried over into school and other activities. I picked up trash for a school field trip, assisted in cleaning a new church building, and raised money to help a local soup kitchen. As I look back on my high school years it is the memory of these activities that seems to remain the strongest.

It wasn’t until I was in high school that I figured out that pitching in was also called volunteerism. In graduate school I found there was an office for volunteer opportunities. As an adult I hear politicians advocating for volunteers to do everything form fixing local schools to saving hurricane victims.

Volunteerism has gained an attitude of professionalism about it. I’ve recently seen a local charity that has a whole office of volunteerism, with a director for volunteers, and several administrative assistants for volunteer efforts. I understand that this allows them to recruit more people and to use the precious volunteer hours most effectively. As we all know—time is our most precious resource.

The church still has an old-fashioned “pitch in†approach to volunteers. If there is a job to be done, we assume someone will just do it. In reality it is harder and harder to get all the jobs done. Yet, we know that volunteering is not only essential to keeping this place going, but it is also an important part of faith. As Jesus showed again and again, through service to others we not only provide important help, but we gain a deep appreciation for our own lives.

To help facilitate the volunteer opportunities in, and through, the church I am going to start listing volunteer jobs at the end of my weekly e-update. I want to keep this short, so I will just list the jobs and contact people. Occasionally I will highlight some important things that need to be done.

Ever hear yourself say, “I would like to do some volunteer activities,†or, “My children need to do more to help others� We have plenty to do. If you don’t see what you want below, give me a call and I’ll help find the job that is right for you.

See you in church,

mark

Church Updates:
Work Party: The fall work party at the church will take place this Saturday, October 29, beginning at 9:00 AM. There is work for all ages and abilities that may be done rain or shine. Please join us to help clean up and fix up our building.

Trick Or Treat Bag Sunday: This Sunday the Outreach ministry is collecting groceries to fill the shelves of our Huntington Food Council. Bring a grocery bag with non-perishable food for people in need in Huntington.

Peace Vigil: The Outreach Ministry is leading an interfaith peace service on Tuesday morning (10:00) at Congressman Steve Israel’s office, 150 Motor Parkway, Happauge. This is to honor the 2000 service members who have died in Iraq and to support the ending of the war.

HIHI: The overnights for the Huntington Interfaith Housing Initiative begin on November 14. We will team up with Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and Centerport Methodist to host homeless people on Saturday nights. This year the site will alternate between OLQM and St. Patrick’s Church, Huntington. A volunteer sign-up sheet is on the Outreach bulletin board, or contact Anne Canadeo.

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